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
10 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4
    Service3.5
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (5)neighborhood gem (4)good for groups (4)great for outdoor dining (1)scenic view (1)great for lunch (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • the food was excellent and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/25/2012
    the food was excellent and the staff extremely helpful
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very friendly staff. First
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 12/24/2012
    Very friendly staff. First experience with a hot pot and enjoyed it very much. Found the food to be very fresh and healthy. Would return and recommend to others.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was our first experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 12/22/2012
    It was our first experience with chinese food in Arlington, and there is nothing to say other than everything was really good. I would strongly recommend it to everyone. We will be back soon.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Usually a fun experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 12/15/2012
    There are two ways that our Mala Tang experience could have been better. First, staff should be properly trained on how to set up and turn off the burners on the table. We had problems with our stove overflowing with fuel causing a large flare up. At one point we had four staff members at our table dealing with the flare up. Second, the beef was cut too thick. Boiled thick beef creates a very tough and chewy peice of meat, not pleasant. Overall Mala Tang is a fun and tasty experience,if these two items can be improved.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I love this place! I've been
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/14/2012
    I love this place! I've been to Sichuan, and can say that the flavor of the broth is authentic. So are the sides. Great for a longer dinner with friends. The price is good too- even when we order a variety of meat, the bill seems to always come to $30 each. We've been back several times, and it's consistently delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very authentic. This was my
    LWinDCVIP
    Dined on 12/13/2012
    Very authentic. This was my second time there--much calmer at lunchtime. Terrific selection of ingredients to cook in the at-table hot pot broth. A great meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Really enjoyed lunch here.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 11/28/2012
    Really enjoyed lunch here. The hot pot was really good and street food even better. Love the mapo tofu which is mind-numbing spicy. Delish! Great service, too. WIll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We had a great double date
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/17/2012
    We had a great double date at Mala Tang. I enjoyed the interactive food experience, and loved all the flavors. I got the mild hot pot, which was good for my tastes since I was able to add flavor and spice with the sauces. My husband got the "mala" hot pot, which he said is too hot for someone unused to very spicy food. Although our waiter for the evening was a trainee, his supervisory waiter was very helpful in explaining the menu and even whipped us up some unique specialty cocktails - ask for the sake and pomegranate cocktail. This is a good place to go with a group because you can share your al a carte orders and taste a bit of everything.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had a great experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/17/2012
    We had a great experience at Mala Tang. Great experience unlike anything I've tried before, which takes some guts, but the spicy level was fantastic and the flavors so different and completely out of this world good. Highly recommend for someone looking for a reasonable and fun experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Limited menu. Appetizers and
    MikeDVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2012
    Limited menu. Appetizers and hotpot. Ingredients for hot pot are fresh. Very late in bringing one appetizer, but took it back and didn't charge us.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food for groups
    MikeGReston
    Dined on 11/14/2012
    Great food and a very helpful and attentive server for those who have never dealt with Hot Pots before (like anyone in our group). Food was awesome and it was fun to go as a group so you can try a lot of different stuff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for Lunch Groups
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/14/2012
    I recently arranged for a group lunch at Mala Tang. The staff was very accommodating. Service was great. The food was excellent - healthy, tasty, and very reasonably priced. I would recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Authentic Cuisine, Slow Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/11/2012
    I live in Beijing and found this hot pot truly authentic, great menu! Unfortunately on a Sunday night there were only 2 servers for a completely packed restaurant so while the servers were working very hard and super friendly, service was slow and bad.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hot Pot Destination!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/5/2012
    We took my aunt, visiting from China, my dad, and our 10-year old twins there on a Monday night. Last year, our kids were not quite ready to do the hot pot and the appetizers were less interesting. This year was perfect! they shared their own hot pot, the dumplings and other sides were filling and delicious, and we had a wonderful time. This is definitely the hot pot spot! Servers were friendly and helpful, and the experience was 4-star. We will go again soon to introduce this must-go place to other friends and family!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Some of the best, if not the
    Firstaste
    Dined on 11/4/2012
    Some of the best, if not the best, Sichuan food in the DC area. As authentic as it gets inside the beltway. But be warned, it is very spicy. Great for chiliheads, caution for others.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I saw this place in a magazine,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/2/2012
    I saw this place in a magazine, and went in specifically for their sweet potato noodles. The picture I saw had these noodles mixed with a little ground pork and some spices. I asked the waiter about this dish and he brought us a menu for hot-pots; I was confused but we ordered it anyway. The food was nothing like the picture and was much like Chinese fondue, it was good, I especially liked the sauces we could make ourselves. Fast forward to when I'm leaving the resturant, getting my parking validated, I noticed another menu, one I was not provided, and the item I went in there for was right there, jumping out at me. I'm not sure why we weren't given the non-hot-pot menu or why the waiter didn't know the dish I came in asking about.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • my husband and i went for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/27/2012
    my husband and i went for our 6 year anniversary. we had driven past it several times but kept forgetting about it due to it's location being somewhat hidden. their decor is great and they knew how to set the mood for a dining experience. it's all about choice from broth, meats, they even have a nice set up to choose your own sauces. their specialty is spicy; it certainly has heat but it's not offensive. the price isn't cheap so I'd reserve going for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great spot for conversation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/25/2012
    A great spot for conversation and interactive dining. Appetizers are NOT to be missed - the spring onion pancakes, Dan Dan noodles and dumplings are worth a special trip! Parking in attached garage is good - not that easy to find as the signage is subtle...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The service was excellent.
