Normally, when you dine at a restaurant, the talented chefs cook your meal. But at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, you cook your own food by dipping it in a broth that sits on an element throughout your meal. You start by choosing your soup base, which can either be spicy, original, or half and half. All the broths are made using up to 36 different herbs and spices including goji berries, cardamom pods, ginger, garlic and more. The broth (or broths) remain piping hot, similar to a classic beef or Chinese fondue!
What we like about Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot is that for 18.99$, it’s all you can eat . Simply choose your meat, fish, noodles, and the vegetables that you want, as many times as your heart desires! We chose to get the half and half broth, with both the original and the spicy broths presented in a ying yang style pot that separated the two types of broth.
Both the beef and the lamb are cut paper thin which makes it very quick to cook. We preferred cooking the lamb in the spicy broth, made with peppercorns and mala chili oil, and the beef in the original broth. It’s important to realize that since the meat is cut so thin, it doesn’t need to sit in the broth for very long!
We love the fact that the shrimp are presented with the head. Once the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through, simply remove the shell and enjoy, and yes, you can even suck out the inside of the head if you’re so inclined! The crab was actually pollock, and did not require very much time cooking in the broth. The lamb wontons surprised us, they were very good and full of flavour, an ode to won ton soup.
We don’t shy away from anything but don’t let the names fool you! The shrimp balls are a purée of shrimp made into a ball, and the same goes for the fish balls. These took a little longer to cook but they were meaty and took on the various herb flavours of the original broth. We didn’t try cooking them in the spicy broth because we thought they would absorb too much of the spiciness and we wouldn’t be able to handle it since they required more cooking that the meat than the paper thin meat that you can enjoy rare.
We ordered quite a few vegetables to accompany our fish and meat, including the baby bok choy, watercress, and Chinese salad. The vegetables stayed crisp after a quick dip in the broth and added different textures to our meal. We especially loved the enoki mushrooms, with a delicate earthy flavour that also soaked up the flavours of the broth, and melted slightly into the broth flavouring it further.
Again, we opted for more mushrooms including some shiitake and yes, fried tofu, which was rather bland unless it was cooked in the spicy broth to give it some semblance of flavour. We let the shiitake mushrooms simply cook in the broth for longer than the other vegetables and absorbed some of the broth flavours.
There are a variety of noodles to choose from but we opted for the fresh egg noodles. They were so good, we ordered as second helping, though Diva #2 kept losing them in the broth, fishing them out is tricky! Using our chopsticks and ladle, we cooked them to al dente.
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot has several locations around North America, China, and Japan. The service was lacking; we were often chasing down our waitress with questions, but we enjoyed the fun experience, it was definitely something different!
Our Rating: As Expected
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