Just Steam 纯蒸
776 North Bridge Road
T: +65 +65 6291 1358
I was very honored to be invited to this event, among many others, namely; folks from HungryGoWhere, The Arctic Star, Purple Taste, Ivan Teh RunningMan, Coffee & Cravings, Food Gem SG, Foodielicious, and Damien_TC.
Just Steam is just about 3-4 months old (established November 2016), and has earned itself quite a reputation for their novel method of cooking – Steam. I’m sure many would have caught a glimpse of how several eateries with similar concepts have been popping up in town & on social media; but none quite identical.
With the prominent sculpture of a man in our national colors, it’s quite difficult to miss when motoring down North Bridge Road. You can choose to find parking of your iron horse along Aliwal Street of Kandahar Street. And for those taking public commute, it’s just few steps away from the bus stop. With the silhouette projection on the 5 foot walkway, it’s quite difficult to miss.
Brightly lit on the inside, so everything is visible from the outside (is not very invasive for privacy), but in my opinion, all the more inviting. Sliding door opens, and you enjoy a whiff of delicious seafood in the air, circulated with ceiling fans in the air-conditioned ambience. Tables with steam contraption integrated in the center, lined up neatly in a row.
Service crew is efficient & quick to usher you to the seat, and to get the orders going. However, they’re staffed with largely Chinese speaking staff, so, be sure to dine with your Chinese proficient friends. Nonetheless, the management will be rolling a full English menu out soon.
The set menu makes placing of order, hassle-free; indicate the choice & portion size (number of persons). But if you’re more discerning & selective, you can also pick a la carte items off the menu.
While waiting for the ingredients to be served, help yourselves to the condiments & sauces counter. Don’t miss the 沙茶酱 (Chinese BBQ sauce) and 老干妈 (a trademark Chinese blended chili in oil) and 芝麻酱 (sesame seed sauce).
The service staff serves the platter of fresh cut crustaceans & shucked shells for your perusal, a gesture of authenticity for freshness. I must admit, on seeing the freshness, I was pretty tempted to just take them all raw- sashimi style, but I had to restrain myself, because the main event is – Steam.
To start the ball rolling, the service staff adds rice & dried baby shrimps go into the ceramic dome where the steam injection nozzle is integrated, a cup of water is added, and then the stainless steel grill is placed to separate the bottom hemisphere.
Fresh Scallops & Oysters are laid across the stainless steel grill, and a clear conning glass dome encases everything. The all clear is given, and the service staff sets the countdown timer on the digital dashboard. Watching the steam fill the dome, condensing on the glass, and watching the fresh food morph into cooked food, can be quite a spectacle.
This is a very familiar home kitchen styled Signature White Bee Hoon, with traces of pulled braised pork, bean curd sticks & julienned carrots, topped with bits of form follows function parsley/ coriander. Very enjoyable!
While we’re all busy indulging in the oyster & scallops, the service staff lays the nicely halved Fresh Lobsters neatly on the steam grill (the glistening viscous “foie-gras” of the sea, is just so temptingly delicious). She neatly tucks the “antennae” in, while putting the lid on, and setting the steam to run. Once more, we had the joy of witnessing the cooking process, like a scientific experiment at physics class.
Next up, a fresh Sea-Bass dissected & deboned down the middle, laid on a woven bamboo net. The fish is pretty plump (I’m guessing, ±400~500grams when served). And the service staff lays the Pipi/ Lala/ Clams around evenly, puts on the lid, and sets the steam run.
The Clams come off the shell easily, nice & naturally sweet, good bounce in each bite. The fish is good clean protein with no grease, the meat is juicy & bouncy too. You can eat them clean as they are, or, sprinkle some light soy with sesame seed oil to raise some taste.
Note: It’s a fish not a fillet, so, pay attention & look out for bones as you chug the meat
Fresh Crabs on Glutinous Rice served in a bamboo steamer rack, is cooked like all the dishes that precedes. And watching the shells turn from dark green to crimson is an appetite whetting experience. The glutinous rice in itself has got chunky bits of mushroom & lup-cheong (Chinese sausage), drenched with goodness from the crabs. This combination is probably the 1st I’ve ever tasted, and I encourage you to try it.
Fresh Chinese Cabbage leaves, Golden Mushrooms, Eryngii (aka King Trumpet Mushrooms), Pork Belly Bacon & Mushroom laced Meatballs. Laid out on the steam grill is cooks while we delve into the crabs. Once done, all that red & pink in the meatballs & bacon is gone. Lightly fat infused cabbage leaves is sweet & still crunchy, and I actually enjoyed the bounce & earthy hues in the mushroom laced meatballs.
Sectioned Sweet Corn & sliced Japanese Purple Sweet Potatoes laid out on the steam grill for a final whizz, before we get to the finale down under. In case you find the sweet corn lacking in butter or grease, the sesame seed oil is brings on a different dimension.
Just Steam caters to the dinner & supper “breakfast before sunrise” crowd, and prides itself with; the healthy system of cooking, very regular & fresh import of seafood, cozy & casual setting, and with attentive services rendered per table, I think that the pricing is pretty reasonable.
Note: dine in groups of 5-6 to enjoy economy of scales, but, groups of 3-4 is quite alright too.