Singaporeans can't seem to get enough of Korean seafood towers.
When we visited two-month-old K-Tower at Amoy Street on a Thursday afternoon, the restaurant was packed with office workers who had come to check out what the newest kid on the block had to offer.
As soon as we stepped foot into the restaurant for the media tasting, the fragrance of boiling seafood stock quickly filled the air. At the back of the kitchen, two very hefty lobsters were having a fight in a bright blue tank, unaware that they would soon be sitting in my steamer.
This a good thing, according to the owner, who believes that the exercise helps to firm the lobsters' meat, giving it the perfect ratio of crunch and spring when bitten into.
Live seafood is used for K-Tower's seafood towers, and ingredients such as prawns and fresh abalone are picked straight from large tanks in the kitchen.
The nine-tier tower for eight to 10 diners ($298) came packed with sweet juicy prawns, red snapper, clams, mussels, scallops, oysters, two lobsters, two crabs, sea cucumbers and abalone. Our favourites were the prawns, lobsters and crabs - all of which were sweet and succulent and a total joy to munch on. On the other hand, the drier sea cucumbers and monotonous scallops made us anxious to move on.
When we got to the bottom, we paired the flavoursome soup in the lowest tier with a steamboat set ($9.90), which comes with vegetables, instant noodles, sea urchin balls and squid ink balls. You can also choose to add more seafood and meat if you wish.
Smaller parties can opt for smaller tower sets or choose to customise their own towers. A three-tier set with prawn, scallop, oyster, shellfish and a seafood soup base costs just $58 - fairly reasonable for the quantity and quality of seafood you are getting.
For those who prefer to have non-seafood items, the clear and refreshing ginseng chicken soup ($17.90) is highly recommended. Other highlights include the very crispy seafood pancake ($14.90), as well as the "Shake Shake" rice box (S$9.90), which - that's right - involves shaking a lunch box filled with rice, condiments and sauce.
But perhaps what surprised us the most were the skewered rice cakes served for dessert (Trilogy Rice Cake, $5.90). Fried lightly and drizzled with honey, these warm rice cakes were soft and chewy. One bite and you feel like a child with candyfloss in wonderland.
74 Amoy Street
Tel: 6221 9928
Opening hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30 to 10pm daily