Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Tasty Hotpot. Spicy Sichuan Mala Xiang Guo in JB 有点香麻辣香锅

The two month old 有点香 Tasty Hotpot restaurant, spiced and heated up the JB food scene with it's authentic Sichuan style stir fried mala xiang guo 麻辣香锅. The restaurant located just beside KSL mall at Jalan Kijang is the hottest thing in JB F & B since Mar 2018.

The newly opened eatery is simply decorated with touches of Sichuan and basically furnished with plastic tables and chairs. The restaurant is air conditioned, so it is comfortable even when we sweat buckets eating the spicy xiang guo.

The menu is simple, it's just meat, seafood and vegetables sold by weight (prices clearly displayed). This is the vegetable display. There were greens, mushrooms and tofu.

The meat and seafood section was equally simple. Nothing fanciful or exotic.

Customers just pick any meat, seafood, or vegetable they fancy.

The staff will weigh and tally up the bill for you. S/he will ask you whether you like your Sichuan mala xiang guo "small spicy 小辣" or "big spicy 大辣".

Seven of us, we shared one "small spicy" and one "big spicy" portion.

All the ingredients were fresh and stir fried with a complex blend of hot and aromatic spices.

The "small spicy" was moderately savoury with underlying mild spiciness. The meat and vegetable stir fried in hot spices were very flavourful and aromatic. There was very little mouth and tongue numbness from eating "small spicy".

The "big spicy" has spiciness dominant and moderate savoury in the background. Biting into the peppercorns, releases lips, tongue and mouth numbing spiciness. But, the fire dissipated in a minute or two.

Both the small and big spicy, have layers of savouriness and spiciness. (In many other places, the spices were flat salty and flat spicy 死咸死辣.) Add in the natural flavours of the ingredients we chose, it was a very appetising and enjoyable one dish meal. No wonder Sichuan spicy mala xiang guo is so hotly received in Malaysia and Singapore.

The spicy xiang guo went very well with rice which at Tasty Hotpoint is a blend of Thai Jasmine rice and Chinese pearly rice. I like the sweetness and the tender chewy bite of Tasty Hotpot's rice. We actually asked for more rice! Something we very rarely do nowadays.

The self service station has free flow of sweet soups and hot tea which are life savers to soothe those numbed lips and tongues.

Owner 王麟 hails from Sichuan, China - the home of Sichuan hotpot and mala xiang guo. 王麟 went to Singapore to study hospitality management in SHATEC and settled in Johor Bahru with her Anak Johor husband.

For over 30 years, 王麟's parents ran three Sichuan hotpot restaurants 刘一手火锅店 in Chengdu, their hometown. 王麟's mum 代秀珍 guides her daughter in her own Sichuan hotpot restaurant in JB. The family insists on authenticity, importing the spices directly from Sichuan with the help of 王麟's dad. So, this two month baby actually has over 30 years of hotpot and xiang guo experience behind it.

At Tasty Hotpot, 王麟's parents insist that the xiang guo are always cooked individually in small portions to ensure well balanced flavours. There is no short cut of cooking in bulk or pre-cooking.

👉 All seven of us enjoyed Tasty Hotpot 有点香's spicy mala xiang guo. I especially like the "big spicy" one. The savoury flavour was moderate and the robust spicy flavours were in interesting layers. Every mouthful and every bite was bursting perfumes between our teeth. Full of variations and every mouthful brought a different flavour and aroma delight. The meat, seafood and vege ingredients though simple were fresh - they carried the spice flavours well and also added their own to the dish.

Tasty Hotpot 有点香's xiang guo is way better than the flat salty, flat spicy, very famous, highly hyped joint I tried in Shanghai. Actually, that experience put me off Sichuan mala xiang guo until now. Now.... after Tasty Hotpot, I want to try more Sichuan mala xiang guo places because it is such an interestingly delicious dish. (I have never been to Sichuan before.)

Restaurant name: Restoran Tasty Hotpot 有点香
Address: 9, Jalan Kijang, Taman Abad, Johor Bahru (beside KSL mall)
GPS1°29'11.5"N 103°45'45.2"E | 1.486535, 103.762544
Tel: +6010 9009 122
Hours: 12:30pm - 12:00 midnight

Non Halal

Date visited: 17 Apr 2018

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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't. All comments with genuine identities are published.

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