Mala Tang
Mala Tang

Mala Tang

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.mala-tang.com/
  • Phone: 7032432381x
  • Hours of Operation:
    LUNCH Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm; DINNER: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm (Last seating is 30 minutes prior to closing)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Shabu-shabu, Asian, Chinese
  • Executive Chef: Liu Chaosheng
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: On site and off site Catering is available.
  • Special Events: Special Events menus are available in house.

Getting there

  • Public Transit: From Virginia Square Metro - turn left at N Monroe Street than turn right on Washington Blvd.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Mala Tang offers two hours of complimentary parking for all reservations and walk-in guests dining in the main dining room (hot pot menu). 15 minutes free parking for carryout. Parking is available in designated retail spaces in the garage.

    Garage parking is available on the P1 level in spots designated as Retail. If Retail parking lot is full, please leave your keys with a Parking Attendant.
A word from Mala Tang
The inspiration behind Mala Tang is Sichuan Master Chef Liu Chaosheng’s hometown of Chengdu. Here you'll find the streets filled with diners sitting at tables gathering around bubbling hot pots, in which dozens of dried chilies bob up and down in an oily red broth.

The hot pot itself is a pan that sits on a portable burner, surrounded by an array of small plates piled high with fresh ingredients. Guests select pieces of food and drop them into the broth to cook, and then dip them into delicious sauces.

