|Captain K Seafood Tower
Seafood Tower is one of the latest fad that came out of Korea last year. Made popular by Youtube clip and food show about Korea as well, it pique our interest in search and look for it. Looking to satisfy the Korean culinary craze, enter Captain K with its visually exciting Korean Seafood Tower, or Nine Layers of steam seafood as it is known in other part of Asia. As a K-food lover, LD and friends definitely won't miss out on this.
|How to Eat Seafood Tower
We ordered the 9 tiers ($288.90) with Premium Korean Ginseng Chicken (additional $15) as a soup base. According to the menu, it is suppose to feed 8 pax. Being offered the Alaskan crab leg, we decided to add it as well, so our K-Tower became 10 tiers with only 6 of us.
|Order being assemble
It took about 20 minutes before the seafood tower to arrive. The base to heat the soup uses induction cooker, with each side of the hole to place the cooker are enforce with steel to ensure the tower does not topple.
|After 20 mins - Wohoo!! - 10 Tiers
|First tier, mussels and clams
|Mussels and clams - up close
You can actually eat the steamed shell seafood au natural or dip it in their sauces such as Samjang sauce, Thai green chilli, Yuzu Miso, Ponzu sauce or Sambal Belacan. I had mine Yuzu Miso and Ponzu for that acidity in the dish. Once you finished a tier, the service staff will remove the empty steamer so you proceed to the next tier.
Second tier are prawns. It was solid and crunchy. You can actually suck up the juice from the brain if you like. As the shells and leftover from the prawns started to fill the plates, you can dispose it in the bin under the table. The service staff will clear it regularly.
|Second tier, Prawns
Third tier, mini Alaskan Crab. At the first sight, it gave you the wow look. However, it does not deliver in taste. The meat feels brittle and tasted powdery. I suggest to give this a miss.
|Third tier, mini Alaskan Crab
Fourth tier, lobster. This is much better compare to the crab. The meat is fresh, springy and thick. Each of the lobsters are half, so you will not have any problem taking out the flesh.
|Fourth tier, lobster
Fifth tier, oyster. While we ate most of our oyster raw or fried with egg, eating it steamed is pretty unique indeed. The flesh is boiled in its natural juices, it tasted refreshing. I suggest you eat the flesh first, with the sauce and slowly sip the balance of the juice from the shell. Yum Yum.
|Fifth tier, oyster
|Oyster - up close
Sixth tier, squid stuffed with glutinous rice. An interesting combination, but we find the portion is a bit small compare to previous layers. Instead of one squid, they should gave us two squid. The rice are well seasoned, but it was mushy. The idea is to get the rice to absorb the flavour of the squid, however it seems to be lacking here. The squid is chewy, like its a bit overcooked.
|Sixth tier, squid stuffed with glutinous rice
Seventh tier, scallops with glass noodle and garlic. A more Cantonese style of dish, the glass noodle absorbs the natural flavour of the scallops, while the garlic nicely enhanced it. The scallops was cooked just right.
|Seventh tier, scallops with glass noodle and garlic
Eight tier, leg of Alaskan crab leg. The flesh is juicy and brainy. It is better compare to the small Alaskan crab. However, the portion is a bit small as it was suppose to feed 8 pax.
|Eight tier, leg of Alaskan crab leg
Ninth tier, mantis shrimp. Though it was the closest to the soup base, the thick layer of exoskeleton helps to seal the juice in the mantis prawn. Slightly hard to dig out the flesh, but its worth the effort. It tasted like a cross breed between tiger prawns and crayfish.
|Ninth tier, mantis shrimp
Finale, Tenth tier, The Ginseng Chicken Soup. This is actually the best part of the meal. All the natural juices from the steamed shellfish drip into the soup base, adding the sweetness to the already robust chicken soup. You can actually taste the collagen from the soup on your lips. The chicken meat is so tender, it basically fall off the bone. To be exact, you can even eat the chicken bones, as it crumble when you picked it up.
|Tenth tier, The Ginseng Chicken Soup
You can actually treat the soup base as steamboat as well, where you can add fishballs, eggs, dumplings, vegetables, luncheon meat and instant noodle. These extra ingredients are charged by colour of the plates, $2 for yellow, $3 for orange and $4 for red. After all those shellfish in previous tier, I was happy to enjoy the soup base with just vegetables and instant noodles.
|The Add On
The décor of this restaurant is simple and open. Just like any typical steamboat restaurant. This is not a full service restaurant, as the service staff only take your order and deliver the seafood tower. The sauce, side dish (kimchi), drinks and other additional ingredients for the soup base you need to self-serve.
The Verdict: it is definitely a unique dining experience. Majority of the seafood is fresh, but skip the Alaskan crab. The Ginseng Soup Base is a must try. Cheers!!
Food & Drink: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80