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.
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 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.
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
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!
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.
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?
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
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.
One of the more improbable thing I heard about Hanoi (or Vietnam in general) while doing research about the place prior to visiting was this “free food tour” thingy, cos you know, in my mind, how can anything truly be free?
HanoiKids free food tour at Hanoi
Well, as it turns out, there is such thing. The many different “clubs” that offers free food tour operates under a similar motto – in exchange for their service, the tour guides, usually university students, get to practice their conversational English, and all we needed to do is to pay for the meals.
Our experience at Hanoi was provided by HanoiKids, we booked the service online through their website, and sure enough on the evening of our appointment date, our guides – Mint & Mok, showed up at the hotel lobby as promised.
Both these girls are students from Foreign Trade University located just a few kilometers away from here. In fact, they didn’t even know each other prior to this engagement, which I thought was a pretty interesting arrangement.
first meal – herbal chicken noodle
Our first destination was herbal chicken noodle, or My Ga Tan. This is not entirely too different from our version of herbal chicken mee suah, but with darker broth that’s almost half way to bak kut teh taste, and “instant” noodle instead of mee suah. The chicken was rather tasty and really soft, there’s also a side of salt & chili padi should you want to kick it up a notch.
Address: Mỳ Gà Tần 24 Hàng Bồ, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
dry pho with steamed chicken
Next up was none other than the most famous dish in Vietnam – pho. In Hanoi this is usually served with chicken instead of beef, and the place we were brought to – Pho Ga Khanh Beo, has the more unique dry version.
The chicken was again very soft, with the overall flavor here more subtle than the beef version in Ho Chi Minh City, but does make for a good comfort meal as well. This isn’t entirely unlike dry version of kuih teow soup in Penang, but with more vege and nuts.
Address: Phở Gà Khánh Béo 22 Hàng Hòm, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam Hours: 5:30 pm to 11:30 pm
Grilled quail eggs at Nguyen Quang Bich Street
Moving on from those noodle dishes, we had this traditional street food that’s made of 3-4 quail eggs cooked with cheese, meat floss, fried shallots, green onion, sausage etc and served with tamarind sauce. It does take quite a bit for the lady to “grill” those tiny plates up but what you get at the end was quite a unique taste and experience unlike any other, now if they can just serve this at hotel breakfast egg station, my life would be complete.
Of course, no meal is complete without dessert, and for this purpose we were brought to this place by the name of Hoa Beo for a spot of dessert. We ended up having yogurt, fruit jelly, and even mixed fruits with condensed milk. While they aren’t exactly very sophisticated, it was a good sweet note to this rather awesome free food tour.
Thank you Mint & Moc for the wonderful hospitality. Do check out HanoiKids if your’e heading to Hanoi.
Address: Hoa Béo 17 Tố Tịch Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Realized it’s been a while since I last posted anything in Klang Valley, I suppose it’s appropriate to get back on talking about my favorite dish – bak kut teh. This is in fact the 60th such post on this blog, yeap, a bit much perhaps, but someone’s gotta do the job.
Teck Huat Bak Kut Teh, Bandar Baru Klang
Teck Huat bak kut teh is located at Bandar Baru Klang, a stone’s throw away from Aeon Bukit Raja, and less than a couple minutes away from NKVE toll.
If the name rings a bell, it is because the restaurant is operated by the same family that brought the country our very first bowl of bak kut teh, the inventor itself – Teck Teh, and if my information is correct, this is in fact the brother of Teck Seong, one of my other go-to BKT restaurant.
“pua pui chiak”, or pork belly meat
Teck Huat offers both standard bowl-type bak kut teh as well as in clay pot depending on your preference. I went with the former and yes, it does carry the signature subtle herbal note with some of the most tender pork texture just like the other Teck’s.
If you like one, you’ll like the other two.
sumptuous breakfast or lunch, take your pick
Unlike Teck Seong, Teck Huat usually operates till lunch, parking is also a simpler affair at this area, so if you long for some good old fashion bak kut teh, this is certainly a worthy place to visit.