Weeehee! Chanced upon a restaurant called Mushroom Park (while cleaning up the database for a new dining app) and well, being a Super Mushroom Lover, of course I was dying to check it out! We made reservation on the website a day earlier so we could get 10% off our bill :)
We managed to arrive just before 7pm for our reservation (phew!). Anyway, it was alright because the restaurant was practically empty on a Tuesday night. The experience was great - it was a very nicely renovated place, peaceful and undisturbed, with "personal" attendants. Like VIPs!
We were impressed by the whole interior - glass table top with marble pebbles underneath, and a built-in stove right in the middle. You can tell that this place is really dedicated to serving their healthy mushroom steamboat cuisine. Classy!
The dishes were unique too! For starters, we had Mushroom Sashimi, Crispy Mushroom (like dried fruit crackers) and Shredded Mushroom (meat floss-like snack). Wow, didn't think we would be eating mushrooms like that! We probably looked like total newbs, wow-ing at everything like we're from the outerspace hehe. Oh, and the perfect drink to go with a healthy meal? The Chinese Eight Treasures Tea! (This is real stuff ok, not some instant 8-in-1 packet drink.)
This restaurant really goes all out in ensuring that its customers enjoy their mushroom steamboat the proper way. There is a process to follow and actually they will serve you for the most part so you can just sit and watch until you are ready to do your "shabu shabu" thing. First, they invite you to taste the original mushroom soup base, before anything else is added. Then, they add in the mushrooms, cabbage, Taiwanese frozen tofu, and a kind of herbal yam (explaining what each ingredient is as they are added). A kitchen timer is set on our table: Time left to devour is exactly 6 minutes. :)
Once again after it's ready for our chopsticks to make a dive, we were invited to taste the soup again - it had a nice extra sweetness to it from the mushrooms and vegetables added. Finally, we were ready for "shabu shabu"!
Fresh thin slices of beef and pork, and the soup were perfect complements for each other! So fresh and sweet that we ate it plain (without any sauce) after cooking it to just right in the soup. And the soup was just filled with the rich essence of the meat, the mushrooms, the vegetables - we couldn't help but finish the entire pot of soup in the end. :p
Another of our favorite dish was the special Mushroom Treasure (Steamed) Rice. Try their special red chilli sauce! The slight sweetness blends in perfectly with the steamed rice.
Now for the desserts :D Green Tea and Plum Jelly! It's nothing like the normal jelly or the Japanese konnyaku that we usually eat. This jelly is really soft yet still spongy (like jelly!). I love the Plum Jelly, lightly-flavored and not too sweet (I thought the Green Tea one was too sweet though).
That's it! All of the above are part of a set meal. There are five types of steamboat set meals, and an ala-carte menu as well. The cheapest, Healthy Set Meal is priced at $26.80++. The most valued (imo), Natural Set Meal or Creamy Dory Set Meal is priced at $36.80++. (There are also the Dynasty Set Meal, the Vegetarian Set Meal, and the Tilapia Fillet Set Meal, which were slightly over our budget.) We both picked the Natural Set Meal. But don't feel restricted that you have to pick the same set meal as your partner (even though you will still be sharing the same pot of soup)! The variations are only on the type of meat/fish and the rice/noodles. With the Natural Set Meal (& above), you get a free upgrade to the Mushroom Treasure Rice, which is otherwise $3 on the ala-carte menu.
This is definitely a thumbs-up place for me. In fact, I've already recommended it to my family, and I dined there for the 2nd time the same weekend - yes, I went there twice in 5 days! The restaurant was full house on the weekends though. So I would suggest to go during the week if you don't like the crowds and noises.
But hurry up if you are keen on trying this place, because they are closing down on 1 August 2010. Sobs, it's really sad. I wished I had found out about this place sooner. We only learned about the closing by chance when we asked them about their signature Mushroom Fishball, which they won't be serving anymore. So quick quick, if you are even considering about checking them out - I would say, go for it - why not! Only half a month left before it's gone forever!
Mushroom Park is located at 87 Serangoon Garden Way (near Chomp Chomp). Reserve online today so you can get 10% off like I did! [website]