Showing posts with label Chengdu. China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chengdu. China. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 04, 2019


Chinese hot pot is all the rage now. From major shopping malls to suburbia, provincial Chinese hot pot in all shapes and guides have stealthily conquered the local food scene. Now, Chengdu’s famed Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot restaurant has also jumped onto the bandwagon with the opening of its maiden outlet in Bukit Bintang.

Established in 2014, Xiao Long Kan (XLK) holds true to its guiding principles of providing ‘flavours from the soul, quality with integrity’. This Chengdu hot pot restaurant chain commands long queues of customers who seek to experience its signature hot pot with a wide selection of meat, fresh vegetables, handmade meatballs, innards and offal in assorted broths prepared using an age-old traditional recipe.

Sited within the bustling retail strip of Bukit Bintang, XLK occupies a multiple-storey block with a cosy waiting area on the ground floor. Decorated with ornate Chinese doors, a majestic dragon wall sculpture and a pair of faux antique chairs, it leads into a charmingly decorated dining space that won’t look out of place in a Chinese martial arts movie.

More seating and private rooms are available upstairs but be prepared to burn some calories as you ascend stairs. Rustic wood-trimmed semi private dining pavilions inspired by the Qing Dynasty, dramatic wall murals and modern Chinese lanterns form a theatrical, immersive backdrop that ‘transports’ you to ancient Chengdu.

In our quest to sample the best of XLK’s signature broths, we opted for the 3-flavour Hot Pot comprising Mala(Spicy)/Mushroom/Tomato (RM48) soup bases. While waiting for the hot pot to come to a boil, we amused ourselves by whipping up the simple dip: open up the mini can of oil provided and mix it up with some oyster sauce, vinegar, chopped garlic and fresh coriander.

Notable appetisers to stave off hunger pangs during the wait include Fried Crispy Meat (RM16) – yummylicious tender, lightly battered fried pork strips with a dusting of fiery hot chilli flakes on the side and sausage-shape rolls of Brown Sugar Rice Cakes (RM13) that are toasty crisp on the outside and delightfully chewy inside, with muted sweetness.

Once the hot pot is bubbling away, we had a field day dunking in the assorted items into the different soup bases. Spice fiends looking for an adrenalin rush will revel in the trademark tongue-numbing, sensorial-stimulating broth. Our dining party aren’t made of such stern stuff so our preference geared towards the savoury tomato and more delicate mushroom stocks. The overall taste improved progressively as more ingredients made their way into the hot pot.

Among the distinctive specialities worth savouring are the hand-made Rose Meat Balls (RM26), the robustly marinated XLK Spicy Chilli Beef (RM48), Shrimp Paste (RM38), Australia A5 Beef (RM90) and Ling Long Rolls (RM20) – crispy deep-fried beancurd sheet rolls.

Offal and innards are highly sought-after among XLK clientele especially the paper-thin Sliced Kidney (RM16), cubes of Pork Blood (RM10) and a rarity in hot pot menu: Duck Intestines (RM28).

Crowd-pleasing choices such as Pork Neck (RM20), Luncheon Meat (RM17) and Quail Eggs (RM12) are also available alongside premium servings of White Prawns (RM52) and Bluefin Leatherjacket (RM22).

Textural interest and extra nutrients can be gleaned from plates of Shiitake (RM8), Enoki (RM8) and seasonal greens like Spinach (RM8).
We found the XLK service team admirably on the ball despite the restaurant’s early days. Soup and drink refills, extra orders, clearing of soiled and empty tableware, etc are dealt with swiftly. A block-long queue already formed outside the door on the first day so it looks likely Xiao Long Kan will go full steam ahead in repeating its hot streak of success in Kuala Lumpur.

At this moment, Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot Restaurant only accept walk-in customers. Address: Lot 03, Block D, 179 Fahrenheit88, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Open daily 11am to 2am.

Friday, July 31, 2015



Adorable pandas, ancient historical sites, scenic countryside, mist-shrouded mountains and quaint villages, the Heavenly State of Chengdu has them all. No visit is complete without these ‘must visit’ sites: 

 Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
1375, Panda Road, Northern Suburb, Chengdu. Tel: +86 28 8351 0033

We all went ga-ga over the cute and cuddly giant pandas. Whether lazing around, sitting on their butts or snacking on bamboo … the gentle ‘ambassadors’ entertain us by their mere presence inside tree-filled enclosures. Peacocks and red pandas can also be found in the verdant park. The Giant Panda Museum and Scientific Discovery Centre onsite in addition to a rose garden and a swan lake provide additional interest.

