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Jan 23, 2010 07:55 PM

Xiao Loong Pau in KL beats DTF, Shanghai, China

The Shanghai restaurant at the Mariott hotel in KL serves top grade XLB, very fine skin and tasty soup filling. In my opinion, their XLB beats the much talked about Din Tai Fung in Shanghai and many others in HK/ Spore. It only comes in the usual pork variety though, so, i can't compare it to Jia Jia Tang Pau in Shanghai where they have crab & pork XLB.

Other good dishes at Shanghai, Mariott: cheung fun with crispy duck filling (don't think this is shanghainese but it's really delicious), stir fried flour skin with dried scallop and mushrooms, vegetarian goose, chicken pie with walnut with dry tong yuen (lai sar tong yuen) and malay sponge cake for dessert. They also do lion heads, chilled tofu strips, drunken chicken and good soups, etc.

Was tempted to post in on the China board as a cross country challenge to find the best XLB in the Asia.

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  1. Maybe you should have waited till Jan 28th to post this thread when the chowhound will merge the Greater Asia with the China Board together. Personally, my favorite XLB is crab roe XLB at Fu Sing (in Hong Kong) during the hairy crab season.

    2 Replies
    1. re: FourSeasons

      Still need to try Fu Sing dim sum. Have you tried the new branch at Causeway Bay?
      Used to like the crab roe XLB at Victoria City at Citic but during last visit to the branch at Sun Hung Kai, the XLB was not as good, not sure if it's due to it being a different outlet.

      1. re: KLfoodie

        No, have not tried the one at Causeway Bay.
        The chef of Fu Sing was formerly from Victoria City, which was my favorite place in the past. So I have moved along to FS in the last few years.

    2. I'm no XLB expert, and haven't tried the Shanghai Restaurant in Marriott KL yet (though I've heard raves about it), but I thought even XLB at Dragon-i in KL & Penang were at least as good as those at DTF Shanghai! No surprises then if you found Shanghai Restaurant's more superior.

      So, KLfoodie, maybe we should have a Chowmeet in KL, we can fly up to KL from S'pore and you can show us the best eats in KL.

      BTW, I've also heard about the fantastic new Hutong foodcourt in Lot 10 where top hawkers around KL & beyond have gathered - including the famous Kim Lian Kee Fried Hokkien Noodles of Petaling Street (using charcoal braziers), Ipoh's Nga Choy Kai & Hor Fun, Ho Wing Kee wantan noodles (from SS2 PJ), Mo Sang Kor Bak Kut Teh (from Pandamaran, Klang), etc.

      Even HK food critic, Singapore-born Choi Lan, was impressed with Hutong:

      Have you tried the places there?

      10 Replies
      1. re: klyeoh


        Been to Shanghai at Marriott - it's good food but I wouldn't go so far as to say it was better than DTF or FS or Victoria City.

        Hutong is decent but it's layout is a nightmare. You get all the joints in one central place so that's good but if you individually went to the stalls on their own outside, the food is a tad better - esp. Kim Lian Kee.

        There is a better Hokkien mee joint in Pudu with a notorious 1 hour long wait...

        Give me a yell if you guys come to KL...

        1. re: mikey8811

          Most definitely will call you if we're ever in town. Are you coming for the March Chowmeet in HK?

          BTW, I saw Choi Lan's interview in M'sia where he said, eventhough he's Singapore-born, he liked KL food more & considered it his 2nd home after HK. Hmmm.

          1. re: klyeoh

            No, unfortunately told Charles and Calvin that I couldn't make it - family obligations, hopefully next time. The Chairman sounds pretty good.

            I think the hawker food is better in KL than in Sing. Higher end stuff is better in Sing though. It's a matter of taste I suppose I know both Malaysians & Singaporeans who prefer the white noodle dish they call Hokkien Mee , the tomato sauce wanton noodle & not very herbal style bak kut teh to the KL version ;)

            Whatever the case, folks from Singers and KL'ites always agree that it's cheaper here (actually v cheap to Singers)....

            1. re: mikey8811

              The Chairman is obviously the "flavour of the day" in HK at the moment - read "Life as a Bon Vivant"'s write-up here:

              You're right about food in KL vis-a-vis S'pore: KL's hawker foods are way better but S'pore's fine dining spots are more refined.

              FYI, tomato-sauced wanton noodles are harder to come by in S'pore nowadays, compared to, say, 20 years ago. Nowadays, we have wanton noodles which are quite close to KL's style. We also have HK-style wanton noodles though - go to Centrepoint's Noodle Place for the best version - they have an ex-Mak's Noodles chef from HK working for them.

              BTW, I LOVE KL's black-sauced Hokkien noodles (with its crispy lard pieces & all) compared to S'pore Hokkien noodles. My top 3 choices in KL:
              1. Ah Wah Hokkien Mee (1, Jalan 20/16, Paramount Gdn);
              2. Mei Yen Famous Hokkien Mee (39, Jalan 20/7 Paramount Gdn);
              3. Ah Hwa, 66 Jalan 14/48, PJ
              What do you think?

              1. re: klyeoh

                Yes, I remember the tomato sauce based wanton noodles from school days. Back then they also had HK style ones - there was a Hong Kong Noodle House in Lucky Plaza.

