Makan-Makan has replaced the old Bacon & Booze at the end of Punggol road, and I heard that it’s buzzing with patrons every weekend, where families come for the steamboat and a respite by the sea.
Located within Punggol Ranch, the halal-certified Makan-Makan steamboat place takes its decor cue from the horse stables nearby, while still exuding a kampong vibe.
The steamboat buffet is priced at $26 nett on weekdays, and $29 nett on weekends.
You’ll find an assortment of vegetables at the start of the buffet line, and for those who are looking for a more filling meal, bee hoon, instant noodles and rice are available.
You can choose from a variety of sauces and mix them together to create your own dip. We went for the garlic chilli, and mixed in a little more chopped garlic for that added punch of flavour.
Further down the line is a variety of frozen foods, marinated meats and sliced fish, which you choose to put into your soup or grill.
I was quite pleased to see an entire section dedicated to seafood – from flower crabs to crayfish, prawns, bamboo clams, mussels and scallops.
We grabbed the seat by the window to soak in the views of Punggol Ranch, which also makes a good Instagram spot with the white wooden windows and natural sunlight flooding in.
We covered the grill with a medley of seafood and meats, and took multiple pictures while waiting for them to cook.
You can choose to have tom yum or chicken as the soup base. We went with tom yum, and thought that it tasted like the flavoured seasoning you’d get from instant noodles.
You could add herbs into the soup, but we made it more flavourful by boiling the flower crabs in it for a sweeter taste.
We recommend going for the mussels that are covered in — what tasted like — chilli and barbecue sauce, which we placed on the grill to let the flavours and juices mix together.
Makan-Makan admittedly isn’t the best steamboat place we’ve been to, and it could do better in keeping its ingredients fresh and by serving a wider variety of items. We came for the novelty of dining in a pretty place though, and on that count the experience delivered.
Take note though that you may have to swat away the flies that are eyeing the food, even after the owner and staff have tried their best to light candles to repel them from the buffet line.
You’ll feel like you’re in another country when wandering around the premises of the farm stay, which is just next door. A justifiable reason for us to make a trip down here.
For a moment, the laid-back atmosphere put my mind into Zen mode, and we began taking pictures with both our cameras and our phones.
We’ve read both good and bad reviews about Makan-Makan and I wouldn’t say this is THE place to have steamboat. Come if you’re not picky about where you dine at, and only if the woods and nature is what you love. Oh yes, and it’s halal-certified too which is great news for Muslims.
Go during the early evening on weekdays if you want to escape the weekend crowd.
Expected damage: $26 – $29 per pax with free flow drinks