Last Updated: May 24, 2018
Affordable mookata for under $20?! Aroy Mak Mookata is where you can feast to your heart’s content at ONLY $17.80 nett ($20.80 on weekends, PH eve and PH) per person, without the pressure of any time limit during your meal there.
This dining establishment is situated in a shophouse along MacPherson Road, and is also home to the KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee in the day. Come 5pm, the place is prepped and ready for the dinner mookata service, helmed by friendly staff.
The clean and brightly lit eatery spans two shops worth of space, and I’d say, one of the best perks about this place is the air-conditioning. Beats the humid and warm outdoor seating that most mookata places have.
It is also pretty well-ventilated, so you don’t get much of the post-barbecue smell when you leave (though a little bit is still unavoidable).
There’s quite an array of fresh and processed food to choose from for the $17.80 buffet. Ranging from mookata must-haves, such as the Black Pepper Marinated Pork, Cheese Tofu and Tom Yum Thai Fish Cake, to speciality items unique to Aroy Mak, such as the Chiang Mai Marinated Pork and Chiang Mai Pork Sausages.
But if you want to really treat yourself, go for the $27.80 buffet, which consists of regular buffet food items, and premium items, such as Australian Wagyu Beef, Australian Kurobuta Pork, Oysters, Salmon, Lobster and more.
The steamboat itself comes with a base of Pork Bone Soup, but you can top up $2 for a spicy Tom Yum Soup, if you want to kick your mookata up a flavour notch or two.
True to our authentically Thai steamboat and grill experience, we were given chunks of lard (yes, you read that right!) to grease up our skillet with. Imagine the wonderful aromas and flavours our grilled meats would take on later… and in the words of wise foodies, everything tastes better with lard!
Our meat-centric order arrived, and we got pretty much all of the marinated meats, including the Ma La Marinated Pork, Chiang Mai Marinated Pork Collar, as well as the Pork Belly. And steamboat staples, such as Pork Balls and Mushroom Balls.
All of this and of course, some veggies for a balanced diet.
Our ingredients looked even prettier on a (metal) plate as we got down to grilling the meats, watching as the flavour-packed juices from the meats flowed down to join the pork bone broth in the steamboat “moat”.
In addition to being able to create your own dipping sauce at the front counter, Aroy Mak also gives you two in-house sauces to pair with your cooked ingredients.
My favourite was the green seafood sauce – flavoured using fish sauce, and boasting a sour ‘zing’ from the lime juice used. The perfect blend of sweet, sour and savoury in the sauce helped to balance out the greasiness of the meat and was my go-to choice, compared to the mellower sweet chilli sauce.
I usually like dipping my mookata meat and veggies in a sauce made of raw egg, garlic and fish sauce, as it adds a smoothness to the grilled meat and mellows out the smokiness of the char. Try it if you dare; you won’t regret it!
The Chiang Mai Marinated Pork Collar was one of my favourites, with layers of collagen and excellent fat marbling running through the meat, making it exceptionally chewy and flavourful when grilled. I found that it paired especially well with the green seafood sauce.
Another highlight from the buffet list was the Chiang Mai Pork Sausages, which is also unique to Aroy Mak’s mookata spread. The sausage was a hands-down favourite between my dining partner and I, and we preferred it grilled till it was slightly charred to bring out the lemongrass aroma from the seasoning.
This worked extremely well with the green seafood sauce too (aiya, just dip everything into the green seafood sauce and it’ll come out yummy).
A must-order when you’re here is the Ma La Marinated Pork – tasting super authentic from its spicy marinade, down to its addictive tongue-numbing sensation.
Eating this dish really whet my appetite for the buffet, and we found ourselves ordering up another portion of this as well as the Ma La Marinated Chicken.
Aroy Mak really impressed us with their wide range of ingredients and extremely affordable price point. What’s more, you and your dining party get to enjoy your meal in the comfort of an air-conditioned dining area!
However, as far as consistency goes, do double check your orders when they arrive at your table as the staff did tend to miss out items, and the portion sizes were also a little unpredictable.
Overall, a great place to satisfy those mookata cravings without feeling the pinch in your pocket.
Expected damage: $17.80 nett per pax