If you’ve been looking for hot pot, especially Sichuan style mala hot pot, look no further than Xiao Long Kan Sichuan Hot Pot.
Their first branch in Malaysia is located at Fahrenheit 88, on the side that is facing Starhill shopping mall. Note – don’t try to look for it inside Fahrenheit 88 as there’s no access.
Xiao Long Kan is one of the most popular spicy steamboat chain from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China.
When it comes to authenticity, you can’t do any better as this is the holy grail of spicy mala hot pot.
This outlet has plenty of seats spanning four levels, but it does get packed at meal times. Fiddle with your phone for a few minutes and your patience will definitely be worth it.
There are four different soup bases to choose from, the traditional spicy soup or mala, which is a must have, tomato soup, mushroom soup and pork bone broth.
You can always opt for up to three like most patrons do. The level of spiciness can also be customized to your preference.
The condiment availability is different at Xiao Long Kan compared to every other hot pot outlet. Instead of a dozen or so choices, they stick to the traditional cilantro, green onion and garlic offerings.
A special oil called xiang yu is added to your condiments, which purportedly lowers the heat. You can also choose to add soya sauce or black vinegar, though any good chef will frown on this practise.
Xiao Long Kan’s back to basics condiment blends ensure that you taste the ingredients and soup to its fullest instead of being overpowered by fancy distractions.
As for ingredients. Xiao Long Kan does not lack in “special dishes” not easily found at other restaurants. Some of the offerings do require a sense of adventure.
The Australian wagyu A5 is so good you will ask for seconds. Pork balls, pork neck, fish paste, prawns, pork belly, chilli beef, roast meat balls and sliced lamb are some of the “normal dishes”.
For the adventurous there’s duck intestine, tripe, pork blood, pig’s brain, and even aorta.
They include a guide in the menu on recommended cooking times for each ingredient, ranging from 30 seconds for sliced green bamboo shoots to eight minutes for pig’s brain.
Following the guide ensures that you don’t overcook your items to the point where flavour is lost, or worse, under cook the dishes and end up having a tummy ache.
Their rice cake and fried crispy meat are two ready-to-eat items which are delicious. The rice cake is to be consumed as soon as it is served to enjoy that crispy outside but soft inside texture.
As a guide, meat is best cooked in clear or spicy soup, while vegetables fare better with either tomato or clear soup. This pairing ensures that tastes don’t clash.
You will find this to be one of the best hotpots ever, from the thick tomato soup to the aroma from the red spicy soup and the fresh, mostly imported ingredients.
You will probably be back again for more mala goodness with family and friends in tow.
Xiao Long Kan
Lot 03, Block D, 179
Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.147331, 101.713282
The article first appeared in www.KYSpeaks.com
Trying to influence your cravings since 2005, Kar Yeong was Guest Judge on Versus 1001 Rasa Baba’s 2018, R.AGE Food Fight Judge 2015 and NTV7 Foodie Blogger 2014. To read more about Kar Yeong’s food journeys, visit his blog at www.KYSpeaks.com