If you want to have Mala Dry Pot, but Chef Pin‘s wait is too long, there is another option nearby, Kowloon Chinese Restaurant in Crystal mall. We first noticed this restaurant close to 2 years ago and have been here a few times. Before they close for a short period and reopened, this place really speaks value to us. The store owner would give discounts to students and demonstrate genuine care to them. Most people who come here have already established a connection to the store.
Strength: Storeowner is very caring towards the young adult cuatomers
Weakness: The food does not taste as good as before
Other Mala Dry Pot
Facing Crystal Mall’s internal ally
Kowloon Chinese Restaurant face the internal ally of Crystal Mall. It occupies two storefronts but most of the glazings are covered with posters.
Inside of the restaurant
The interior of the restaurant has a simple layout. There are approximately 6 tables and they fill up fast. You can see the store owner standing behind the cash registry where she can see the entire restaurant and cater to every customer’s needs. There is a television hanging above the entrance of the store where Chinese dramas are being broadcast when we eat. The cozy space really feels like home.
Table setup is simple
We see the generic plastic tableware and utensil here. Each customer gets 1 piece of napkin.
Sunflower seed to past time.
Kowloon Chinese Restaurant is a mom & pop operation. I don’t suspect them hiring a lot of people in the kitchen. Of course, that means the food will take a little longer to arrive. They apologize and give out sunflower seeds to every customers to make the wait a little less boring.
Spicy Chicken Wing Dry Pot $20.99
The two of us ordered a small chicken wing mala dry pot with some additional toppings. Our food was presented in a wok. It does not look like much, but the depth of the pot gave the pot a lot of space inside. The chicken wings are tough and crispy on the outside, and I think they have been deep-fried. Compared to Chef Pin, the mala dry pot at Kowloon is a little lacking in flavour. What they lack in quality is made up by the quantity of food.
Different toppings we ordered
Every mala dry pot comes with thick fries, napa cabbage, and cilantro. We also ordered other toppings for variations. The beef was a little dry and broken, but all the other toppings taste pretty good. We especially like the soft and tender rice cake and the crispy lotus root. The beef omasum is perfectly cooked to have a soft and crunchy texture.
Keep an eye out for your food
I know sometimes it is hard to see the quality of the ingredients because of all the spice and herbs in a mala dry pot. There are some cauliflowers that are a little rotten in our bowl.
604 Food Critic Assessment
If I was writing a review for Kowloon Chinese Restaurant a year ago, they would have been rated near-perfect. Ever since their reopening, I find a decline in taste and food quality. The storeowner’s connection to the local students is still there. It is heart-warming seeing many international students away from home having someone to talk to, so I think Kowloon is doing something right. It is worth mentioning that the store owner is very nice and generous to allow customers to bring outside drinks to enjoy with their mala dry pot. Our visit cost us $30 per person, and that is not cheap. I really hope they can pick their flavour mojo back up.