For the main hot pot course, Mala Tang serves a variety of proteins including chicken, lamb, all-natural beef, and fresh seafood; starches such as sweet potato noodles, and a plethora of vegetables ranging from bok choy to lotus roots. Those who are "afraid of the chili heat," as the Chengdu locals jokingly warn incoming travelers, can tone down the mala flavor with a mild version of the cooking broth.
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Mala Tang reviews from OpenTable diners
16 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.4
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (11)fit for foodies (10)neighborhood gem (6)hot spot (3)special occasion (3)great for lunch (2)kid-friendly (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Good food...service not so much
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Very interesting "hot pot" cuisine.... Service was slow,and generally inattentive given that the restaurant was not busy during our lunchtime visit....plan to return as the food and sauces were attractive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent hot pot
    Luvthehotpot
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    this is one of the gems in No. Va. quality of food is very good, service is very good. have always enjoyed variety of menu options.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best--only? Hot Pot in Arlington!
    MimaChang
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Mala Tang has become our favorite special occasion restaurant. Even friends who have never experienced Asian "hot pot" come away fans. We love that we can choose what we want and tailor the ingredients to our guests' preferences. Our children love the appetizers and being able to "cook" their own meals. (Note: this is probably not a safe experience for under 12's) Now that they've added a "dry pot" menu we can even accommodate those who really just don't like soup (although this really isn't the place for such folks!!) Warning!! Dress in layers, and pin back your long hair! It gets steamy hot with all those pots boiling; once there were so many diners that the fire alarm went off!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The Sichuan-style hot pot is excellent -- an interesting and complex mix of flavors, and lots of entertaining choices of things to put in it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 12 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.9
    • Ambiance3.4
    • Service3.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 294 reviews are from the Mala Tang reviews archive.
  • Best hot pot ive ever had
    Mrfood
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    The title aays it all. People complain about the price, well i say go eat at Applebees cheapskates. This place is amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Great food, and generally very accommodating management. Staff was easily overwhelmed. Had to ask 3 times for the main guest's birthday dessert, which was simply handed to him on a plate after half the guests had left. Indicia of dishonesty: *No indication* that gratuity had been included in my check, nor was the tax amount stated, but the standard tip line was present. Love the food, but the restaurant needs better service and practices.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A hearty meal
    krtkrtVIP
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Our meal was delicious! The spicy hot pot isn't very spicy at all (take it from someone who has no tolerance for spice at all) and the sauce bar is a great touch. We ordered a mix of entrees and hot pot and the food was so satisfying. Will definitely go back for another meal!
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Used to be good; now unorganized
    Tester
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Restaurant was comletely disorganized, our food was delivered to another table after which we realized this and they switched foods rather than remade the food. So we basically took touched food from another table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Stick with the hot pots
    DGBethesda
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    The hot pots are fabulous. Wonderful, fresh ingredients that you cook at your table. The fresh flounder is our favorite which we get with the Chinese vegetables. I usually get the spicy broth but this time got the mild broth and added hot mala oil to my taste. We've invited many people to Mala Tang over the past year to have dinner with us, and they loved it, as did we. The only thing this time that was disappointing was the service. The waitress was taking food cooking in the broth in front of me away. She never asked me if I was finished (I wasn't). The dessert, mango mousse, was partially frozen. The waitress said "It's supposed to be like that." Yeah. Right.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Interesting experience
    LemonyPersnicketVIP
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    So the menu is poorly translated and non of the wait staff could explain any of it because they didn't speak English. The concept is like seschzuan fondu but unless you understand fondu it's a nightmare. Their meals say they come w rice but it's a free addition if you ask for it. Despot repeated asks they wouldn't bring is forks until the last 10 mins. I understand trying to do it there way but it is impossible to eat non sticky rice, sprouts and thinly sliced potatoes w chopsticks after they've been boiled. The slices of sirloin and chicken where way too big to handle w the chopsticks or in a pot of boiling broth. The food after all this is just ok. Entertaining? yes. Repeat worthy? No.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will be back!
    Chuck
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    Went here for lunch with a friend. I've been to "hot pot" restaurants in Asia bit this first time in USA. We tried both mild and spicy broths and had the wine marinated beef, lamb and assorted vegetables. All was fresh and very tasty. If you want something different and fun I would highly recomment Mala Tang to you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • no tang
    dottie
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    I was disappointed in the hot pot which we went for. I had been told this was their specialty. I thought the ingredients were ok but the sirloin was very fatty. Not knowing exactly how to prepare the 'soup', it would have been helpful to have someone walk us through it. All in all, not a great experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The menu can be a little confusing,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    The menu can be a little confusing, and your understanding of it depends entirely on the explanation from the waiter or waitress. But the food is excellent (not to mention giant portions) and the environment is great. I'm definitely going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun group meal on a cold night
    leQueenVIP
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    Mala Tang is fun, especially with a group. It's like fondue, but better. Each diner gets a broth (mild or spicy), and the table orders meats, veggies, and dumplings to cook in the broth. There's a station with spices to customize your broth and make sauces. Focus on veggies and dumplings; meats are small and add up $$. Order green bean leaves (like pea shoots) if they are in season. Delicious! This time, while the food was as good as usual, the service was lacking. Our jasmine tea was cold and bitter. Water glasses got filled quickly, but our broth boiled away and was only refilled once, very late in the meal. Also, they need a curtain at the front door. Every time it opened, we got blasted by cold air.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mala Tang offers the most
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Mala Tang offers the most authentic Chinese cuisine we have had since visiting China last year. Everything was delicious. We especially enjoyed the sauce bar, where you can customize your dipping sauce to as spicy or mild as you prefer. Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Have been coming here regularly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    Have been coming here regularly for about a year now, since we found this place. Staff is friendly and the food is always fresh. Perfect for when you want chinese but tired of all the fast food take out joints.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • an experience
    specialkay
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    The mongolian lamb was wonderful! Food is good, the price is right and you will have plenty to share
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun hot pot cooking experience!
    Cajoline
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    This was the first visit my friend and I made to Mala Tang. We tried the hot pot cooking experience and enjoyed cooking our food at our table. The spicy broth was super spicy to us so we'd opt for the mild next time. Having a menu of dipping sauces we could create and try with our hot pot items was fun too. The staff were very helpful in explaining how to order items to cook at our table and how to make the most of our dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Sad Disappointment
    saz31VIP
    Dined on 1/6/2014
