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Some of you may know that I’m quite a fan when it comes to bak kut teh, with some 60 different places offering this uniquely Malaysian porky dish documented on this blog to date. So when I was invited to sample the bak kut teh xiao long bao at the new Paradise Dynasty outlet located at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara, I knew I just had to try it.

Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara
Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara

Well, is this bak kut teh xiao long bao legit?

The short answer is, yes. In fact, the BKT XLB is created from the collaboration with Samy & Min Bak Kut Teh from Klang, the same family that runs Ah Her, Samy & Tien, Samy & Ah Her and so forth, I’ve always been a fan of their BKT with its concentrated herbal soup that carries a hint of peppery taste.

Yeap, the BKT XLB definitely has that characteristic carried over, though perhaps in a slightly milder form. Quite interesting and definitely a welcoming new taste in the world of XLB.

Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao, Bak Kut Teh Xiao Long Bao
Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao, Bak Kut Teh Xiao Long Bao

The BKT XLB is currently only available at the 163 Retail Park Paradise Dynasty, and you can’t actually buy it with money – instead, it is free of charge for you by doing the following three things:

do these and you’ll get the BKT XLB for free!

Drunken Chicken, Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop
Drunken Chicken, Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop

Well, apart from the BKT XLB, we also sampled the famous Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao that comes with multiple flavors with the instruction to eat in the following order – Original (white), Ginseng (green), Garlic (grey), Black Truffle (black), Cheese (yellow), Crab Roe (Orange), Foie Gras (brown), and Szechuan (red).

Quite a fancy way to consume xiao long bao, but one that is also kinda fun and interesting especially for someone who’s never experienced it. Does fill your stomach pretty good though if you have them all by yourself.

After all the XLB, we moved on to Drunken Chicken, a cold dish of steamed chicken prepared with shaoxing wine that carries a hint of herbal taste from goji berry, I loved it.

The Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop turned out to be a dish with a bit of a history – apparently it was created by a chef to cater to the empress’ request to have a crab dish during “off season”, so the chef used egg as the main ingredient to somehow mimic the taste of crab. I guess you gotta give it to the ancient Chinese palace kitchen when it comes to food creativity.

Prawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette, Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes
Prawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette,
Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes

Next up we hadPrawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette, a pretty standard dumpling dish that also delivers a kick, perfect for those who likes their food spicy.

Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes is a dish that reminds me of peking duck with its way of eating (with Chinese crepe), but should suit those who does not like the more pungent taste of duck meat. I thought the black bean sauce gave it a rather distinctive taste profile as well.

La Mian with 'Dan Dan' Sauce, Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungus
La Mian with ‘Dan Dan’ Sauce,
Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungus

Japanese ramen and Italian pastas are both originated from China, so if you’re someone who loves thing to be original, then perhaps proper Chinese La Mian should be something to check out.

We sampled La Mian with ‘Dan Dan’ Sauce as well as Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungu, depending on your preference in having it soupy or fried, neither would disappoint. These dishes are quite strong tasting and full of flavor. I’ll probably recommend sharing due to the portion tho, and save some space for XLB and other dishes.

Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork, Dynasty Crispy Chicken, Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry
Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork,
Dynasty Crispy Chicken, Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry

Dynasty Crispy Chicken is a simple, straight forward Chinese style fried chicken dish that is usually popular with kids, and if you want some greens, the Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork would not be a bad option, I do quite enjoy a proper vege dish that has a bit of “wok hei”.

For dessert, we sampled Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry, which tasted a little bit like lotus paste pancake but less sweet, and perhaps a little bit healthier?

Our Spread at Paradise Dynasty, 163 Retail Park Mont Kiara
Our Spread at Paradise Dynasty, 163 Retail Park Mont Kiara

Overall it was a pretty enjoyable session, and I am happy to see the group doing well since the first time I had a food review at their then Paradise Inn outlet at Pyramid (with a different concept).

Also happy to report that these XLB were as good as when I first tasted it all the way back in in Jan 2014 as well, it does mean that they’ve kept the standard and level of service all these years, something not every restaurant group can claim.

163-retail-park-map

Address:
Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park
1F-19 163 Retail Park,
Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.166784, 101.652151
Tel: 03-6411 9811

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Weekends are for Netflix and relaxation, and what’s better than that with a meal-snack that’s good for the belly to pair with the movies that’s good for the soul?

For that, GrabFood has you covered with the Weekend BOKBOKBOKBuster™, read on!