* * * * *

Taoping Qiang Village
Taoping District, Li County, Sichuan

Centuries-old culture and lifestyle of the Qiang ethnic minority are preserved in this quaint village. Built like a fortress with watchtowers, the village’s cluster of sturdy multi-storied stone-timber-mud houses is a priceless cultural and historical relic.
The overall layout confounds us with its cunning maze of narrow passageways (complete with ingenious Indiana Jones-type booby traps mind you) and ingenious underground water network. The surrounding views encompass majestic mountain ranges carved with rocky cliffs and green shrubs.

* * * * *

Leshan Giant Buddha
No.2435 Lingyun Street, Shizhong District, Leshan, Sichuan

This awe-inspiring statue is a UNESCO World Heritage and rightly so. Sited at the confluence of three rivers: Min, Qingyi and Dadu River, the 71m-high seated Buddha statue is incredibly carved into the sheer cliffs overlooking the rivers. 
The project began in 713 A.D during the Tang dynasty and was finally completed some 90 years later. The best view of the gigantic statue is from boats plying the river but earnest visitors are allowed to climb up and down the long flights of stairs carved into the rocky red-earth cliffs.

* * * * *
Wuhou Temple
 No.231, Wuhou Temple Street, Chengdu     

A memorial hall that will stir the interest of history buffs. Dedicated to the famous Shu Kingdom’s prime minister and military strategist Zhuge Liang (181-234AD), the significant relics here include ancient inscriptions from the Three Kingdoms period and statues of Emperor Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang and key Shu Kingdom officials. 

* * * * *  
Jinsha Site Museum
   No.2 Jinsha Site Road, Chengxi, Chengdu. Tel: +86 28 8730 3522

Formerly marked for development, progress was put on hold when the five excavation site unearthed archaeological treasures from the ancient Shu state and kingdom (the old name of Sichuan) in 2001. Among the stash found are the sun and immortal bird gold ornament, bronze artifacts and ceremonial jade ornaments.

* * * * *
Mount Emei
Emeishan, Leshan City, Sichuan

Surreal...the mist-shrouded Golden Summit atop Mount Emei. Pix courtesy of Wilsurn Lim.

As you trek uphill, beguiling vistas of fog-covered peaks edged with lofty trees and rare wild fauna unfold, reminiscent of classical Chinese ink paintings. For devout Buddhists, it’s a pilgrimage of sorts where a giant Buddha statue and the Golden Summit temple beckon, 3079.3m above sea level.

* * * * * 


Don’t leave without lugging some Chinese folk art and crafts, tea leaves and customary tidbits, exquisite silk brocade and embroidered satin cloths from your Chengdu sojourn. Below are 3 hot spots for shopaholics:

Kuan Zhai Alley
 Changshun Shang Lu (Changshun Upper Road), Chengdu

Old Ming and Qing-style architecture, restored vintage edifices and ornate low-rise structures dominate Wide and Narrow Alley. The quaint alleys are chock-a-block with shops and stores touting a profusion of folk art pieces and touristy trinkets, teahouses and even a Starbucks, upscale themed restaurants, buzzing bars and taverns, boutique hotels and spas.

* * * * * 
Jinli Street
 231, Wuhouci Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu

Packed cheek by jowl within the narrow lanes and housed in vintage abodes, the clusters of teahouses, restaurants, bars and retail shops here are replicated to resemble the trading streets of old Sichuan. You’d find loads of local handicrafts, snacks and bric-a-bracs. A bustling hub where traditional craftsmen ply their trade and craftsmanship along pop-up stalls selling gimmicky souvenirs and photograph-worthy streetscapes.

* * * * *
Lotus Pool (Hehuachi) Market
Erhuan (2nd Ring) Road, Jinniu District, Chengdu

Bargain hunters and budget-conscious shoppers will have a field day scouring for wallet-friendly fashion apparel, kitschy accessories, household goods, practical cookware, toys, sewing supplies and fabrics, stationery, shoes and bags, etc. 

* * * * *

This media fam visit to Chengdu is made possible by AirAsia X 
and Dorsett Grand Chengdu. THANK YOU!

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