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Ordering is exactly like how you order mlxg - pick your ingredients, they weigh them and you choose the level of spice you’d like. The main difference here is the type of soup you can opt for. They have 3 types, the Clear Herbal Soup, Sour & Spicy Soup and of course, the Spicy Soup. I went for the Spicy Soup at medium spice. Although it says soup, it was more saucy like a stew and came with a bowl of seaweed soup plus chili sauce! I thought the chili sauce would be redundant, but found myself dipping ingredients into it for that rather addictive extra tangy flavour (similar to Thai sauces). It was fiery at medium spice. Would have this again!

📍冒菜 Mao Cai
Vivocity Kopitiam, Stall R12

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Had their red tom yum the first time we came and tried the clear version for a change this time. If you haven’t visited Dee Tongue Thai, their spice levels are much higher than what you’d find at other stalls, so make sure you inform them if you need them to drop the heat! This bowl had lots of fresh prawns and squid in a tangy spicy broth that we wiped clean easily. Loved how flavourful it was even though I found it just a touch too salty. Will be back for this again! The small portion is good for 2.

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Always only had Da Zui Ba’s mlxg via food deliveries and even then, it was usually a great bowl. Finally got to try it freshly fried and it didn’t disappoint!

Think there’s a minimum order of $7, which came up to a huge portion for me for the ingredients I picked. Other than the lotus slices, everything were pretty fresh. Loved that it was very thoroughly fried and bold on its flavour, spice and peppercorns. Even the wide potato noodles that some stalls usually undercook, are done nicely soft and chewy here. Their spice levels are a tad higher than the usuals, so make sure to adjust accordingly!

📍大嘴巴麻辣香锅
Yong Xing Mian Jia Can Shi / Yong Xing Coffee Shop
Blk 155 Bukit Batok Street 11 Singapore 650154

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Priced per portion, the mlxg here is very affordable, at $1 for veg, $2 for chicken/pork and $3 for beef/mutton/seafood! It was very fragrant with just the right amount of peppercorns, but a little oily and had much less salt - personally didn’t find this bowl as shiok cause I’m all for stronger flavours! Spice levels are also lower than usual, so take it up a notch if you’re a fan.

📍Tian Tian Xiang Shang Spicy Ma La Hotpot 天天向上麻辣香锅
Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre #02-21

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Not the best as their noodles could be much softer and chewier, but that tangy spicy broth was very appetising!

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Chinatown Point added lots of new food stalls to their basement 1 area and Ah Xin Malatang’s one of them! Ordering’s simple: 1) Pick what you’d like at a standard $1.80/100g (minimum 300g), 2) Select your soup out of the 6 they have like mala, herbal, wild mushroom, etc., 3) Choose your spice level and 4) Decide if you want to upgrade to a set meal at an extra $4 for a Chinese pancake (煎饼果子) or $4.80 for that and a drink.

Price is affordable compared to other mala tang around, but it wasn’t as flavourful as Gong Yuan Mala Tang that’s at Orchard Xhange, Westgate and Heartland Mall. Ah Xin’s tasted a little more nutty with a more muted pork bone broth base, but it’s also not as salty. Ingredients were pretty fresh but preparation takes quite a while.

📍阿新麻辣烫 Ah Xin Malatang
Chinatown Point #B1-50B

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Had Mini Fashion Pot twice, the first at its shop at Bukit Batok MRT Station and the second via delivery. It was great the first time, super spicy for a medium spice level but still fragrant and didn’t overpower the base flavours. There was also this extra savoury touch that we couldn’t figure out what it was, but we really liked. Tiny shop space (about 6 seats( but the ingredients were fresh, service was friendly and they even thoughtfully snipped the wide sweet potato noodles into more bite sized portions! The second time however, it was disappointingly bland and the portion wasn’t as comparable. Hopefully, the delivery was just a one time slip!

📍Mini Fashion Pot 时尚小锅
Bukit Batok MRT Station
🕙 10am to 12am Daily

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The Mapo Don here was definitely one of the best I’ve had! Loved the depth of flavours in here, with a clever mix of spice and numbness along with salty parts from the added fermented bean paste. Rice was fluffy, cooked just nice and given in a generous portion. That aside, our first bowl was extremely salty even though I’m a fan of stronger flavours, but thankfully the friendly servers were very nice to offer to change a new one for us. They did mention too that the default flavours at Chen’s are heavier and customers can request for less salt, so just take note.

My favourite part of the meal was actually that unassuming little bowl of chicken soup! It was super flavourful, comforting (reminded me a bit of the Hong Kong style wanton noodle soup) and complemented the don so well that I think I can easily down another 3 bowls. 😂

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Told myself no ma la, but I still succumbed after seeing so many people ordering HAHAHA. I’ve recently been more into mlxgs that are fried more dry and was happy to see that this was too! Went for medium spice and it was really not, cause I ended up with burning lips. 😂 Not sure if this is how it is usually with the levels of spice here at 小红点, but despite that, it was actually pretty flavourful without being too salty. Would have been even better if it was more fragrant though. Ingredients wise, get their darker yellow instant noodles! They were thinner, very springy and picked up the flavours well. That aside, it’s a little pricey and they charge an additional $1.10 for the base.

📍小红点麻辣香锅
Ci Yuan Hawker Centre

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Back again to one of my fav mlxg lately! Brought friends along and they enjoyed it too even though they were sweating buckets from the spice. 😂 Also discovered a new ingredient that I’ve never ordered before, rectangular pieces of fried tofu that were highly recommended to us by the lady boss - SO GOOD after being fried in with the spices!

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Hid here in Big Box’s food court from the crazy rain and came across this ma la xiang guo stall. It was pretty popular for a quiet food court, so we made a mental note to come back to try. It’s also the first stall I’ve seen to offer free flow complimentary white rice and herbal soup!

Their menu says that its $1.80 for each portion of veg and $2.80 for the meats but how they actually calculated the price was quite a mystery? Bowls are brought into the kitchen after orders and payment comes afterwards. We didn’t order much but it was $12.60 for this. The queue and order system wasn’t very organised too, but just observe and you’ll figure it out. 😂

We got the small level of spice (小辣) but it was much spicier than expected! The gravy was thick (consistency like a paste), quite oily and too salty to have on its own. It tasted quite different from the usual mlxg I prefer!

📍Mala Hot Pot 麻辣香锅
Big Box, Yummy Box Foodcourt, Level 3
1 Venture Avenue, Singapore 608521
10am to 10pm Daily

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I’ve had a few other ma la tangs before and Gong Yuan’s has been the better one so far! I went with the medium spice and unlike the others I’ve tried that weren’t spicy, I liked the good heat and tingling numbness this had. It also wasn’t too oily and was drinkable with its pork bone broth base that gave a light creaminess to it, though a bit heavy handed with msg. This kind of ma la tangs are not as popular yet, so it would be good to manage expectations that its mala is different from the more common steamboat kind. The choice of ingredients are the typical ones you would see in mlxg stalls, but go for their thick sweet potato noodles (the kind usually used in 酸辣粉 suan la fen) as it absorbed the broth well. Apart from ma la, they also have pork bone and pickled vegetable broths.

It’s kinda pricey at $2.88 per 100g across the variety of ingredients you can pick from, especially since I usually stick to the veg selection with my mlxg. Also, Gong Yuan doesn’t seem to have the practice of draining out the water from your bowl of chosen ingredients, so just make a mental note to shake off the water when you’re kiap-ing them, or it would add on to the final weight.

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FOOD. 🍴🍫🍜🍱 Instagramming at @cweizhi [email protected]

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