                I've only been to one of the Hokkien Mee places in PJ - I can't remember which and it was good. PJ is too far from my driving comfort zone - I'm a crappy driver and get lost all the time. My fave is still the 1 hour wait place in Pudu followed by Kim Lian Kee and the place that used to be behind the Choo Cheng Kay mansions but has moved to the front row shop lots now. Hokkien Mee is prob one of my all time fave dishes - comfort food but unfortunately instant cholesterol.

        2. re: klyeoh

          Hutong was incredibly crowded all through Dec09 (queuing time 30-40mins for the hokkien mee) so, I haven't been yet. However, have heard complaints that the hokkien mee there is short on ingredients and a more comfy alternative is at Renunion restaurant, Bangsar Village 2 where you can reserve a table, and have it either for lunch or dinner. Admittedly, the main Petaling St outlet would have more 'character' but it's only open for dinner. Moreover, Reunion's version (considering it's a far more fancy outfit than a street stall) has surprisingly good wok hei to match.
          Would be great to have a Chowmeet in KL but judging by all your reviews (and FourSeasons), I worry that you guys have already tasted much of the best food that KL (HK, Spore and Japan, etc) have to offer and I don't know what I can surprise your well-traveled palates with. Perhaps we could start a list of the best eats in KL and hopefully, narrow it down for a Chowmeet?

          1. re: KLfoodie

            KLfoodie, KL's burgeoning, haphazard food scene is ALWAYS full of surprises. Some of my "recent" finds were crisp-skinned roast pork at Oriental Pavilion in Section 13, PJ; pre-war colonial food at the Coliseum (LOVE their beef stroganoff's unusual fried rice accompaniment!); and Nasi lemak Antarabangsa in Kampung Baru.

            Those, on top of Yut Kee, Sek Yuen, Hong Ngek & other oldies make the KL dining scene pretty exciting.

            1. re: klyeoh

              Mate, it sounds like u come to KL quite frequently - u know ur stuff.

              Haven't been to Oriental Pavilion - it's owned by a local triad kingpin - but I hear good thgs abt the food. I presume the roast pork is like the Lei Gardens style. There's a very good Ipoh Kway Teow place nearby - v nice white chicken in oyster sauce. The baked crab in the Coliseum is still v good. Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa has become a trendier chain now w outlets in Bangsar and Ampang Park - u don;t need to venture to Kampung Baru now.

              1. re: mikey8811

                I make at least annual gourmet trips to KL, like I do to London, Hong Kong, etc. It's a hobby. For KL (and Penang/Ipoh) I make more than one trip per year due to the proximity to Singapore.

                I first encountered really crackly-skinned roast pork in Zen restaurant HK (Pacific Place) back in 1992. But these days, you get them everywhere.

                Re: Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa. I was brought straight from KLIA airport to their Bangsar outlet once, but it was not as good as the original in Kampung Baru: lesser choice of dishes. My friends in KL told me Nasi Lemak Cikgu in Kelana Jaya is better. I've never been there but Googling the write-ups by various KL-based foodbloggers confirmed that it's a firm local favorite. It's at the top of my next KL food destination.

                Another place I'd like to visit is Rebung Malay restaurant in Bangsar Park by Malaysian TV Chef Ismail.

            2. re: KLfoodie

              Hi KLfoodie:

              My last trip to KL was slightly more than 20 years ago so you can easily "surprise" me...

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Personally, I think XLB at Crystal Jade is the best in Shanghai. But that's my preference/taste (same as my Singaporean & HK friends/relatives living in Shanghai) - whereas my local Shanghainese colleagues/friends preferred Din Tai Fung's which did seem closer in taste to the local XLB which they'd buy & consume on frequent basis from neighborhood eateries.

            2. I agree. The best is in Marriot. DTF is a bit overrated if you tried the one in Gardens Mid Valley. :) Not even Dragon- I Signature in Pavilion can beat it. :)

              The XLB holds loads of soup which makes you wonder where all the goodness comes from, the meat is fresh and the skin is smooth/ does not punctures easily and oh, oh the vinegar.
              Talking about it makes me wanna salivate.
              I second the fact that they make good tang yuen. Especially the dry ones. When I head to the restaurant, I will definitely order the following:
              - Tan Tan Noodles ( I love the aroma from the peanuts and the vinegar )
              - Glass Noodles with peanut sauce ( Cold appetizer )
              - Shredded pork with preserved vegetables with la mian
              -The braised pork - A bit like dong bo meat
              - Japanese cucumber ( Don't remember the name but it has garlic, soy sauce, a little sugar, xsiao hsing in it... The best compared to Li Yen, Ritz-Carlton KL and most restaurants )

              Tell me if you found the best XLB. :D

              4 Replies
              1. re: micheniche

                Great tip on what to order at Shanghai in KL Marriott, micheniche. Please keep blogging on the CH Greater Asia/China board, we don't have enough Chowhounders from KL to keep us up-to-date on the eating scene there!!

                1. re: klyeoh

                  Thank You. :)

                  I actually thought that there ought to be more Chowhounders from KL because if you actually google some notable restaurants in KL, you come across blogs filled with food reviews.

                  1. re: micheniche

                    Malaysia (KL & Penang) are full of foodbloggers, but they are usually not active in the interactive Chowhound boards.