    Hate to say it, but I think the grease traps must have backed up into the food. OMG... the sheen on BOTH dishes was like an oil slick. Apparently the "real" chef takes Mondays off...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great authentic Chinese hot pot
    ERD28
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    Interesting menu items of things not generally found in US Chinese restaurants. Some items, like cumin lamb, hard to find in other restaurants. Solid list of meats and veggies for hot pot with flexibility about how spicy you'd like the broth to be. Attentive service
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Interesting experience
    Rhonda
    Dined on 1/1/2014
    This was an interesting experience- the hot pot. I had had Thai Hot Pot before, this was a bit different. A bit more assistance from the staff would have been appreciated. Also, the broth- which others had said was not that spicey- left us with a burning and sweating- not sure if it was just made extra hot that night? (I am somewhat of a wimp when it comes to hot spice, but the others in my party said this was particularly spicey hot). Enjoyed the beef with wine, but the pork and chicken were both sliced as tho they were lunch meat. Guess this just wasn't my thing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sichuan (Chinese) Hot Pot dining
    Bryan
    Dined on 1/1/2014
    You can order typical chinese food from the menu, but the better option is the hot pot style of dining. A pot of hot broth is placed beside each dinner and you cook your choices of meats and veggies in the broth. Wide variety of meat choices including beef, chicken, fish balls, crab sticks, tofu, and pork. Also a wide variety of asian vegetables and brocoli as well as rice, bamboo shoots and water cress. You mix up you own dipping sauce and can season to taste, so it can be as hot, mild, tasty or bland as you like. Good food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very disappointed
    flattire
    Dined on 12/25/2013
    Had dinner hear on Xmas day. Service was downright dismissive. Had looked forward to trying this place since it opened. The waiter seemed lethargic or half dead. We had to pry info out of him about the menu and how to order. No one ever explained that there was a station to go mix sauces or how to put a meal together. I was expecting an interesting dining experience and left wishing I hadn't bothered. Also, it's VERY expensive for basically a few dishes of raw veggies and meat that you essentially cook yourself. Not sure why this place gets recommended. They really seem uninterested in pleasing diners.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Surprising gem in Arlington
    CCHDad
    Dined on 12/25/2013
    I live in 22207 and did not know about this place. Found it last minute on open table as being available for christmas dinner. The service was good, although it is a little hard to understand the waitress and the program for the fist time. There are traditional chinese food choices, but the hot pots are a very healthy alternative. THe kids declared that this was their favorite restaurant, as they had so much fun cooking.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, great fun
    Lauren
    Dined on 12/25/2013
    This was my first time at a hot pot restaurant and I was greatly impressed. Before we even got to the hop pot they had super delicious appetizers to get you started. The cold sesame noodles disappeared from my table, even the little noodles that were hiding in the sauce were gobbled up. Then the Hot pot, You were able to pick if you want mild or spicy broth, and then what meat and veggies go in it. Then there was a sauce bar to make your own concoction for your food which was great and unlimited. Also my husband has some difficult health allergies and this restaurant was very helpful to him, bringing him special soy sauce and others so he could join in the hot pot fun. I highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Distinctive Chinese
    Steve
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    The Hot Pot cuisine is fresh and different than the usual Chinese fare. It's also engaging and leisurely. And the combinations are almost infinite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Restaurant EVER!
    Healthcoach
    Dined on 12/2/2013
    I am a health but and I love the hot pot here, you can get all vegan options and the veggies are amazingly fresh and delicious. I love how this restaurant has authentic Chinese dishes, so different than we are used to in America. I brought 4 friends who were first timers ask they all thought it was amazing! So much to choose from and everything is so delicious. I wish I lived closer or I'd be there once a week! A true gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic Hotpot
    MikeV
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    Very good, very authentic Sichuan hot pot restaurant. Highly recommended from a Chinese native hot pot lover.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fun
    ArlgirlVIP
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    Fun and delicious. And you make your hot pot just the way you like it. Win win
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Hot Pot in Town
    Luvthehotpot
    Dined on 10/21/2013
    This is an exceptional hot pot restaurant! The food is always fresh and high-quality. The availability of two types of broth (mild and spicy) appeals to all palates. Good fixings for sauces, so one can mix to personal tastes. Have been there several times, and have never been disappointed - although they occasionally run out of specific beers. But that is tolerable when the food is otherwise so good and plentiful. Be sure to order the wine-infused beef; a can't miss entree....
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never a disapppointment
    HotPotLoverVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2013
    I really enjoy dinning at Mala Tang. It's close to my house, has a great staff and the food is wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for groups
    LocalHero
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    The food was good and it was a lot of fun with a group of ten. Everybody had a good time, most of us never having eaten there before or experienced their unique food presentation with all having their own hot pot for cooking food. The service was slow, our waiter was overwhelmed with things to do and the explanation for how/what we should order was confusing. They really need to sort that out, but all in all a good time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun and Yum
    AlexEatsVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    This was my second hot pot experience and my first in the DMV. I really enjoyed both the food and the activity of the hot pot. Everything was fresh and tasted great. They asked if it was our first time here and we say yes, so they were very helpful and informative. Between the two of us, we shared one traditional broth to do the cooking and ordered dumplings to start and then one NY Strip - American combo and al la carte egg noodles and wood ear mushrooms for the hot pot. It was a good amount of food, and we easily could have over ordered. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the Concept!
    Sarah123
    Dined on 9/15/2013
    It was fun, Melting Pot Asian style. There are many choices and you can select family style or just keep the meal to yourself. It is great for groups. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun Night with Friends
    LLovelyz
    Dined on 9/13/2013
    Restaurant has fairly consistently good food and the hot pot is delicious. Prices are fair so no complaints there. The waiter was a bit obnoxious, but it did not put a damper on the evening. Reservation was honored immediately as we entered. It was a slower night since it was after the dinner rush, but still a pleasant experience worth repeating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique dining
    AliveatfiveVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2013
    Cook it yourself. Food is served to be cooked in a broth of your choice. You may also select your choice of "doneness." Ingredients are fresh and tasty. You may season your creation with a myriad of sauces and spices. Entrees consist of meat, fish and veggies. Prices are reasonable. An enjoyable experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Mala Tang's Hot Pot
    HerSeyTamam
    Dined on 8/26/2013
    This is my third visit to Mala Tang, and as always I had a great meal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love it, delish!
    Sarah123
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    It was delish and you can customize the menu to your likes and dislikes. It is perfect place to have dinner with friends. I would def go back again!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unique and Fun Dining Experience
    Lisa
    Dined on 8/12/2013
    Enjoyed the hot pot dinner very much. I think adding the seasonings to the broth made all the food come together better and the staff was very helpful in assisting with sides to order. Definitely a great experience and a wonderful way to enjoy Asian hot pot sharing with a US twist.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/8/2013
    I'm a regular once you try hot pot and the or regular Chinese menu you can't stop coming
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.