Tables spilled out of the main stall, into a few more shop spaces and into the passageways, and even round to the back.
Yet, people waited. They hung around, scouting for a good table to hover over.
No one will help you get a table - there's no queue to stand in, no number to take, no list to fill. It's all about being observant and quick on your feet.
So we also waited. First checking out one area, and then another, both eyes peeled for customers finishing their meals.
And there it was - an empty table.
Luckily the others waiting near us were large families, so no one raced us for the prize.
So we got to sit down, and tuck into some steamboat.
I guess I always have been spoiled by my late grandmother's reunion dinner steamboats, as well as those that we used to do at home, where we'd get a whole spread of the good stuff like abalone, salmon, sukiyaki pork and beef.
But this is a different style of steamboat, it's not those all-you-can-eat ones, but like Yet Con in Purvis Street, it's old-style and you get platefuls of raw food according to the price you pay.
The best part of course, is eating steamboat with chicken rice, which was fragrant and the chicken was good. Oh and so was the chili sauce.
Very satisfying. Plus dinner came to about $30 for two people.
It was definitely an experience.
Thien Kee Steamboat
#B1-20 Beach Road Golden Mile Tower