December 16, 2016
Home to the very best of North Chinese cuisine, BBQ Box is known for their Chinese-style barbecued skewers, also known as Chuan er (串儿). With close to 50 grilled food options on their menu, their ready-to-eat skewers includes a wide selection of meat, seafood and vegetable varieties.
But that’s not all, they also serve up a massive seafood hotpot packed full of tantalising ingredients in a spicy broth.
Located on Tan Quee Lan Street, their Bugis outlet is the perfect place for enjoying a hearty dinner of grilled food or a spot for late night supper cravings when the hunger pang strikes.
Their interior was certainly a pleasant surprise as it was not what I was expecting at all. Clad with brick walls and industrial looking wall decor, it was rather tastefully decorated if I do say so myself.
One thing to note about this establishment is their attention to detail. Their skewers are kept warm throughout the meal as they are served over a griller instead of being left out on plates. A great way to retain the heat.
Ala Carte Skewers ($1 – $6 per skewer)
Before jumping into the hot pot, we started off our meal with a medley of signature skewers which were marinated in their tasty housemade spice rub. The distinct salty and savoury flavour of the marinade and seasoning was just right- it somehow managed to be flavourful without overpowering the taste of the meat itself.
Chicken Mid-Wings ($2.20++ per skewer)
Their chicken mid-wings were notably tender and succulent. And, the best part is the affordable price they are marked at.
Seafood Combo ($88.80++/small)
Behold, their seafood combo! This glorious feast was certainly the highlight of our dinner. Featuring a smorgasbord of prime ingredients, they have everything ranging from abalone and crawfish to scallop, squid and langoustines, just to name a few.
Catered to fit local tastebuds, their broth was adequately spicy but not overwhelmingly so, allowing us to slurp down the soup without much trouble. Their communal pot can easily feed 2 to 3 people if you’ve already had some skewers beforehand.
This also comes in a larger hot pot ($168++) if you are looking to share it with 4-6 pax.
Their scallops were seasoned with chilli sauce, spring onions and raw garlic. All of which, really added to the flavour of the already fresh scallop. I practically slurped it off the shell.
The langoustines, which are mini lobsters from Norway, boasts a delicious tail meat that tastes more delicate than the average lobster. Having absorbed the juices from the broth, you can imagine how flavoursome it was.
Hidden in the broth are also several baby octopuses which I thoroughly enjoyed for its clean flavour and springy texture. It was also bite-sized and easy to chew.
They even have abalone in the hot pot. As a much enjoyed delicacy, I was surprised to find that there were at least 3 sitting on top of the crustaceans. Truly a treat when dipped in the spicy broth.
Need I say more about the plump and juicy fresh oysters? Garnished with the same house chilli paste as the scallop, they were probably my favourite out of all the seafood ingredients.
Of course, the pot was stacked with fresh mussels as well. Needless to say, it went great with the spicy broth which, you can drink out of the half shells.
Not forgetting the final item in the massive pot: the prawns. They were crunchy enough for my liking and had a rather firm bite. The prawns also managed to retain some sweetness from the shell, making for a great combination with the spice.
Lao Te Beer ($5 per bottle)
We couldn’t resist ordering some icy cold beer to go with our scrumptious meal. We went for their Lao Te Beer (600ml) imported from Qing Dao, China.
While it was light and refreshing, it didn’t provide that much of a kick even after downing a few mugs. Fortunately, they have other alcoholic beverages on their menu as well.
What can I say? I was really impressed with the seafood hot pot. They may be known for their signature skewers but I think their selection of seafood alone is worth the visit.
Unlike most Chinese BBQ joints, this restaurant also makes it a point to include less salt and spice in their dishes whilst ensuring that their flavours are still strong and bold. Definitely a great place to go for a family dinner or gathering with friends, as you can indulge in their huge sharing portions.
And with such an extensive menu, I’m sure their restaurant is on the right track to becoming a hot favourite with the foodies.
Expected damage: $35++ per pax