Last Updated: September 8, 2020
‘Mookata’ loosely translates from Thai to mean ‘pork’ and ‘skillet’. It originates from Northern Thailand, though one may argue how its signature ‘dome-shape hotpot’ came about. My favourite version is the origin story about how the soldiers in Chiang Mai grilled meat using their helmets, eventually creating the metal dome-shaped hotpot we see today.
To eat mookata, you first have to lather the pork lard provided (yes, not butter or oil, but pork lard) to grease the metal skillet, on which you then grill the meat. The dome’s surface eventually heats up till sizzling, while simple soup is poured into the moat surrounding the dome-shaped skillet. Traditional mookata in Thailand uses only plain water, but the version in Singapore has been tweaked to use flavoured broth.
The lightness of the soup allows the broth to easily take up the essences of the grilled meat juices that flow down, mixing together with the boiled vegetables to create a flavourful and rich soup.
I love having mookata because it’s an amalgamation of barbeque and steamboat–the best of both worlds. It’s casual fun to bond with family and friends while sharing a mookata pot.
Lastly, you can enjoy a mookata without the stress of having to dress up! Skip your fancy attire and enjoy the conviviality of exchanging banter while grilling succulent meat at the table. To get you started, here are 15 best Thai mookata restaurants in Singapore!
Ubiquitously named after the food it serves, Mookata, Traditional Thai BBQ has been around for quite a few years, and definitely stays up-to-date with its exciting flavours that cater to people’s evolving tastes.
Probably one of my favourites for Thai mookata in Singapore.
The meat selection is exquisite, especially the pork collar. They also have pork sukiyaki in their set platters which is a must-try, along with wagyu beef.
You can order a Mookata Set for two at S$34.90, or, if you’re feeling very focused, get your ingredients a la carte. Some popular choices are the Tom Yam Pork Collar (S$8.50) and Sliced Beef (S$12).
Their special marinade is slathered on generously to ensure the grilled meat is packed with flavour and there is tom yum-marinated chicken/pork available for the spice lovers.
The mookata hotpot here uses charcoal for a more rustic experience while the pot skillet is big enough so you don’t have to worry about your meat sliding into the soup.
Always putting customers first, they even have three different levels of spiciness for their chilli sauce to cater to different spice tolerances. I have to highlight their homemade Thai milk tea as one of the best I’ve tried.
Mookata, Traditional Thai BBQ does not take in reservations but they do provide a queue system during peak hours.
Mookata, Traditional Thai BBQ: 103 East Coast Road, Singapore 428797 | Tel: +65 6344 2985 | Opening Hours: 5pm – 12am (Mon – Thu), 5pm – 1am (Fri), 12pm – 1am (Sat), 12pm – 12am (Sun) | Facebook | Yishun Outlet | Website
Located in the west, 1_345 Secrets of Thai Taste mookata can be found in a large food court at The Elitist building near many other industrial offices. At night, most of the other stalls stop operating while 1_345 Secrets of Thai Taste starts up in the evening and utilises many of the tables available.
The secret is in their Chiang Mai-style mookata non-MSG soup stock, made authentically by the owner’s Thai wife. The variety of selection is not very wide, but the meats are marinated simply and prove to be quite tasty. If you’re in a group of two to three, the Mookata Thai BBQ Steam Set (S$34.80) is worth your consideration.
The table area is huge and spacious, unlike those in the usual cramped mookata restaurants. There is ample free parking at The Elitist and although a bit out of the way, quite convenient to drive to if you have a car.
1_345 Secrets of Thai Taste: 25 Bukit Batok Crescent, The Elitist, #01-01, Singapore 658066 | Tel: +65 8720 1345 | Opening Hours: 4pm – 11pm (Tue – Sun), Closed on Mon | Facebook
Tom Yum Kungfu has an eclectic, retro-pop feel in their restaurant at Circular Road. The interior is filled with bright warm colours with neon elements, portraying a quirky and charming vibe (the owner used to be an interior designer).
Their clear broth is boiled from vegetables, pork bones and crabs; a rather light broth but with satisfying umami and seafood sweetness. They also use charcoal as their fuel.
Although the seafood selection from the set isn’t fantastic, I found the marinated meat (chicken thigh and pork collar) succulent and tender after grilling. If you’re looking for something that is both straightforward and satisfying, try the BBQ Steamboat Set for two (S$39.90).
They also have a rather interesting a la carte menu with more uncommon items, such as venison meat and homemade fish paste. Tom Yum Kung Fu serves not only mookata, but also offers quite a decent selection of Thai dishes. They are another of my top picks for mookata restaurants in Singapore.
