In the past year or so, hotpot restaurants a la China-style have been mushrooming in the Klang Valley like crazy. The locals have been taking to them like ducks to water, it seems, as these restaurants have been packing the crowds. We Malaysians label this as “steamboat” but now “hotpot” is the buzz word and aptly so because these pots are really HOT! Hot as in chilli heat from the numbing Sichuan peppercorns.
Chengdu in Sichuan is where all these hotpots are immensely popular. Here, hotpot restaurants are aplenty and hordes of customers gather at the round tables, dipping raw ingredients into pots bubbling with spicy broth topped with chilli oil. If you are hooked on such Sichuan-style hotpots, you would be pleased to know that the original Xiao Long Kan has recently opened their first restaurant in Fahrenheit 88 in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Long hailed as one of the best hotpot restaurants from Chengdu, Xiao Long Kan opened to long queues, with customers clamouring to get a table in the multi-level restaurant. The deco of the restaurant resembles a typical traditional Chinese eating house and I’m told that the materials and decorative items were all brought in from Chengdu. Every dining pavilion features a unique wall mural, depicting ancient Chinese culture and traditions. The owners take authenticity pretty seriously, not only in the food, but the whole set-up.
Xiao Long Kan’s signature broth is of course the hot spicy malat soup using Sichuan chillies and peppercorns. There are 3 levels of spiciness you can go for, depending on your threshold. Then there’s 2 other non-spicy soups to choose from: Tomato Soup and Mushrooms Soup. Diners can opt for 1, 2 or all 3 soups in a pot (the pots come in single/double/triple compartments) and each pot of soup (refillable) is RM48.
While waiting for the broths to bubble, we prepared the dip. Unlike other hotpot places where there are lots of sauce choices, here at Xiao Long Kan, it’s kept to the basics: chopped garlic, spring onions, coriander leaves, vinegar and their own aromatic oil. Mix all these in a saucer and it’s a perfect simple complement for the meal.
Let’s start with the “tamer” items for the hotpot. There are various cuts of pork and beef eg Australian sliced beef, NZ sliced lamb, pork belly and pork neck. The must-have items are Xiao Long Kan’s signature Rose Meat Balls (RM26), the incredibly well-marinated XLK Spicy Chilli Beef (RM96) and the super tender Australian A5 Beef.
Australian A5 Beef (RM128)
What is Sichuan-style hotpot without the innards and offals, right? These should be dunked into the spicy broth for maximum enjoyment! So, we had plates of pig intestines (RM12), sliced kidney (RM16), pig blood (RM10) and the addictive crunchy Duck Intestines (RM28) served on ice. More exotic items like pig brains and pork aorta are also on the menu but which we didn’t get to try as they had run out of these that night. Good reason to go back – to try these!
For us, a hotpot meal is not complete without our favourite shrimp paste, beancurd rolls (known as Ling Long Rolls RM20 here), mushrooms and vegetables. The White Prawns (RM52)and Bluefin Leatherjacket fish (RM22) we had were very fresh and sweet. Personally, we prefer to dunk these into the milder broths (tomato and mushroom broths) to better savour the fresh sweetness of the seafood and vegetables.
As the broths took some time to boil, we had a couple of starters: Fried Crispy Meat and Brown Sugar Rice Cakes, two very popular dishes from Chengdu. The fried pork slices were well flavoured and crunchy while the tubular-shaped rice cakes were nicely chewy with a light crisp on the outside, sweetened with some brown sugar drizzle.
Fried Crispy Meat (RM16)
Brown Sugar Cake (RM13)
We heard the queue is getting quite crazy at Xiao Long Kan these days. Can’t blame them as Chengdu-style hotpot is all the craze now. Service here is quick and friendly too.
Check out the spread!
We love this “refresher machine” which spray a nice refreshing mist on you, after the meal, to dispel any lingering food smells on you!
I’m giving away RM100 Xiao Long Kan Dining Vouchers to 6 lucky readers. All you have to do is:
- Like my Facebook Page here
- Tag at least 5 Friends & Share this post on Facebook (hint: tag the more the better, hehe!)
That’s all – easy, right? Do the above before 30 September 2019 and you may be just one of the lucky ones!
XIAO LONG KAN
Block D Lot D3, G Floor
179 Jalan Bukit Bindung
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Open: 11.00am – 2.00am daily
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/XiaoLongKanMY/