Mala Tang
Mala Tang

Mala Tang

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.mala-tang.com/
  • Phone: (703) 243-2381
  • 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
20 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.4
    Service3.6
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (15)fit for foodies (14)neighborhood gem (10)hot spot (6)special occasion (4)great for lunch (3)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Awful food Onyly beer, wine I
    jackieVIP
    Dined on 6/3/2011
    Awful food Onyly beer, wine I will never go back unless they get a different menu and chef
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • High end, a little pricey
    DocMilnerVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2011
    High end, a little pricey but you won't leave hungry. Very fresh vegetables, excellent cuts of meat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Real treat! Not many "real"
    harryVIP
    Dined on 5/26/2011
    Real treat! Not many "real" chinese restaurants in DC unfortunately, almost all are Americanized...Mala Tang offers a great opportunity to repeat an experience I had on a visit to CHina - Hot Pot cooking
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The waiter "oversuggested"
    CherubVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2011
    The waiter "oversuggested" food items. Too many protiens and extras on the table. He should have guided us through, better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice to be at a restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/21/2011
    Nice to be at a restaurant that seems to want you there. Especially one where the food from appetizer on is so memorable and unique.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overall a fun concept and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 5/20/2011
    Overall a fun concept and very flavorful broth and fresh veggies and meat to cook in the broth.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • very unimpressed with Mala
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/19/2011
    very unimpressed with Mala Tang. I love Hong Kong Palace and was hoping Mala Tang would be just as good. It misses by far. Our Waitress was annoying, she didn't leave us alone. The entire experience was weird. Finding the correct parking spots in the garage was weird. We asked to sit outside, but the hostess said she had to seat us inside so all the servers could get tables. I could care less when it comes to my dining experience. The food was decent, but a little pricy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyed my overall experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/19/2011
    Enjoyed my overall experience but the flavor/taste was just okay. Maybe more items that are pre-made would be nice to have (dinner portions). Don't advertise for Free Parking--as there is a time limit and we had to pay. I would have found street parking had I known...
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Comfortable patio area to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/18/2011
    Comfortable patio area to enjoy the relaxed process of hot pot eating. The variety of food selections is the perfect balance of enough choices for diversity without being overwhelming. And the flavors - what a treat to indulge in this unique Chinese style of cooking. Service was friendly and appropriately attentive. Parking easy to get to though one must remember the limit of 2 hours for free parking. Had a great time and highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • very pleasant surprise. the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 5/14/2011
    very pleasant surprise. the hot pots are an experience everyone should try and then keep coming back for. the tempura shrimp appetezier was very tasty and cooked just right, very juicy while lightly breaded. waiter was very knowledgeable. could use a better wine selection but will definitely come back for the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food itself was excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/14/2011
    The food itself was excellent. Same owner's as Uncle Liu's but UL's felt much more 'authentic.' Could be because MT is brand new. Hopefully it will come around. To my knowledge, it's the only hot pot place in the area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very much a spicy Chinese
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/14/2011
    Very much a spicy Chinese version on a "melting pot" theme. The quality of ingredients was good, tasty starters (try the mushrooms), but ultimately the lack of non-"dip-it-in-a-pot" options for the main course was not what we expected. It therefore did not quite live up to the oriental experience we have had else where in the world, and the website seemed to imply. I would highly recommend it if social pot-dipping if that is the experience you want.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wait staff was very friendly.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/13/2011
    Wait staff was very friendly. Food was good, but gets pricey fast.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I loved Mala Tang. I had spent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/12/2011
    I loved Mala Tang. I had spent 6 months living in China and my girlfriend had spend a year and we were very excited when we saw a hot pot restaurant near DC. I was also a little afraid because if it was not like the Hot Pot I used to eat, it would have been upsetting. We went and loved it. I missed the big hot pot bowls but can appreciate the individuals. They had many of the same veggies we used to eat and the broth was delicious. The dipping sauce was good too but it was one part of the meal that varied from my time in China, as I missed my sesame oil and garlic dipping sauce. Overall, I loved this place. Hot Pot is a different experience so you have to be ready for it, but it is wonderful.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Still getting the kinks out.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/8/2011
    Still getting the kinks out. The waiter was bizarre.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very recently opened, so they
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/8/2011
    Very recently opened, so they were so understaffed that the dinner took more than twice as long (2+ hours) than it should have. Hot pot is usually finished in under one hour because all you are ordering is raw ingredients that you cook at your table. Also, the waiter had to recruit the help of the busboy and other cleaning staff to help serve the customers. These staff members are not familiar with what is required, or who ordered what, as I even had to help the busboy light our hot pot cookers when he could not figure out how to get the lighter working. However, my experience may have been an outlier - once the restaurant is up and running more smoothly.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not bad for first week's open
    disappointed
    Dined on 5/8/2011
    The waiter told us they were short and nobody showed up to work for Mother's day dinner? That seemed a little odd, a new restaurant where no staff showed up work. Either way, he kept apologizing and the food was a little slow, but the broth was incredible, flavorful and delicious. All the appetizer was spicy eventhough the waiter said it wasn't. So I don't recommend this place for little kids. Mixing fire with broth with kids is not a good idea, but once they get their liquor license, this place will be hopping.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Interesting menu. Specializes
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/8/2011
    Interesting menu. Specializes in cook-your-own food. Everything tasted good, but in the end, I wished I had just ordered a meal prepared by the chef. May try it again and order off the prepared section of the menu.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My friend and I went here
    LadyG
    Dined on 5/5/2011
    My friend and I went here for dinner one night. The service was good. Out waiter made sure we knew about mala tang and how to order. The food was just ok. We ordered green onion pancakes, a spicy and a mild tradition hot pot base, flounder, beef marinated in wine, watercress, and sweet potato noodles. The green onion pancakes were nice and crispy but lacking in green onion flavor. Since we were sharing the food it was a pain to man two separate pots. They didn't give us utensils to handle the raw food. I had to ask for an extra pair of chop sticks for that. The wine marinated beef was "marinated" at our table. The food wasn't anything to rave about it. Overall it was just fair.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate