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  5. Arlington

Mala Tang

4.5
4.5
488 Reviews
$30 and under
Asian
The inspiration behind Mala Tang is the street food 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.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 4 times today
Private dining

Private dining

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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Asian, Chinese, Shabu-shabu

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30 am–4:00 pm Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–4:00 pm Dinner Mon–Thu 4:00 pm–9:30 pm Fri–Sun 4:00 pm–10:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (703) 243-2381

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Chef Peter

  • Catering

    On site and off site Catering is available.

  • Private party facilities

    You and your guests will feel as if you're dining in Chengdu, the home of Sichuan Peppercorns and the inspiration for Mala Tang. Choose from several group menus crafted for large parties or let us create a menu designed just for you.

  • Private party contact

    Restaurant Manager: (877) 735-0498

  • Neighborhood

    Arlington

  • Parking details

    COMPLIMENTARY VALIDATED PARKING for 1.5-HOURS MAX at the Garage Adjacent to Mala Tang.

  • Public transit

    From Virginia Square Metro - turn left at N Monroe Street than turn right on Washington Blvd.

  • Additional

    Beer, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 488 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.2Service
  • 4.1Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. KG

    KatG

    Atlantic City

    23 reviews

    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We thought that the food was delicious. I'm not into the "cook your own meal" experience and our server explained our options wonderfully. Everything we ordered was delicious and spicy. So happy I finally tried this place. If you love spicy food, I highly recommend giving this place a try.
  2. EE

    EasyE

    Washington DC

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on July 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Had a great meal and one that was unique in so many ways. Highly recommend folks give them a try.
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    29 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on July 22, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Good food - we loved the variety of Chinese and hot pot!
  4. JE

    JayEHH

    Washington DC

    14 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    I came to Mala Tang for dinner with my family on a Wednesday evening. They had a sign that explained that they were short staff, but the service never reflected that. Our server was kind, attentive and the kitchen was prompt. The food was fresh and flavorful. We all thoroughly enjoyed this hot pot experience and would definitely recommend Mala Tang!
  5. R

    Ripley

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 13, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Super nice staff, great atmosphere, great amount of food for price
  6. MC

    MahiC

    New York Area

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great time at Mala Tang! All 8 of us had a great time and the service was amazing too! Thank you!
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    19 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on May 23, 2022

    overall3food4service1ambience3
    Mala Tang has been one of my wife and I's favorite restaurants but we haven't been in a couple of years, so we decided to dine here to celebrate our wedding anniversary. This time around, the food was delicious, as usual, but the service was very very poor. No host at the front so we waited several minutes to be seated. Then we waited again about 10 minutes before having to flag the server to ask for menus. She took two used paper menus off of the next table and gave them to us. No drink menu offered so we had to wait and ask her for that too. When my wife ordered a bottle of sake, the server snatched the drink menu out of her hand. We never had water refilled until our meal was over. We asked for an extra bowl of rice that never came. We had to wait 15 minutes after we finished eating and table had been cleared to receive the check, which was incorrect. All this despite them only having 6 tables seated the whole time we were there. I noticed other guests at tables getting up to order their own drinks at the bar. Honestly, great food but terrible hospitality, other than the busser, who was very pleasant and helpful. Please do better. We like your restaurant but if this is how you do things now, we won't be returning.
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    ‘‘Twas a good experience for a first time getting hotpot
  9. SW

    ScottW

    Orlando

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 16, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    It was good food though the food for the hot pot was overly seasoned with Cumin. The twice cooked pork belly was outstanding! People were nice and the food came out quickly.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience1
    Service was slow even though the restaurant was even busy. The food was very oily- ordered dry hot pot, fried rice, tofu dish. The braised beef noodles is very good. I would recommend that.
  11. R

    Ricmim

    St. Louis

    26 reviews

    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on May 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were in town visiting family and friends and wanted to eat at a "hot pot" place. We went for lunch and there were not a lot of people inside, but I bet it had to do with going on a Tuesday at lunchtime. Anyway, our server was great and informative, and the food was spot on; the spicy broth was good and spicy, and the regular broth was good as well. There was a good variety of proteins and vegetables and we had leftover that we could not eat. We would definitely return next time we are in VA!
  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    They weren’t expecting many customers because of the weather, but people were there anyway because their food is so good. Their mala spices are fantastic, and their sauce selection was top-quality. 5/5 would recommend
  13. AB

