Friday, December 6, 2019

The Grand Opening Of XiaoLongKan’s Flagship Store, Bukit Bintang

Hidden yet not quite in the heart of the city, the flagship restaurant of XiaoLongKan is located just off the main road of Bukit Bintang, near the crossroads of Pavilion, Starhill Gallery and Fahrenheit 88. Hiding it can be a challenge but that's just half the fun of this hotpot place that just held its grand opening last month.

In conjunction with the festivities of its grand opening, XiaoLongKan introduced us to its complete menu alongside a range of instant products so that hotpot fans can enjoy authentic Sichuan flavours from the comfort of their own home. But let's regress and talk about the interior. Step off the pedestrian walk and through the wooden-like doors to be greeted by....China.

Indeed it felt as though I was transported to Cheng Du where XiaoLongKan had originated from. The aroma of the original Sichuan flavour was in the air as lunch was served promptly. Service was evidently topnotch and its ingredients fresh. To ensure the authenticity of taste, XiaoLongKan Malaysia imports the core ingredients directly from its central kitchen in China and uses water that conforms to Korea’s pure water standard.

XiaoLongKan offers four broth options, namely: traditional spicy mala, tomato, mushroom and pork bone broths. For the food tasting at the launch, we were treated to three broth types - spicy mala, tomato and mushroom broths. I immediately found myself favoring the tomato and pork bone broths as the mala was ridiculously spicy.  One sip and I was gulping hot tea to numb the spiciness. Its spicy mala broth is a century old and blends the flavours of 90 different spices including HanYuan pepper, Sichuan broad bean paste, chilli oil and other fine ingredients. It's no wonder that so many keeps returning for it. It was good. Spicy but good.

Meanwhile, the tomato broth boasts a tart, fruity flavour perfect to whet your appetite while the mushroom broth, simmered for hours, infuses the essence; leaving a mild lingering fragrance. I have this habit of mixing my soups midway through a hotpot/steamboat session and the mala-tomato blend quickly took on a tomyam like taste.

Paired with its signature broths are a wide array of fresh traditional delicacies, handmade meatballs, offals and imported high-grade premium meats. XiaoLongKan has also curated a selection of local favourites the likes of grouper fillet and squid fillet. Every ingredient goes through a process of careful consideration, from selection to presentation to ensure that only exceptional quality are served, bringing out the best flavours possible.

I highly recommend their meatball platter as each meatball is hand-rolled and served oh so very delicately. The fish paste and shrimp paste are both really fresh and delicious, perfect especially for those lazy to peel the shrimp.

The thinly sliced bamboo shoot complimented the tomato broth with its crunchy smooth texture. The chef had sliced it up so thinly that it was a beautiful translucent colour of green. On top of that, it was remarkably refreshing and came highly recommended by the staff there. We could see why.

I want to make a special shoutout to their bamboo fungus with prawn and meat roll - a magical sponge-textured bamboo fungus wrapped around the favourful meat paste inside. This one soaked in the flavours of the soup without loosing its bouncy chewy texture. Super loved it.

Oh and for dessert, the Brown Sugar Glutinous Rice Cake was a must order. I've tried the same dish at another hot pot (coughHidieliaocough) but found the one at XiaoLongKan to be much nicer with its crunchy yet goosy texture and generous sweetness. If XiaoLongKan allowed it, I would tapau their Brown Sugar Glutinous Rice Cake once a week. That was how good it was.

During the opening speech by Mandy Ooi, Director of Operations of XiaoLongKan shared, "XiaoLongKan captures the essence of traditional Chinese food culture. Sharing a hotpot meal is a celebration of life and togetherness. We want each and every customer to experience and enjoy a high quality authentic Sichuan hotpot meal without needing to travel to China,”

And good news for XiaoLongKan lovers - they have their own set of ready made instant products available at stores and selected hypermarkets. “In dedication to the convenience of urban dwellers, we’re introducing a range of instant products. Packed in various sizes, the products range from ready-made meals, to hotpot soup base, seasoning and condiments. Eating out is not always an option, we want everyone to be able to enjoy a heart-warming hotpot,” Ooi said of their new offerings.

Just ping their Facebook page to find out exactly where.  In conjunction with the grand opening, XiaoLongKan has also introduced a membership programme. For every first RM 1000 / RM 3000 / RM 5000 top up to the loyalty card, applicants can get a rebate of RM 200 / RM 750 / RM 1,500, alongside 10 / 30 / 50 pieces of RM 50 cash vouchers, and various offers!

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