Lately, Mookata Thai BBQ Steamboat has been popping up in Singapore like it’s free. You can almost always find one of such at every turn, especially in the Bugis area. But today, I’m straying away from the ‘norm’ and zooming into MooJaa, a Mookata Thai BBQ Steamboat at Keong Saik Road, Outram Park.
MooJaa, MooJaa, what is that exactly? Intriguingly, ‘MooJaa’ is a popular slang word meaning ‘my lovely pig!’. It is frequently used by couples who have put on a little *hemhem*, weight during the relationship. Well, that isn’t a bad thing; It just signifies a happy relationship I think.
Quality Control #1 – Binchotan Japanese Charcoal :: You know the establishment is serious in its business when they look into quality rather than simply erecting a restaurant just because. You’d first be introduced to their Charcoal. A white, high-quality charcoal from Japan is preferred and used, due to two reasons. (1) It does not result in soot getting into the food and turning it acidic like when black charcoal is used (very commonly seen outside). (2) Binchotan Charcoal does not emit any smoke or unpleasant odors. That translates to you being able to dine knowing very well that the food is not contaminated or have its quality affected.
Now you know what MooJaa means, you have to know what Mookata means as well, haven’t you? It literally means ‘Pork Skillet’ in Thai, but is also known as Pork BBQ. The former refers to its cooking apparatus shown, where you can indulge in both BBQ and hot pot. It’s easy to use. First, you pour the soup into the dome-shaped apparatus. Then you place a cube of pork lard on the tip of the dome. And you’re all set to start the feast! The pork lard serves as a flavor to not only the meat surrounding it, but also the soup, slowly, slowly, as the meal moves forward.
The soup base is brewed for 5 hours. The chicken and pork broth is MSG-free, and starts off really light but still tasty. They also have Tom Yum Soup Base but trust me on this, give a miss on that and stick to the former. Because as you BBQ your meat, the juices that it gives out adds complex flavors to the soup, making it very powerful and flavorful. It was so addictively good toward the end. Be warned though, don’t throw your clams into the soup because it changes the soup base drastically. If you like the flavors of clams like I do, throwing in 5 of it would suffice. Don’t say never ‘wong‘ you.
Quality Control #2 – MooJaa Special Sauces :: The sauces here are freshly made on a weekly basis (from up north) so that it doesn’t go stale. Prepared with 30 different ingredients, it is stirred for 6 hours non-stop to prevent it from going charred or burnt. A whole lot of work just for its condiments. Up to your liking, you’re free to ‘marinate’ your own meat with their Spicy BBQ and Sweet Sour Seafood Sauces.
Thai Iced Tea (Cha Yen) ($2.50+) :: Highly recommended. It’s thirst-quenching, and I like the part where it has a tinge of bitterness to it. Not overpowering for sure, but present to spice the drink up.
Cheese Balls ($8+) :: Eat it while it’s hot. The cheese ain’t no fake cheapo cheese. It’s flavorsome. I heard once, there was a girl who ordered plates and plates of this. Only. I don’t blame her. Hah.
Ala-Carte Buffet ($32+) :: If you look at the menu above, it wouldn’t make any sense to eat by way of ala-carte. And if you take a closer look, it’d only make sense if you go there for its Ala-Carte Buffet. I especially like its Hokkaido Scallops, Abalone Slices, Cheese Balls, Pork Collar Slices and Clams.
US Angus Beef Slice / Kuorbuta Pork Collar Slice ($22+) :: If you get the Ala-Carte Buffet, you are entitled to either a plate of US Angus Beef Slice or Kurobuta Pork Collar Slice (not buffet). After trying both, I’d say go for the latter, even though I’m a huge beef lover. It fell a little short in terms of its marination. I had to smoke it with the sauces myself. But it turned out fine anyway.
Come here for its BBQ Steamboat, not its other mains or desserts, because well, they are after all specialized in the BBQ Steamboat right.
One would always be worried about the smoky smell that gets to your clothes when a steamboat / BBQ trip is brought up. I’m not going to say that you’ll not smell, because you will, still smell. They have just put in effort to manage it better, with a in-table ventilation system – lesser smoke would get to you, that I can assure you. Further, the restaurant is fully air-conditioned.
You can opt for a private room if you are in a party of 6 and above. However, as they only have a couple of rooms, you have to book in advance to secure a room. And it’s not just a day or two in advance; You have to book a week or two before.
Special gratitude to Shaun and the MooJaa team for the hospitality and hosting the invited tasting event.
Address: 25 Keong Saik Road
Telephone: 6536 4780
Click here for MooJaa’s Facebook Page.
Click here for MooJaa’s Instagram Page.
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2pm; 5pm – 6am (Mon – Fri); 5pm – 6am (Sat); 5pm – 11pm (Sun)
Photos by Yee Meng.