    AshleeB

    Washington DC

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 8, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Great food, great experience! Love the Mala Hotpot and the onion pancakes were very good!
  14. SM

    SML1

    Milwaukee

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on March 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Delicious food. Our server was very helpful as we were “first time hot potters”. We would definitely go back!
  15. EH

    EleanorH

    Washington DC

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on March 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Excellent hot pots, appetizers, and entrees. Friendly staff. Definitely great for groups!
  16. PC

    PattyC

    Washington DC

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on March 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The gentleman who took care of us was fantastic. Super nice, helpful. Made it a truly enjoyable experience
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The meal that my partner and I had at Mala Tang was immaculate! The hotpot was delicious and filling (we ordered the Hotpot for 2), the service was excellent, the Beef dumplings (steamed) were handmade and absolutely delicious, the plum wine was pricey but of excellent quality, and the sauce selections with helpful recipes were super convenient and delicious! I’d be happy to go back again, but only for special occasions since it’s a very pricey hotpot experience, that isn’t unlimited.
  18. M

    Matt

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 2, 2022

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    Getting hot pot here is fantastic! Great ingredients, broth, and sauce bar.
  19. M

    Marina66

    Washington DC

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Love coming here for hot pot on cold winter nights.
  20. L

    Leelee

    Washington DC

    16 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience3
    My experience for the first time wasn’t what I expected. I announced to the server that this was our 1st time visiting and she did not represent well as a knowledgeable server. Food was tasty and ambience was good. Tables are very close. So if you are concerned about up close and personal this is not the spot. Be aware: parking garage is directly behind the restaurant/Giant. Also, ask about validation.
  21. HB

    HeleneB

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 26, 2021

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    This was first time my family and I had hot pots and I really enjoyed our time at Mala Tang. My only observation that they could have kept the area where they keep the sauces is a little cleaner.
  22. MP

    MichaelP

    Washington DC

    50 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    50 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Really good experience all the way around. We wanted to find a high quality Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day and this one came highly recommended on Open Table. The reviews were entirely accurate. It's a little off the beaten path for us but worth the drive from Silver Spring. We hop to be back.
  23. CD

    CooterDuPont

    Washington DC

    61 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    61 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    In one word, "Superb" - Service, price point, and flavor are all wonderful.
  24. D

    Dawwilly

    Washington DC

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What a fantastic meal on Christmas Eve. Some of the best service I have had in the DMV in a long time. We will be back for more great cuisine.
  25. W

    Wanderer

    Washington DC

    18 reviews

    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on December 17, 2021

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    Very good meats and vegetables are fresh. Always enjoy eating here!
  26. JR

    JaneR

    Washington DC

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 13, 2021

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    The food is really good and the ambiance is great. They typically have a sauce bar to mix your own sauces, but it was closed. Additionally, they were out of sake and a few choice items I was excited to sample. That all being said, it was still a great time and good food, would recommend
  27. l

    lstraubb

    Cleveland

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on November 27, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great hot pot meal!
  28. JB

    JaneB

    Washington DC

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2021

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    We really enjoyed the hot pot and the spicy cold noodles at this restaurant. I was skeptical about the non-hot pot Sichuan food, but the cold noodles were pretty decent and so we will be going back to try other things on the menu. The portions sizes were generous and the prices very reasonable. My friend and I really had to struggle to eat the full hot pot for 2 at once. And the spice was great!
  29. ZM

    ZellM

    Washington DC

    26 reviews

    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2021

    overall5food5service3ambience4
    Really good food. Great eating experience. Service was very friendly and average (due to understaffing). I would definitely recommend Mala Tang for an overall great dining experience.
  30. SF

    SFfromDC

    Washington DC

    48 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    48 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2021

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Excellent mix and choices for hot pot. Also had other great food options. Park in the garage and get validated.
  31. J