*Mookata is not available on weekday afternoons
Tom Yum Kungfu: 16 Circular Road, Singapore 049372 | Tel: +65 6536 1646 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm & 6pm – 10.30pm (Mon – Fri), 6pm – 10.30pm (Sat to Sun) | Facebook
Located in Geylang, Ladyboy Mookata is always swarmed with snaking lines who’d wait an hour or two just to try the cheese mookata. Tip? Always book in advance. Maybe even a few days in advance.
For their Mookata Buffet, enjoy a free flow of cooked ingredients, milk tea and ice cream at S$29.90 (from Monday to Thursday) and S$32.90 (from Friday to Sunday). Children dine at just S$15.90 daily.
Ladyboy Mookata only serves quality ingredients whether it’s meat or seafood and they give generous portions too. Some must-tries are the pork belly, pork collar and lamb.
The lamb is so succulent that when placed onto the grill, you’ll hear the glorious rhythm of the glistening fat melting away. Grill it till it’s slightly charred and you’ll have a tender slab of lamb oozing with juicy fat.
When dipped in Ladyboy Mookata’s Ladyboy cheese, you won’t say a word for the rest of your meal. You’ll just chew your heart out in peace.
Ladyboy Mookata: Lorong 40, 644 Geylang Road Singapore 389574 | Tel: +65 8138 3836 | Opening Hours: 6pm – 1am (Mon to Fri), 5pm – 1am (Sat & Sun) | Facebook
Siam Square Mookata is hardly a new face in the rampant mookata scene in Singapore. Mookata enthusiasts might recall Siam Square’s first outlet at Havelock Road, but have little knowledge of the passion and dedication that went into its making.
What sets Siam Square apart from other similar establishments is its unique hawker slant, where ingredients come in small-plate servings rather than in fixed sets. In fact, its owner, Keith, believes it is the first mookata place in Singapore to introduce such a concept.
With prices starting as low as $1.80 per plate, the result is an affordable mookata meal that just about anybody can enjoy.
In terms of variety, Siam Square Mookata beats almost everyone. Their innovative ingredients such as Smoked Duck (S$2.80) helps to set them apart. Although its locations might be a bit obscure, the cheap and good quality is well-worth a visit.
Located along North Canal Road, Huay Kwang Thai Kitchen is a great place for both dinner and supper. The soup base is great, with a light broth of pork bones and cabbage that tastes rich and flavourful after a few rounds of grilling. Even then, the richness does not become too overwhelming.
From Sundays to Thursdays, enjoy sets tailored to your group size with the Moo Ka Ta Set for Two ($29.90+) or the Combo for Four ($59.90+). Alternatively, they also offer a Buffet at S$19.90 nett available daily. Top up to enjoy that with beef and seafood at S$29.90nett.
The meat is of decent quality, albeit not of the highest. I exceptionally like their chilli sauce for its tantalising garlic aroma.
Cheese Story Mookata Buffet is tucked in a corner of Golden Mile Complex and offers a wide range of buffet selections, including fresh oysters and delicious crayfish.
Their Buffet is priced at S$29.90 per adult and S$15.90 per child from Mondays to Thursdays. On Fridays to Sundays, public holidays and their eves, there is an additional S$3 to each charge.
The prawns and crayfish are big and fresh, as are the oysters that disappear off the station as soon as they are replenished.
The cheese dip is a blend of nacho cheese and mozzarella, resulting in a tasty and stringy mixture. It goes well with everything from the meat to the seafood. I particularly enjoy the beef slices grilled and dipped in it, with the taste of beef still prominent over the saltiness of the cheese.
Cheese Story Mookata Buffet: 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, #02-01, Singapore 199588 | Tel: +65 8678 7876 | Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours (Daily) | Facebook
Charcoal Thai offers the Charcoal Thai BBQ and Steamboat Set ($39.90) with the choice of vegetable broth or tom yum soup base. This set is best for two to share.
The meat platter includes generous portions of marinated pork and chicken slices. The meat is well marinated such that it tastes juicy and tender when grilled. They also have shelled prawns, luncheon meat, sausages, crab meat and meatballs.
Raw egg is also provided for you to dip the meat in before grilling. Be careful not to leave it on the grill for too long as the egg can char the meat easily.
If you’re a fan of the greasy charred meat dunked in cheese combo, here’s another place to satisfy your cravings.
Ninja Cheese Mookata Buffet, located on the first floor of Golden Mile Complex, serves a la carte buffets at S$29.90nett per adult from Mondays to Thursdays.
Children under the height of 1.4m can dine at S$15.90, available daily.
Ninja Cheese Mookata Buffet has always been teeming with patrons whenever I’ve walked past them. That must say something of its appeal. Even during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period, they were busy preparing delivery orders to satisfy their regulars’ mookata cravings.
Next time you’re at Golden Mile, definitely try them out.
Ninja Cheese Mookata Buffet: 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, #01-50, Singapore 199588 | Tel: +65 8821 7699 | Opening Hours: 3pm – 5am (Daily) | Facebook
Here’s one more reason to return to Golden Mile Complex.
