Ma La

Ma La

For the love of mala 💕
Irene Arieputri
Irene Arieputri

Tried the recently opened mala tang chain, Yang Guo Fu, but didn’t try the mala tang 😂 Their mala tang is made from beef broth, so giving it a miss. Their mala ban came with special sauce that should be poured over the blanched ingredients. The mala ban sauce, which tastes similar to sesame/peanut paste, was good on the first few mouths, but towards the end, it became super jelat. Ingredients choices are pretty good, especially the variety of meatballs! Will try the tomato soup next time.

This is seriously one solid bowl of 麻辣香锅, better than so many famous shops out there. Can’t believe it can be so fragrant and tasty without a single garlic or meat jus (yes, this is vegetarian mala!) The maggie mie is a bit thin & soft to my liking but the rest of the ingredients make up for it. Mock meats are surprisingly good as well. If only they open a stall closer to my house- this will be a staple!


Mala broth is soo flavourful- highly reco to add sesame sauce, pepper oil and chilli oil because the basic broth isn’t spicy at all. Condiments are unlimited so you can always add more chilli (which I wish I did). Ingredients are on the pricy side and I got too excited (and overordered). It’s pretty hard to control how much to get because they have a staff who will help you take the ingredients throughout this covid period so either you keep reminding them to reduce or you just bring more people 😅

Not exactly the best szechuan-style grilled fish I've had. Found the mala broth very diluted and somewhat "healthy" (where's my chilli oil?!). The dish came with loads of Chinese cabbage, beansprouts, enoki mushrooms, beancurd skin, and lotus roots. Fish was pretty fresh. Come here if you're looking for quantity over quality.

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Weirdly, the guy didn't really weigh my chosen ingredients. He just dumped everything into the pot in thr weighing machine, and moved them around as if trying to see how many pieces of mushrooms or tofu I had taken (?). Not complaining though, cos this bowl only set us back by $10.80 (with 2 bowls of rice). Ordered the 大辣 and was pleasantly surprised by the generous amount of seasonings - sweet and salty with a good amount of numbness in the chilli oil.

This was not my first time trying this stall - I did 3-4 years ago, but they have significantly improved that I found myself enjoying this so much! Some may complain of how overwhelmingly salty or sweet this can be, but that's how I like my mala to be.

Probably the most disappointed with the bowl of ma la during our dinner here. Was expecting a sinful bowl of ma la with crazy amount of chilli, only to be served a rather mediocre bowl of ma la. There was some chilli oil and peppercorn at the bottom of the bowl, but still, it did not evoke much sensation on my tastebuds.


Still a nice spot to get my dry mala bowl fix because Ri Ri Hong (a) is always crowded; and (b) has dropped in quality. The numbing experience was still exactly how it used to be, but somehow felt they have used less chilli for the medium level this time round. And remains affordable at $1-3 /ingredient/serving.


The standard here is ma la soup, so if you want the dry version, please let them know when ordering! We were quite sad knowing that we got a bowl of ma la soup instead, but boy, this soup is super potent with generous amount of dried chilli and grinded chilli padi in the broth. The soup itself, though oily, had a tinge of sourness that kicked our tastebuds further. We paid $5 for this bowl full of ingredients — 4 slices of luncheon meat, loads of conjac, thick noodle and oyster mushroom. One of the best ma la soup around!
The take-away stall is just outside the Chinatown MRT exit C; it’s called Old Chengdu.


With the quality of Ri Ri Hong dropping down, this stall is possibly the best alternative if you're in the area. Priced by portion, this shop has a pretty good array of ingredients. I had also heard that the spiciness in this shop is rather mild, but I thought its "medium" spicy was hotter than Ri Ri Hong's. Although Ri Ri Hong might have a better rendition of spices (well, that was in the past though), this shop did impress me considering the mountain of ingredients we ordered. Obviously, we overkilled ourselves with that load, but were super satisfied!


Not all Ma La are gold - yes, and we sometimes have to learn it the hard way (by over-ordering, that is). Said to have lip-smacking Ma La soup, we were super excited in getting the Spicy level, but found it fall short of our expectation. The not-so-cheap price tag also made it more difficult for us to see the bright side of this ma la shop. Well, they do have a pretty nice pork bone flavvour towards the end of the bowl, but nope, we are here for mala not tonkotsu ramen *sob*. If you are a fan of mild ma la hot pot, this might be a place for you, but not something that a hardcore ma la eater (yes, we are!) would come back for.


In a never-ending quest of culinary delight || @riinns

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