GrabFood with BOKBOK Discount Code

GrabFood with BOKBOK Discount Code

Now what is this Weekend BOKBOKBOKBuster™ Deal?

Well, apply BOKBOK Promo Code during weekends (yes, that’s Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) on orders over RM 25 from restaurants under the chicken category and you’ll get 50% OFF. It’s that simple!

my wings from Wingstop is here via GrabFood!
My wings from Wingstop is here via GrabFood!

So is there any catch?

Well, this is applicable up to 3 orders per weekend per user, until 5 May, 2019 discount is capped at RM25 per order. So don’t lose out and start getting your chicken meals!

Spicy wings from Wingstop
Spicy wings from Wingstop

I gave it a try last weekend and ordered myself some chicken tenders and hand breaded wings from Wingstop with the promo code BOKBOK. Total bill came down to less than RM 20 all in after the BOKBOK discount.

Well satisfied with the simple & straight forward promotion, and yes, the wings and tenders were good too!

the chicken rice shop
The Chicken Rice Shop

If you prefer to have it more traditional, meals from The Chicken Rice Shop are in as well, granted this may fit the dining table a little better than in front of the TV.

Texas Chicken
Texas Chicken

Want some old fashioned Southern style fried chicken and those yummy biscuits? Well, Texas Chicken should fit the bill too.

Lim Fried Chicken
Lim Fried Chicken

Or how about home grown brand that we can all be proud of in Lim Fried Chicken? LFC too is one of the participating stores.

In fact, you can find the full list of participating chicken meal providers by heading over to https://www.grab.com/my/food-blog/bokbok/ or check it out via your Grab app on the phone.

The GrabFood Weekend BokBokBokBuster will run until 5 May, 2019 and it’s applicable on weekends only (Friday – Sunday), yes, Fridays should be considered part of weekends too!

The 50% off promotion is applicable up to 3 orders per weekend per user, with a minimum spend of RM25, for restaurants in the “Chicken” cuisine category.

For the full list of details, kindly refer to GrabFood Weekend BokBokBokBuster.

Happy eating!

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A couple weeks ago my friend Carol texted a question that I could say no to – it was something to the tune of “Wanna go have some crabs in Klang?”

And so, that’s how we ended up at Kali Little in Pandamaran.

Kali Little Restaurant, Pandamaran, Klang
Kali Little Restaurant, Pandamaran, Klang

Kali Little is located at the pretty old school area of Klang by the name of Pandamaran, which is pretty close to the jetty in which you can take a boat to Pulau Ketam. However, the crabs served here aren’t from that dirty little island, instead, they’re imported all the way from Sri Lanka, which explains the gigantic size.

Apparently, having crabs at Kali Little carries some sense of adventure, not only the location itself is a bit of a treasure hunt, the availability of crabs itself requires some element of luck.

In fact, when we arrived, we were told there were “no crabs” .. yet. Only after half way through our initial meal of lala meehun, salted prawns, and vege did the live crabs from KLIA came in. So do call in advance to avoid disappointment.

crabs, these were just medium size ones
these were just medium size ones, carol showing the crabs

The crabs we ordered were of “medium” size, but they were actually already rather big for my standard.

While there are quite a few methods in which crabs can be prepared, the most popular choice here would be their signature salt baked crabs. This method retains the taste of crabs without introducing additional flavors that takes away the natural sweetness of these sea spiders.

And yes, the crabs were awesome, and we thoroughly enjoyed them to the fullest, it was just so juicy, sweet, and flavorful.

lala meehun, vege, salted prawns
lala meehun, vege, salted prawns

The other dishes we had were pretty decent as well. The lala meehun was as good as the version at Heng Kiat, and those salted prawns were quite fresh and delicious as well. We did not order the popular porky dish (we probably should have) or those lala soup.

it's certainly not cheap, but the crabs!
it’s certainly not cheap, but the crabs!

The bill came up to RM 281. Definitely not an “economic” meal especially for Klang standard, but we’d be laying if we said it wasn’t a satisfying dinner.

map to Kali Little, Klang

Address:
Kali Little Restaurant
89, Jalan Pandamaran Jaya 2,
Kampung Sijangkang,
42000 Pelabuhan Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.010704, 101.424395
Tel: 012-271 4444

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My style of travel usually involves minimal planning with a few points of interests we’d visit, and pretty much winging it rest of the way. After all, it’s always more exciting to have a bit of surprises and a sense of adventure while at a foreign land, isn’t it?

