Ma la hot pot is a phenomenon in Singapore, so it is no wonder that this trend is slowly spreading over to Malaysia - with Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur, in particular, growing into the trend. This restaurant in particular specialises in a less known dry version of the dish, cooking it with the chillis without a soup base.
Is it Halal?
香辣辣麻辣香锅 or Xiang La La is a non-halal restaurant serving up pork ingredients in its dishes.
Where it Is?
It is located in the back row of the shops opposite Aeon Bukit Indah (at least this branch is). It is to the left (when facing the restaurants) of Face to Face ban mee and Jeju Korean Restaurant.
28 Jalan Indah 15/3, Taman Bukit Indah
81200 Johor Bahru
They have other branches as well, but this was the branch that I visited in particular.
What it Costs
What I would say would be that you would expect to pay a little bit less with more people coming here. There are many ways to eat this. You can add noodles to your main dish, you can just eat the dishes with rice, or just even eat the dishes alone (quite tasty).
I would put an estimate of the price being RM20 per person, all things included. This is a place where there is a fridge area with all the food, and you add everything you want. They charge accordingly by weight for meats and vegetables, and you can even choose the spicy levels, which range from non-spicy to extremely spicy.
Whilst the MAIN attraction here would be dry versions, there are soup versions of Ma La Hot Pot served up here as well, so worry not!
How it Tastes
What I would say is that the spicy levels of coming here are really high. I feel like I’m quite tolerant of spicy foods, but what I would say is that they are slightly inconsistent with the spice levels, so sometimes even level 2 becomes ridiculously spicy!
With this kind of things, you definitely have to worry about your bowel movements for the next day. I feel as though there is a tendency for me to feel not too well the day after despite me normally having a pretty strong stomach, so do take note of this. Don’t eat here if you have important meetings coming up!
But overall, it is a really nice tasting noodle shop! I personally like sharing a basic bowl of noodles with everything inside, and then having a rice on the side - to kind of numb the spice of all those chillis. The lotus roots and nuts really make this dish REALLY tasty, so make sure to add them.
A casual dinner! I would say this place matches a chill weekend dinner with friends the most. The spicy nature of the noodles means everyone can suffer together and have a good time, so I would definitely recommend this place for those types of nights.
6.5/10. Just about, I would give this place a 6.5. I would have given it a 7 had it not been for my stomach feeling better after eating this more, but I think 6.5 is just about right.