Two words: food coma.
Recently opened in 2019, Xiao Long Kan has enlightened our hot pot game. We thought we knew almost everything about it but it turns out, there was still so much to learn. The moment we stepped into the restaurant, it was like stepping through a time machine to experience the real historic China. Owner Rannie Wang told us that the decor was shipped all the way from China which included two containers of bricks that is now covering the building. The authenticity of this place is mind blowing. We were impressed with all the small details including their chairs and tables, cutlery (such as chopsticks and tea pots) to their paintings which have meanings on each one of them.
A very accommodating young entrepreneur, Rannie is originally from Chengdu, one of the states in China which is famous for their Szechuan hotpot. You cannot go to Sichuan without trying this traditional meal that people there eat daily. Rannie has always wanted to open a restaurant and after finishing her masters degree, she found the perfect space in Adelaide’s China Town and decided to bring her “A” game of a real hotpot experience to our state. Xiao Long Kan has more than 900 outlets around the world. When she decided to get the franchise from this brand last year, she added the 3rd franchise in Australia. Now there are already 6 shops under Xiao Long Kan around the country. A fast growing project since introduced to Australia is just a proof that this hotpot craze is here to stay.
The restaurant has added more choices to the menu since the day they opened making sure that everyone has the option to select what they crave for in an authentic Szechuan hotpot. Xiao Long Kan has dedicated themselves to have the same standards for their broths. We got to try the pork bones with chinese herbs (which is believed to be a healthy option for our body’s vitality and collagen renewal booster) this is one of two options for those who cannot eat anything spicy. The second option is the tomato based broth which was absolutely amazing. A slightly tangy flavour and light. This is the perfect option for all vegetarians and vegans. And last but not least their most popular spicy szechuan broth which contained lots of red chillies and szechuan peppercorns but nevertheless still very tasty.
Rannie wanted us to experience hotpot the authentic way, so when the food started coming out, we saw some unfamiliar dishes such as fried rice cake with brown sugar syrup drizzle. (this was introduced as a snack or appetiser), tripe, bamboo shoots, beef covered in spicy chilli flakes, and get this, there was even pigs brain on the table! Having a motto to ‘at least try new things once in your life’, this was it for us. Of course we had to try it. What a fun and nerve wrecking experience that was but we were so proud of ourselves for doing it. The texture was like tofu and when you dip in the dipping sauce, you wouldn’t know it was a pigs brain if nobody told you.
Speaking of dipping sauce, there were two that was offered on the table, one being the old time favourite of mine sesame sauce and the other is the garlic, spring onion and oyster sauce. This is legit my new favourite! It was very tasty especially when you add sesame oil on top and mix it through. Who cares if you come out of there with garlicky breath. It was worth it.
We were also treated with the best wagyu beef slices we’ve ever tried in a hotpot place. The texture was so tender and very addictive. Another beautifully presented dish was the premium pork cheek slices made into a flower arrangement. Cooked for about 2 minutes in the boiling broth and it’s ready to be demolished.
The WOW factor was the seafood dragon boat that came out last. With such an affordable price, this includes generous amounts of prawns, mussels, squids and four scallops and abalone! Just writing about it makes me crave for them again. Freshly produced and supplied here in Adelaide to assure the quality of seafood. We cannot recommend this enough!
To complete your hotpot experience, we were treated with delicious iced jelly in a bowl. This is to cool your palate after having such ‘hot’ pot. As quoted from Rannie, hotpot is also great paired with soy milk. Something we never knew before! We tried it and are now officially obsessed.
After the feast we moved to another table to be introduced to a new concept of “tea pub” where you can choose your own type of tea, Rannie then showed us the step by step of drinking it in such elegant way to end the night. Rannie wants to welcome this concept to Adelaide, especially for those who are tea lovers and appreciate them. Now our night was complete.
We would also like to extend our thanks to IG Marketing Solutions for the opportunity to write and review Xiao Long Kan Adelaide. This is definitely the type of place to go to when you want to impress your loved ones and taste the authentic Szechuan hotpot. This place ticks all the boxes (Food, Service, Ambience) and we cannot wait to go back again and bring our family and friends here. Opens daily from lunch time this restaurant is ideal for small and large groups. What a great way to celebrate any event! The interior definitely has won our hearts. We highly recommend you check it out to see it for yourself!
Words by Dee Pene from Adelaide Food Authority
WHERE: 123 Gouger St, Adelaide