Another strong player in the mookata game, New Udon Thai Food serves up their Platter (S$45) of crabmeat, hotdog, fishball, pork slices, pork liver, chicken, prawns and squid for your enjoyment. With a side of vegetables and refillable soups, New Udon Thai Food will keep you full and satisfied.
Remember to add the prawn and vegetables to the broth to give it an extra kick of savouriness, as it can be slightly bland on its own. Round off your meal with their Thai Milk Tea (S$5) for a refreshment from the heat and savouriness.
Located just opposite Ninja Cheese Mookata Buffet, you’ll really be hard-pressed to pick one over the other. Guess that warrants double trips to Golden Mile, but with a satisfying pick-me-up over mookata, who can complain?
New Udon Thai Food: 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, #01-55, Singapore 199588 | Tel: +65 8451 9973 | Opening Hours: Open 24 hours (Daily)
Ask any mookata-lover if they’ve heard about Bangkok Street Mookata, and they’ll probably say yes. Possibly one of the most popular mookata spots, they have branches spanning from West to East.
This coffee shop stall offers your standard meats and seafood, along with sides like tofu, noodles and rice. The soup is also free flow, and you can help yourself from a station near the stall.
Choose between ordering a la carte, with meat starting at S$1.90 per portion, or get their Platters at S$22 for two or S$39 for four.
Located at Block 498 Jurong West Street 41, this might be one of your new haunts when you’re hankering for a hearty meal with friends over a hot plate in the middle of the night.
Bangkok Street Mookata: Block 498 Jurong West Street 41, #01-426, Singapore 640498 | Tel: +65 8855 2929 | Opening Hours: 5.30pm – 2.30am (Daily) | Facebook
Yet another candidate hailing from Golden Mile (it’s not Little Thailand for no reason), we have Y Cube Mookata Buffet located on the second floor of the complex.
Spanning across several shop spaces, Y Cube Mookata Buffet has an ongoing promotion at S$32nett per pax from Mondays to Thursdays. From Fridays to Sundays, public holidays and their eves, each person dines at S$35.20nett.
Another popular crowd favourite, Y Cube Mookata Buffet is a no-frills dining experience if you don’t count the fact that you get to eat all you can while you’re there.
If you find yourself in town past midnight with the munchies, why not head over for some grilled indulgence?
Y Cube Mookata Buffet: 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, #02-45, Singapore 199588 | Tel: +65 9159 9152 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 6am (Daily) | Facebook
Unique for their 1kg Meat Mountains, Phuket Town Mookata is the place for you if you’ve got a giant appetite. Get the Mega Meat Mountain at S$39.90, or go all the way with beef with an additional S$10.
What is a mookata meal without refreshment? Complete the smoky savouriness with a reinvigorating Thai Red Milk Tea and Green Milk Tea at S$2 each.
Ever popular, Phuket Town Mookata is usually crowded with tables of happy customers chatting over a languid meal of barbecued meat and steamy soups.
Phuket Town Mookata: 40 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 560340 | Tel: +65 8613 0826 | Opening Hours: 6pm – 1am (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue | Facebook
This one goes out to the Westies who find themselves craving a late-night indulgence.
2211 Mookata, located at Block 907 Jurong West Street 91, serves up a signature marinade and chilli with a generous selection of meat and seafood. They’re often lauded for their Tom Yum Soup Base (S$3) which boasts a hot and tangy flavour perfect for a rainy day. Enjoy that with a wide variety of meat and seafood starting from S$1.90 per plate.
Complete that with their Signature Thai Iced Milk Tea for a cooling counterbalance to the heat and savouriness. Sounds like a feast if you ask me!
2211 Mookata: Jurong West St 91, Block 907, Singapore 640907 | Tel: +65 9750 1375 | Opening Hours: 5pm – 3am (Daily) | Facebook
With three locations across Hougang, Bishan and Tampines, you have a more flexible selection with 888 Mookata.
Their generously sized hot plate fully maximises the BBQ and steamboat combination. Enjoy a set for four at S$45 or set for two at S$26. With a menu that caters to your group size, never feel left out by the selection of meat, vegetables and mushroom.
You’ll be spoilt for choice by the vast variety of meats to choose from, so remember the golden rule of any all-you-can-eat concept: start modestly, ask for seconds later. Do note that 888 Mookata is not taking reservations for the time being.
888 Mookata: 212 Hougang Street 21, Singapore 530212 | Opening Hours: 5pm – 12am (Sun to Thu), 5pm – 2am (Fri & Sat) | Facebook
In the quest to create this mookata guide while gaining countless sinful calories in the process, the factors that were taken into consideration included quality of food, service and ambience.
Any other good Thai mookata restaurants in Singapore to recommend? Leave a comment below and let me know!