I’ve been on a bit of a hot pot hunt as of late (or as well call it in Malaysia, steamboat), especially Sichuan style mala hot pot. So when the opportunity to be one of the earliest group to sample Xiao Long Kan Sichuan Hot Pot (小龙坎火锅) came calling, I was quite excited, to say the least.
Xiao Long Kan at Fahrenheit 88
Xiao Long Kan is one of the most popular spicy steamboat chain originated from Chengdu, which is the capital of Sichuan province in China. So when it comes to authenticity, you can’t do any better than that, this is the ground zero of Spicy mala hot pot.
pork bone broth, tomato, or mala soup?
Xiao Long Kan’s first branch in Malaysia is located at Fahrenheit 88, more specifically, at the side that is facing Starhill shopping mall (don’t try to look for it INSIDE Fahrenheit 88 like I did..)
While there’s plenty of seats spanning across 4 levels, it already gets pretty packed, but a little patience from your end and I’m sure you’ll agree that it is definitely worth it.
original condiment, without all the other fuss
There’s four different soup base to choose from – traditional spicy soup (mala, a must have), tomato soup, mushroom, and pork bone broth. You can always go for up to three like we did (all except mushroom). Additionally, the level of spiciness can also be customized. Do refer to the menu below.
Condiment situation is different here at Xiao Long Kan compared to just about every other hot pot outlets. Instead of a dozen or even more choices, here they stick to the traditional way of cilantro, green onion, and garlic. A special oil (xiang yu) is then added to the condiment which has the property of lowering heat. You can also choose to add soya sauce or black vinegar, though the good chef does not recommend doing so.
This blend is to ensure the taste of ingredients and soup is tasted to its fullest instead of being overpowered by fancy condiments. Can’t say I disagree.
Australian wagyu A5, we had to order another portion, so good
And then there’s ingredients. Xiao Long Kan does not lack in “special dishes” not easily found at other restaurants. Some of which even requires some sense of adventure.
We were served with Astralian wagyu A5 (so good we went for seconds), pork ball, pork neck, fish paste, prawns, pork belly, chili beef, rose meat ball, sliced lamb, and these are just the “normal dishes”.
In addition, we also had duck intestine, tripe, pork blood (my love!), pig’s brain, and even aorta!
I like that they also include a guide on the menu on how long you should cook each ingredients – ranging from 30 seconds (sliced green bamboo shoots), to 8 minutes (pig’s brain). Following the guide ensures that you don’t overcook certain items to the point where flavor is lost, or worse, under cook dishes and end up having an washing machine within…
sliced green bamboo shoots were definitely on point
Their rice cake & fried crispy meat are two of the ready-to-eat items we tried, and both are pretty delicious too. The rice cake should be consumed soonest possible to enjoy that crispy on the outside and soft inside texture.
As a rule of thumb, meat is best cooked in the clear or spicy soup, while vege goes better with tomato/clear soup, as advised by the head chef from Chengdu. These sort of pairing ensures that taste doesn’t clash, sorta like how you pair red with meat, and white with seafood kinda idea.
Jess, Mei Mei, KY, Eunice, Mag at Xiao Long Kan
Overall I got to say that this was one of the best hotpot I had recently, the super thick tomato soup, to the aroma from the red spicy soup, and all those fancy, fresh, and mostly imported ingredients. I’m pretty sure we’ll be back again for more mala goodness.
When I first received the invitation for Gin Rik Sha, I must admit that from the name itself I’d have never guessed what this place is all about.
Gin Rik Sha, Plaza Damansara
Well, as briefed to us, the name Gin Rik Sha actually derived from the “pulled rickshaw” in Japanese, which does not really explain what they serve here and how it is all related, but it is definitely a fun quirky name that I’ll remember.
a drink after a long day’s work
As it turned out, this restaurant at Plaza Damansara specialized in something that isn’t very common around Klang Valley – modern Indian cuisine with a bit of fusion touch, as well as a fully equipped bar serving wine, whisky, spirits, and even cocktails.
how do you like your cocktails?
Started the evening with cocktail, I wanted something sour and was recommended to go with Amma’s Potion made with gin, coriander leaf, lime juice, and cucumber syrup, a good refreshing start to the evening.
My second was Whisky Cha, a play of whisky, masala herbs, and sour which was a tad more sophisticated compared to the refreshing note of the first.
If you’re not a cocktail person, there’s plenty of other drinks to choose from, alcoholic or otherwise (see menu below)
chili chicken is great as bar snack
If you like something with a bit of a kick to start, Chili Chicken certainly fits the bill. This is Gin Rik Sha’s interpretation to the classic popcorn chicken but one that is quite high on the spicy meter. Juicy inside, crispy out while being spicy and aromatic, I love it, a perfect bar snack to go with beer, or cocktail in this case.
kerala shrimp, wrap it up
Kerala shrimp is a classic Indian dish of spicy tamarind flavored shrimp with roasted coconut, and in this case served with toasted chapati instead of rice, which turned out to be quite a good combination. The sauce carried a kick and complimented the seafood well without being overpowering.
banana leaf baked sea bass
If you like fish, check out the Banana Leaf Baked Sea Bass – banana leaf wrapped with fresh aromatic sea bass and basmathi rice and served with brinjal sambal.