    Alwayshonest
    Dined on 10/20/2012
    The service was excellent. The waiter was extremely attentive and provided great recommendations on food selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Mala (spicy) broth is
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/18/2012
    The Mala (spicy) broth is suuuper spicy, be warned!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Despite several reminders,
    Henryb14VIP
    Dined on 10/13/2012
    Despite several reminders, they forgot the appetizers . When main entrees arrived, we remind them again and suggest to cancel the 4 appetizers . Waiter said they already prepared. Never brought out the appetizers even after w finish the meals ( almost 90 minutes) Manager apologize and cancel from bill .
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I eat there alot and usually
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 10/7/2012
    I eat there alot and usually like it This time service was slow and our waitress was very rude
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved the food, but a caution
    Patricia
    Dined on 9/29/2012
    Loved the food, but a caution that the spicy is really, really spicy. We had a great time introducing our friends to the hot pot, a great place to try something new and yummy. Service was great and our waiter took time to explain everything to us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Must!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/29/2012
    We had a great meal with very attentive service. I highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service is terrible, otherwise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/21/2012
    Service is terrible, otherwise would be four stars. Food is very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The main concept of Mala Tang
    Snarf40
    Dined on 9/16/2012
    The main concept of Mala Tang is the Szechuan hot pot, which is essentially fondue (not cheese, but rather a flavorful broth). Each person orders either a mild or spicy broth and then everyone orders a plate of raw food - meat, vegetables or pasta. Then you put them into your pot and let them cook briefly and pull them out. there is a separate table where you can get a number of different sauces and powders to dip the cooked items into. We love to bring our friends there because it's a lot of fun and the food is delicious. And of course, there are all kinds of things you can order that you don't have to cook yourself. Everyone we've brought to the place loves it, as do we.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • awesome food, terrible manager
    ROMANTICVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2012
    the first time i went the experience was awesome, this time i was disturbed because of the management. The manager who helped me needs to go back to customer service school. He had poor customer service. on the flip side the food is awesome.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific food, excellent variety,
    dpdcVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2012
    Terrific food, excellent variety, and friendly, helpful staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome adventure
    ROMANTICVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2012
    OMG - i didn't know what to expect. but this was a great experience the food experience was awesome. they bring you a pot light the flame and you put the food n yourself. be careful the hot is really hot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was as expected however
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/18/2012
    Food was as expected however the service was quite poor. It took at least 10 minutes for our server to greet us. And anytime we needed to order something, the server was not around and we had to ask someone to get him.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Different & Delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/16/2012
    Fantastic experience! We went with friends on a double date. The Hot Pots were Fun and delicious. Exceptional service. We will be back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great find, friendly staff
    ilovefood
    Dined on 7/21/2012
    I really like the fact that they are accepting of people who have never experienced hot pot before, and took the time to explain everything to us. We tried each broth (spicy and mild). Both were delicious, however, I think I prefer the spicy. If you order a la carte, note that the portions are very large. And don't forget to pack the broth up and take it home and have it for lunch with some noodles!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I always think it's fun to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/20/2012
    I always think it's fun to have an activity- like cooking your food. It would be great for a date- to give you something to do.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The concept is intriguing
    chismeVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2012
    The concept is intriguing but the execution fails to live up to the advertising. We should have stopped after the appetizers. After a promising start of pancakes and wontons, we went for the hot pots. They proved merely hot, as in peppery, without much flavor, and the novelty of dropping food into the bubbling pot wore off as the sameness of the tastes and textures piled on. The center carousel of dipping sauces might have alleviated this, but the otherwise attentive waiter didn't point it out nor indicate which sauces would best complement our choices, and we chose wrong. Dessert was an odd, gummy sesame ball.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome Mapo Tofu! Food was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/14/2012
    Awesome Mapo Tofu! Food was so spicy! Tongue numbing, mouth tingly spiciness.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I LOVE Mala Tang! The Sichuan
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/8/2012
    I LOVE Mala Tang! The Sichuan peppercorn sauce on their mung bean noodles is numbingly amazing and their lamb hot pot is top quality. I can't wait to get back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Sichuanese Restuarant!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/29/2012
    Best Sichuanese food you'll find outside of China in the DC area! Given the amount of food, a bigger group is more cost effective and you can enjoy a wider variety of food items that can go in the hot pot. Don't miss out on this wonderful restaurant and cultural experience. Check it out today!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The basic broth (I had the
    foodie007VIP
    Dined on 6/14/2012
    The basic broth (I had the Mala broth) was very tasty. Add-ons quickly add up to the price, though. A bit on the gimmicky side, maybe for certain types of people and certain occasions only.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mala tang has become a favorite.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/2/2012
    Mala tang has become a favorite. We are delighted and never disappointed every time we dine here. Our waiter, although new to the restaurant, was fantastic, full of energy, curtious and what a great character.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Miserable experience!!
    VAdinerVIP
    Dined on 6/2/2012
    There was hardly anyone there on a Saturday night, so this should have given us a clue! Service was miserable...we waited 30 minutes for an appetizer and were told that the kitchen had made a mistake. The dumpling appetizer was not made in house - it was purchased frozen and steamed. The hot pot was boring. The broth had no flavor at all, so we were cooking our meat and veggies and then adding flavor with sauces. It was just not worth the effort. Our server left us waiting for long periods of time and kept apologizing. He took forever to make change for our bill. We won't be going back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate