If you are looking for an innovative and interesting dining experience, check out Tastee Steam Kitchen for a sauna steam pot! Located on Harrison Street in Oakland Chinatown, Tastee offers a unique type of cuisine where you can select raw items and the food is inserted into an appliance where it steams the food so you can see it go from raw to steamed and cooked within minutes. This is a different type of cooking since it allows the food to retain flavor and nutrients while also being more tender and soft. It is considered more healthy since there is no preparation for the food besides steaming, so it is better than stir-frying or deep frying. Another part of this is that you can choose a porridge base that sits right under the appliance. There is rice cooking underneath and as you cook the food, all the juices and flavors also go into the porridge and soak it up. They serve the porridge afterward and there are plenty of spices like white pepper and chili oil to add more flavor. On the menu, they provide a marker where you can select the items you would like to steam. Their selection is extensive and you can choose from live seafood, vegetables, beef, chicken, pork, meatballs, and more. Most items are a la carte. If you are not interested in the sauna pot, they also have sushi rolls, seafood boils, mini individual hot pots, all-you-can-eat shabu, and more. There is also a sauce bar where you can mix your sauces filled with garlic, soy sauce, chili oil, cilantro, green onion, and more.
For the sauna pot, I usually go for 4 -6 items to steam and a small porridge base. This is more than enough for 2 people and the porridge provided at the end is enough for leftovers. My recommendations for the steam pot are geoduck, razor clams, stuffed mushroom with shrimp paste, marble beef with enoki, imitation crab meat with tofu skin, and end with dried scallop porridge. Each item only takes a few minutes to cook and the staff prepares it for you then sets it on a nice plate right in front of you. The appliance for the sauna pot is right next to you so you can see the timer and all the steam going through the food as you are waiting. This elevates the dining experience since you are seeing the food prepared right in front of you and it is delicious. With the dipping sauces, all the food tastes fresh and healthy.
While this was a fun experience, I would have to say it is more on the expensive side since most of the items are a la carte. However, the quality of all the food is fresh and I would highly recommend it if you would like to try out their sauna pot or healthier option!
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