This dish is certainly a full meal, love the long grain rice and I wish there’s more brinjal sambal to go with! The fish was prepared properly and not overcooked, a good execution in this case. If this could be tapao as lunch I’d be a happy man.
Other interesting dishes on the menu includes spiced cauliflower rice, vegetable lasagna, chicken briyani, and even rack of lamb. There’s a good variety of modern and traditional classic to choose from.
hello Sammi! kulfi with caramelized bananas, carrot halwa filo pastry samosa
In the dessert department, their menu isn’t exactly very comprehensive. We did try the Kulfi with Caramelized Bananas and Carrot Halwa Filo Pastry Samosa with Black Pepper Ice Cream as the sweet endings to the night. I enjoyed the samosa and pepper ice cream, and thought the kulfi was perhaps ordinary and not having a lot to write home about.
Overall this was certainly an interesting visit, a place fit for after-work wind down or a proper meal with friends. The menu and combination is bolder than most, and I for one welcome more innovations in culinary offerings in KL.
For those who’re into Ipoh food, Nam Heong is surely a name that’s familiar.
Over the years, they’ve been expanding and bringing some of the most popular dishes from the city of Ipoh and spread it all around Klang Valley and more, good for us who loves a good meal of authentic dish from the area while enjoying the comfort of air conditioned dining area and all that convenience that comes with it.
challenge yourself to these games at Nam Heong Roadshow
A couple weeks ago, along with others, I was invited to their roadshow at IOI City Mall to check out what it is all about. They’re running the road show across different outlets happening now until mid November, 2019. Check graphic below for dates.
But first, during this period, do use MLINGKY discount code to get 10% off when you dine in during roadshow dates.
I was pretty good at the shooting game
So, what about the roadshow and what do you do there?
Well, for one, you get to meet the mascot – Madam Ling 玲姐. You’re right, I did not know they had a mascot before meeting her, but Madam Ling is pretty cute. 😀
More importantly, you get to win prizes after you’ve enjoy your good old fashion Ipoh dishes at Nam Heong by playing the different games they have:
Clawing machine 1- eligible for Grand Prizes
Clawing machine 2- eligible for Nam Heong merchandises
Throw the ball into cup – Nam Heong Signature Menu and Retail Items
Shoot the gun – Nam Heong Signature Menu and Retail Items
Some of the dishes we sampled at Nam Heong
The prizes are super attractive too:
Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones – The Beats Skyline Collection – Midnight Black
Xiaomi Folding Electric Bicycle
Macwheel 36V 10.4AH Electric Foldable Bicycle Bike
Samsung Galaxy Watch (46mm) Bluetooth
Casio G-Shock 35th Anniversary BIG BANG BLACK GA-735A-1AJR Limited Edition (JAPAN SET)
So if you haven’t try Nam Heong yet, it’ll be a good opportunity to do so during one of their roadshow dates and win yourself some merchandise, or who knows, you may walk away with one of those big prizes!
Madam Ling Roadshow dates across all locations
When you do so, don’t forget to use the MLINGKY discount code for 10% off!
I’ve been using dahmakanfor over a couple years now. In the earlier days when they only offer lunch boxes, I used to do “group orders” with my colleagues every now and then.
These days, they’ve expanded to include dinner, and the menu too has expanded with combo sets, drinks, and more.
First, for readers of KYspeaks, use BETASTY063 to get RM12 off your first purchase.
properly packed eco friendly way
So for those who is new to dahmakn, you may wonder how does it work and how it is different from other food delivery service?
Unlike delivery services that source food from partnering restaurants, dahmakan is an end-to-end provider that handles sourcing of local ingredients, to having in house chefs cook and prepare the meals, and finally having them delivered to your door step. They have a firm control every step of the way to ensure quality and service delivery.
slow cooked beef stew, nasi kerabu
Everyday, there’s usually over a dozen different dishes to choose from, usually with choices of dishes that includes chicken, fish, or beef prepared in either traditional, Western, or even dishes with a bit of Japanese flair. Do check out their menu online.
you can order via web browser with a computer
Ordering is as simple as a few clicks away on your web browser, or if you prefer, there’s also a mobile app on Android and iOS which also help track down delivery time and where the riders are currently at.
or via their phone app, delivery time is always on point
One of my favorite things about dahmakan is the way you’re able to schedule when the food is delivered. For example, I had mine scheduled between 6:30 – 7 pm and sure enough, it was delivered by 6:51 pm on my doorstep. This makes for easier planning to have them delivered right after you get back home, but not too early, or too late.
I really love the beef stew, mom liked the nasi kerabu too
Most importantly though, when it comes to any food services, it’s the quality of food you get. Of the numerous orders I had with dahmakan, they’ve never disappoint. My most recent order of slow cooked beef stew and nasi kerabu were as good as any, and they were still warm when I got them too.
The beef were tender, soft, and properly seasoned. Nasi kerabu was served with plenty of greens, that signature blue rice, and a huge portion of thigh meat. They were delicious.
If you haven’t yet, check out dahmakan.com and do use the BETASTY063 promo code. Dahmakan currently delivers to most of Klang Valley.
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
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
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:
Share a photo of the at Paradise Dynasty 163 Retail Park or the BKT XLB
Tag at least two friends
do these and you’ll get the BKT XLB for free!
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
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 Crepesis 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
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
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
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.