Looking for an "Eat till you drop" yet affordable kind of feast in Sibu? Yes.. actually you have many choices, but what I'm going to share this time is a new (operated for roughly 6 months) eatery hidden at an unexpected building. I'm not sure how many Siburians have actually aware of its existence.
It is called "King Kong BBQ Steamboat". From the name itself, you would roughly know what kind of cuisine that are serving here. No! Definitely they didn't serve King Kong meat! What I mean is the "BBQ Steamboat"!
Located at the rooftop of 11th floor SMC Multi-storey Car Park of Sibu Central Market, the place is not easy to discover. However, the big red LED notice board placed at a higher place of the rooftop is somehow quite eyes-catchy and one can spotted it once you drive through Jalan Bengkel, from the direction of KTS group to Pansar Group office buildings.
I have a chance to try out feasting at the eatery about weeks ago with some friends. As it is inside the building of multi-storey car park, looking for parking space is not a problem at all. You can just drive all the way to the 10th floor of the carpark and with just stone throw distance of walking, you will reach the place. Just that bear in mind, parking is not free. you need to pay some bucks for parking inside the building as usual!
The moment stepped into the place is a shock! It's just like you found another world on the heaven!! (I mean an eating heaven!) As I went on weekend, the place was flooded by patrons. Even though the place is big enough, but it was almost full house!
6 of us in a group... we hardly found a table with good fengshui to sit down. After some search and pick... we finally got one. Upon sitting down, an usher came to us to record down how many of us in a group. Please bear in mind, there is a time limit for each entry. One have only 2 hours of eating time per entry and if exceed the time, a certain amount of charges will be applied per head basis. The time of entry will be recorded down by the usher.
This is a down point of the eatery, but with the charges of RM13.90 per head, you can't complain much. Another eatery with similar business model charged RM20 per head with unlimited eating time.
Another thing surprised me a bit is that they're actually using charcoal as the heating medium instead of gas-powered cooking stove or electronic stove. Is it because charcoal is more cost effective or it is just a matter of choice of cooking method, it is up to you to judge. But what I am sure is that using charcoal definitely involve more tedious and hard works to prepare and the proprietor has "specialists" doing that. I think we just waited for around 5 minutes or so for the BBQ steamboat tools to reach our table.
The 1st impression I had on the BBQ steamboat pans when they're served onto our table is that they look like Korean BBQ style where the BBQ part is at the rounded protruding surface at the center of the pan and the broth part is at the sunken surface on the edge. It is some sort like an "upside down" version of the BBQ Steamboat that I had at another eatery before where the center is for steamboat and the grill is at the side.
As for the foods... for BBQ and steamboat purposes, there are variety of raw foods for you to choose ranging from marinated pork, chicken, beef to limited seafood, variety of cold storage processed foods such as sausages, fish balls as well as fresh vegetables, bean curds, eggs and all those "standard" steamboat ingredients. Take as many as you can... but the only condition is make sure you can finish them! Wasting of foods is subject to extra charges!
If you are hungry and couldn't wait for the grilled foods to be cooked, there are ready foods such as fried rice, fried noodles, fried kway tiaw and fried beehoon - the 4 kings of foods ready for you. You can fill your stomach while taking your time enjoy the process of food grilling, a.k.a. BBQ!
As for the steamboat part.. the area to contain the broth is rather shallow and narrow, therefore is up to your creativity how you gonna boil the foods with bigger size in the broth. The structural design of the steamboat pan causing the sauces from the marinated meats to drip into the broth when doing the grilling, thus will cause the broth's salty level to be increased linearly over time.
There are free flow beverages as well but it is in a D-I-Y style where ingredients such as red beans, green beans, cendol, jellies, basil seeds a.k.a. the frog eggs, coconut milk, syrup and etc etc to produce the beverages are places in several big bowls. Yes... again... use your creativity to produce a drinking mixture and you can give the beverage whatever name you like! Free flow ice cream are available as dessert.
As a conclusion, if you are looking for a good place to "eat till you drop" yet not "hurt" your purse too much, perhaps this King Kong BBQ Steamboat can be a good consideration. The open air environment and its location on the rooftop provides natural cool air ventilation thus the place is not too hot even without air-conditioners besides you can see part of Sibu's scenery from a higher altitude.
The only few things that not favored me are the slow refilling frequent of foods as well as the insufficient way of beverage been served and also the 2-hour time limit.
Oh ya... forgot to mention just now... if you need that little bit of private space, perhaps there are minor parts of the eatery been designed for the purpose.
For more information you can visit there Facebook fanpage. The operating hours is only from 5.30pm-10.30pm.