Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot 小龙坎老火锅 @ Fahrenheit 88, Bukit Bintang, KL
You haven’t been to Chengdu if you haven’t had the infamous Sichuan hotpot. The sight of a boiling pot of chillies-filled broth is indeed warning that you’ll be sweating at the end of the meal.
Now you may experience all these locally at Klang Valley with the sudden influx of Chinese hotpot restaurants, each touting authentic flavours of Chengdu. It is further boosted with the arrival of Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot 小龙坎老火锅 that brought along its traditional recipe that’s hundreds of years old. No wonder Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot has expanded to be one the largest hotpot chains in China within a few years.
Fun fact: Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot is so highly sought-after that Dianping (China’s TripAdvisor) reported a waiting time of several hours during peak time at its Chengdu restaurant.
With three dining floors, Malaysia’s first Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot restaurant is strategically located in Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur, right beside Starhill Gallery and at side of Fahrenheit 88 (not inside the shopping mall).
Bricks and tiles walls adorned with huge Chinese art pieces, sturdy wooden tables and bench seats, hanging lanterns, red carp decorations and curtains, as well as dedicated-carved wooden partitions give you the feeling that you have walked into an old Chinese establishment in the Qing Dynasty.
There are four types of soup base to choose from – Traditional Spicy Soup (经典红锅), Mushroom soup, Tomato Soup and Pork Bone Soup. You can choose between a spicy pot, non-spicy pot or a split pot if you like the spice but you lack the iron stomach of a Sichuanese person.
Single-flavoured Pot (RM48.00), Double-flavoured Pot 紅白鸳鸯锅 (RM48.00) or 3-flavoured Pot 三国演义 (RM48.00)
3-flavoured Pot 三国演义 (RM48.00)
Their signature Mala soup base unquestionably a must have here. Mala is derived from the Chinese characters for “numbing” (麻) and “spicy” (辣), a reference to the intensely addictive mouth-numbing sensation that comes with every spoonful. Made from Sichuan peppercorns and other aromatics such as garlic, dried chilli, cumin seeds and further enhance the flavours with Mala butter, this bubbling cauldron of spicy numbing soup has been localized the taste a bit to cater for local appetite. But if you are up for the challenge, go ahead to have it the “original Chinese way”!
The tomato broth with intense tangy tomato flavour was really appetizing and I could’t help but drink it non-stop throughout the dinner. The mushroom broth on the other hand was light flavoured, accentuated with pleasant earthy note that very easy to the palate.
Australian A5 Beef 澳洲A5和牛 (RM128.00)
The menu boasts a wide selection of meat, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms noodles and side dishes. With just a few seconds of swishes in the hot broth, the premium Australian A5 Beef with excellent marbling certainly guarantee a great satisfaction. All the ingredients in the menu come with suggested cooking time to ensures that you don’t overcook or under cook the ingredient for its best texture and flavour.
Rose Meat Ball 手工玫瑰丸子 (RM26.00)
Each pork meatball was served atop a rose petal and had a lingering subtle floral scent.
Pork Neck 上品猪颈肉 (RM20.00) & Shrimp Paste 手工虾滑 (RM38.00)
NZ Sliced Lamb 新西兰羊肉 (RM20.00)
XLK Spicy Chili Beef 双辣牛肉 (RM48)
Marinated with special spicy sauce, cook these beef slices it in the fiery spicy soup pot to double the spicy effect.
White Prawns 深海明虾 (RM52 for 6pcs)
Bluefin Leatherjacket 深海小耗鱼 (RM22.00)
If you’re an offals and innards lover, you’ll be delighted to know that Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot offers quite a number of “exotic” “spare parts” in the menu.
Pork Brain 聪明脑花 (RM10.00)
Definitely not for the faint-hearted （／_＼）
Crystal Glass Duck Intestine 冰球鸭肠 (RM28.00)
Aesthetically served in a carved glass bowl to keep it chilled. Just need to be cooked in the broth for 30 seconds, the duck intestine with pleasant crunchy texture was quite enjoyable, although it didn’t have much flavour.
Supreme Thousand Layered Beef Omasum 澳洲精品千层肚(RM48.00)
Pork Blood 清肺猪血 (RM10.00)
Sliced Green Bamboo Shoot 功夫青笋 (RM15.00)
Vegetable Platter 田园蔬菜拼盘 (RM20.00)
Black Fungus 木耳 (RM8.00)
If you expect the long spread of sauces and condiments just like any other hot pot restaurants, you’ll be disappointed because their dipping sauce concoction is just simply made from minced garlic, chopped spring onion, chopped cilantro and minced chili. A special fragrant oil is also added which can neutralise the spiciness. For those who prefer strong flavour dipping sauce, oyster sauce and vinegar are provided too.
Fried Crispy Meat 现炸酥肉 (RM16.00)
Brown Sugar Rice Cake 红糖糍粑 (RM13.00)
Fried with a crisp and light batter, these brown sugar rice cakes are a welcome respite for those wanting to quench their tongues with something sweet after a sizzling meal.
Scent Machine to mist the diners after a hotpot meal to get rid of any unpleasant odour.
Verdict: As a hotpot aficionado, I truly enjoyed my dining experience at Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot for its cheerful and ambient atmosphere as well as the fresh and nicely presented ingredients. Service was on point too. Albeit not cheap and not really a place that we can go very often but the prices are commensurated with the quality of ingredients (mostly imported) and service.
Open till 2am daily, there’s no excuse to put away your mala cravings in the wee hours at Xiao Long Kan Hotpot!
PS: Since Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot accept only walk-in customers for now, this place was rather crowed during our visit on weekends. Online reservation will be available soon.
Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot
Lot 03, Block D, 179, Fahrenheit88, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +6010-220 9618
Operating hours: 2.00pm to 2.00am, daily