Get hooked on Ba Fang's seafood-centric steam pot
Ba Fang is a seafood-centric steam pot restaurant that’s hidden inside an office building at the corner of Fuming and Changle roads. The interior is reminiscent of a retro-style Hong Kong restaurant but it serves superbly prepared seafood and Cantonese stir-fry dishes at reasonable prices.
The star of the show is the signature steam pots. Although they sound similar to steamboats, they’re not. Instead of boiling ingredients in a broth, as is the case with a traditional steamboat dish and hotpot, steam pots allow one to steam food in dome-shaped cookers. The process is easy, the restaurant has a section of tanks dedicated to several kinds of live seafood, from shellfish to crabs and shrimps. You pick what you love to eat from the tank and the staff will follow up to cook your dish.
For example, the staff place live shrimps on a steaming tray and close the lid, press a few buttons to set the timer, and within three minutes, your food is ready.
Temperature is controlled to ensure the seafood is not over or under cooked, while water is pumped from containers under the tables to prevent the pots from drying out. What’s great about this moist heat cooking is that it leaves the ingredients’ bright flavors and textures intact, as well as helping to retain the nutrients.
The best part of this cooking method is to retain the natural sweetness coming from the seafood: no seasoning, no preservatives, just the plate’s pure flavors. And, of course, it is perfect for health-conscious diners. The restaurant also offers a dipping sauce to enhance food flavors if diners wish so.
But Ba Fang has more to offer than the signature steam pot. Hong Kong-style hotpots are also on offer, including the congee base or fish maw chicken broth — another crowd pleaser.
If you dine with a group, it is recommended to order several hot dishes and choose how you want your seafood served. The service is attentive and welcoming.
Opening hours: 11am-1pm, 5pm-1am
Address: Unit 204, 2/F, 291 Fumin Rd
Average price: 200 yuan