This is one Sichuan experience you can’t miss!
If you’re a fan of spicy mala broths, you’re in luck as Cheng Du’s very own hotpot spot has just opened its flagship restaurant in Bukit Bintang. XiaoLongKan Chinese Fondue (or XiaoLongKan) is the newest hotpot joint to open in Kuala Lumpur after winning over millions of tastebuds around the world serving the original buttery mala broth (we’ll get to this later). Known to offer the highest quality ingredients the authentic Sichuan way, I thought of giving it a go to see what the hype was all about.
Nestled in between Fahrenheit 88 and Starhill Gallery, it’s not hard to locate the establishment as the distinctive Chinese architecture is easily spotted down the lane. Step inside and you’re immediately transported to China thanks to its interior.
When we finally got settled in, we were greeted with a three-flavoured pot of XiaoLongKan’s signature broths: light and fragrant mushroom and pork bone, tart and fruity tomato and the famous lip-numbing mala broth with three mala levels to choose from (RM48 per pot). The latter included a big chunk of butter made of beef tallow which made it all the more interesting and added another dimension of flavour.
What you may find different is that XiaoLongKan does not provide various dipping sauces like other hotpot restaurants so that the original flavours of the meat cooked in your broth of choice won’t be altered. Instead, you’re provided with a mixture of chopped scallions, garlic, chilli and cilantro with the brand’s secret fragrant oil. Add them all together with a dash of oyster sauce to balance the heat from the mala broth – your tummy will thank you for this!
Then, it was time to feast! We were served a complete menu which included the restaurant’s main highlights; XLK Spicy Chilli Beef marinated in XiaoLongKan’s secret spicy sauce (my personal favourite), handmade Rose Meat Ball platter that left a subtle floral scent, fresh shrimp paste, sliced green bamboo shoots and a few offals like beef tripe, pork aorta and Supreme Thousand-layered Beef Omasum. And for dessert, fried glutinous rice cakes drizzled with brown sugar (loved this!) and ice jelly flown-in directly from China!
I have to admit, I found myself going for the mala soup more than I thought I would. It numbed my lips alright, but the butter-infused broth was just too good to pass. Luckily, the mushroom and pork bone, and tomato broths provided a delicious relief when things got too spicy. Not only that, I loved that each dish already had its unique taste and is enhanced with the broth I chose to cook it in – this made the experience even more enjoyable as there were so many flavours to discover. Safe to say, XiaoLongKan has got the green light from me!
If you’ve yet to try XiaoLongKan or any mala hotpots at all, I’d suggest you give this one a go as its delicious delicacies and authentic mala broth are not to be missed!
A: Lot 03, Block D, Fahrenheit 88, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
H: 12am – 2am daily