Mien Luon Dong Thinh, fancy some eel?
Mien Luon Dong Thinh, fancy some eel?

This method of traveling was precisely how we ended up at Mien Luon Dong Thinh, we were basically walking around Hanoi looking for a lunch spot and thought whatever that they have right at the stall in this restaurant looked peculiar enough to warrant further investigation.

As it turned out, we landed on a rather notable eel restaurant! Yessss!

There are several options to choose from at this place, and luckily the menu on the wall did have English subtitle for all the half a dozen choices – vermicelli blend, fried eel, clear vermicelli soup, fried vermicelli, eel soup, and eel porridge. Each will cost between 25,000 to 60,000 vnd.

crunchy deep fried eel with porridge turned out to be rather good
crunchy deep fried eel with porridge turned out to be rather good

We ended up trying the fried eel with vermicelli and the eel porridge. The eels were crispy and quite tasty, a very different taste from the boiled eel soup I had in Ho Chi Minh City, much easier to eat and not entirely too different from Japanese shishamo, but with sweetness of eel.

Of course, the vermicelli salad comes with fresh greens, nuts, and a healthy dose of fish sauce, as you would expect. The porridge also would make a very good comfort food on a cold day.

I’d recommend anyone with at least a mild sense of adventure to try this while at Hanoi.

map to eel porridge at hanoi, Vietnam

Address:
Nhà Hàng Miến Lươn ĐÔNG THỊNH
87 Hàng Điếu, Cửa Đông,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
GPS: 21.031978, 105.846789
Tel: +84 24 3826 7943

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On our tour to Hanoi earlier this year, we booked a day trip to visit the more touristy area at Trang An and Bai Dinh Pagoda.

These day trips can be booked while you’re at Hanoi via various agencies, or you can do it online and have everything arranged ahead of time. We did the latter, and sure enough on the day of travel, our tour guide appeared at the lobby of our hotel at 7 in the morning to pick us up.

Bai Dinh Pagoda, with the biggest bell in Vietnam
Bai Dinh Pagoda, with the biggest bell in Vietnam

The small tour bus then rounded up the rest of the visitors before heading to  our first destination – Bai Dinh Pagoda. It was a journey of about 100 km that takes some two hours. The transportation infrastructure at Hanoi isn’t exactly superb, but at least it was paved roads all the way.

After stopping at the front gate, you have to purchase an “electric car” ticket to get to the actual pagoda/temple area, so we did just that, hopped on the extended cab golf cart, and went on our merry way.

buddha statue wrapped in gold
Buddha statue wrapped in gold

The temple complex was huge. The main area houses some pretty impressive Buddha statues wrapped in gold, and there’s even a 22 meter giant bell tower that’s said to be the biggest in Vietnam. Unfortunately you don’t get to bang the bell though.

this is the longest corridor in Vietnam too, apparently
this is the longest corridor in Vietnam too, apparently

Additionally, there’s also this super long corridor (longest in Vietnam) that has various stone statues of Buddha’s students along the way.

All in all, this portion of the tour made for a good morning walk, and luckily the late winter temperature of 20 Celsius was quite conducive for such exercise.

this scene in Trang An looks a bit like from Kung Fu movie
this scene in Trang An looks a bit like from Kung Fu movie

After Bai Dinh, we stopped by for a somewhat forgettable buffet lunch before heading to the second half of the tour package – the river boat tour at Trang An.

While Halong Bay gets a lot of publicity and tourists for its beautiful scenery and rock formation, Trang An is often touted as the Halong Bay of land, so instead of out in the sea, you get a very similar view inland, and instead of big cruise ships, you get to be on a small boat.

goat on Kong Island
goat on Kong Island

The advantage of being on a small boat is that you do get a lot closer to the nature than being on a cruise ship with way too many other tourists.  The boats can take up to 4 person each, and usually paddled by a local lady, resulting in a very quiet and serene tour that I thought was very soothing. You’re also welcomed to help paddle the boat along.

my brother & mom, at Kong island
my brother & mom, at Kong island

Other than the beautiful landscape, there’s also Kong’s island to check out, which is actually whatever that was left over of the movie set for Kong – Skull Island movie that was released in 2017. I thought it was quite cool actually, they even have some locals who play dressed up  that you can take photos with, and nope, I did not participate in those kinda stuff.

hello fellow Malaysians on the same tour :D
hello fellow Malaysians on the same tour 😀

Overall it was a pretty decent day of tour, we got back to the city by evening, and I would recommend anyone who is planning a trip to Hanoi to check it out.