    Jenn

    Washington DC

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on September 26, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    AMAZING place!! It was a fun environment! We got the hot pots and we plan to go back again.
  32. AD

    AaronD

    San Diego

    33 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Amazing authentic Sichuan food
  33. p

    pgso300

    Washington DC

    44 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    44 reviews

    Dined on July 15, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The fried duck was everything, so was the combination low mein and salt & pepper shrimp.
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 18, 2021

    overall3food4service2ambience3
    It seems they are still getting post-COVID sorted, with one server on a Friday. The food was totally fine. For hot pot there may be better options, but for the real numbing type cuisine I can see seeking this place.
  35. H

    Heather

    Washington DC

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 4, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love Mala Tang! This is our go to place to eat out.
  36. R

    Raven

    Washington DC

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on June 4, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Birthday. Still great food. Very clean and had gloves and a reminder to keep mask on when at sauce bar or when visiting rest rooms.
  37. MC

    MigliaC

    Washington DC

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2021

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    My husband and I were looking to get hot pot on Saturday night and we came across Mala Tang on Open Table. We liked that we were able to make reservations. We were seated right away. Service was perfect, we were given adequate time to look over the menu, our questions were answered, orders taken, and food was brought to us in a reasonable amount of time. We ordered the hot pot for 2, which was enough for my husband and I. When choosing our protein, our server recommended the mala beef and it was incredible. We also ordered the scallops which were large (not the cut up pieces) and fresh. Highly recommend this place.
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    11 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2021

    overall2food2service1ambience3
    The restaurant only hires 1 waiter to serve all the tables on a Wednesday evening since the Covid pandemic still deters many people from dining in. That said, the speed from getting a table, waiting to order and getting our hotpot ingredients to our table was just extremely slow for every single step in the process among 5-6 tables that the waiter has to take care of concurrently in the evening. Hopefully this would change once the business picks up with more diners and waiters. The hot pot ingredient prices are on the high side, albeit the meats are fresh. We chose a 2-person combo platter but the non-meat ingredients are so minimally scarce that we feel we’d rather pay $5 more each to go to an all-you-can-eat/unlimited hot pot restaurants. On the value side, we felt underwhelmed.
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Phoenix

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 7, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    The best hot-pot! Kind staff, wide yet not over-complicated menu, and the BEST flavors in each dish. Star menu items would definitely be the Enoki mushrooms, New York strip steak, Pork, and the Mala Broth. Also, the pork dumplings + green onion pancake are amazing!! :)
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Baltimore

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 21, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    We went for dinner around 9pm on a Sunday. The girl who was the server and the host was polite and helpful. She explained us the menu and how to order since it was our first time ordering hot pot. The food was so good. My husband is a fan of this place now. This was his second time here. The first was a team lunch, and again was very happy with the food. Guys try the hot pot, its fun! We ordered the spicy broth and it was spicy. Must try this place for a casual dinner. Not to forget mentioning in the hour we were in the restaurant, there were to go orders going out the door in every 5-10 mins at 9pm! As we felt around 10ish, there was still one more to go order waiting. This clearly showed their food is popular and tasty! :)

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

Mala Tang does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates and Uber Eats. Mala Tang also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (703) 243-2381.

Mala Tang is rated 4.5 stars by 488 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 4 times today
Google Map for Mala Tang

3434 Washington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Arlington

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30 am–4:00 pm Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–4:00 pm Dinner Mon–Thu 4:00 pm–9:30 pm Fri–Sun 4:00 pm–10:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Asian, Chinese, Shabu-shabu

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    COMPLIMENTARY VALIDATED PARKING for 1.5-HOURS MAX at the Garage Adjacent to Mala Tang.

  • Public transit

    From Virginia Square Metro - turn left at N Monroe Street than turn right on Washington Blvd.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Chef Peter

  • Additional

    Beer, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (703) 243-2381

  • Catering

    On site and off site Catering is available.

  • Private party facilities

    You and your guests will feel as if you're dining in Chengdu, the home of Sichuan Peppercorns and the inspiration for Mala Tang. Choose from several group menus crafted for large parties or let us create a menu designed just for you.

  • Private party contact

    Restaurant Manager: (877) 735-0498

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