Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About 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.
Arlington, VA 22201
Asian, Chinese, Shabu-shabu
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)
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
On site and off site Catering is available.
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.
From Virginia Square Metro - turn left at N Monroe Street than turn right on Washington Blvd.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Special Events menus are available in house.
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You and your guests will feel as if you're dining in Chengdu, the home of Chef Liu 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.
Mala Tang Ratings and Reviews
Good value for food. If you like spicy food, this is the place to go. Hot pots are individual, not shared so your friends can opt for a non spicy broth. Tso’s dumplings are very good. The grilled whole fish is a good sized portion, but it was so good my friend practically ate the whole dish by himself.
This was our second time to Mala Tang. My son who studies in DC requested to go back when I was visiting him. Love the hot pot. Great choice of meat, seafood, and veggies. I love the spicy chicken broth, and others liked the mild veggie broth. They were also able to accommodate a person in our group who had food allergies. Great for groups, pairs, or singletons. They also have other amazing looking apps and entrees. Definitely will be back again.
Excellent food, great service. I've had a lot of hot pot, both in China and outside China. This is one of the better ones. The food is about the same as Uncle Liu's -- certainly not worse - but the decor and ambiance is way better. It's probably a little pricier for that reason, as well as for the location. Conversation is easy: tables are not packed closely together, the walls and floors absorb sound, and the background music is tasteful jazz at a low volume -- perhaps it's not authentic in that way!
Hot pot is very good, two types of soups - many meat choices as well as pescatarian. Also possible to order vegetarian dishes. Great if you need a spicy food fix. Their dumplings are very good. The fried whole fish dish seemed to be popular. We will try this next time. Good seating options for large groups as well. Service is prompt.
service was good. but value has dropped. we were a group of 8 and the tables seemed smaller than before. we were a very tight fit with everyone going for hot pots . validated parking is no longer in the building but there is free resturant parking across the street.
I like that Mala Tang can accommodate large groups. Although we started out as a big group, they were able to scale down on short notice without a problem. There was something for everyone to enjoy and it was great that we were seated at a round table so we could all talk to each other. The service was excellent and our final bill was unbelievably reasonable, even with drinks! We'll be back.
This was the second time at Mala Tangs since we got to understand the concept of the dry or hot pot and most importantly the mild vs. the mala! There is a huge spice difference between the two. If you are in to spice,and I mean HOTTTT choose the mala. If you are in for some spice but tamed down extraordinarily , go mild. I went Mala dry pot my first go round and could not finish the meal. This time I went mild and was good with the spices. I must be a light weight in spice area. The others in my group went Hot pot and they seemed content with the meal for they finished it all!. Mala Tang is a fun experience and worth a try. It is all the buzz and then some. Go for it, it does not disappoint .
Mala Tang is not your usual neighborhood Chinese Restaurants. Yes, they do have all your Americanized favorites, but their specialties are the hot pots and dry pots. If you order the hot pot, you select your proteins and vegetables and cook them at the table. We chose the dry pot, where you select your proteins and vegetables and optional starches, and they are presented in a huge rectangular bowl with flaming burners underneath. It can be ordered in varying degrees of spice, or no spice. It is just wonderful. Plenty of good food, prepared and presented beautifully.
The servers are able to describe each choice knowledgeably, and are very pleasant. A fun time. (We took half of our dinner home, and I'm a big eater!)
Had the shared combo hot pot. everything in the broth was on a stick, which was different, but with two people it was kind of equitable (I know sounds strange). The broth was wonderful and the melon, lotus root, quail eggs, shrimp and beef were good too. We asked for mild and it was just right. Bubble tea is always fun and the potstickers were a good accompaniment.
The hot pots are the thing to get there. The mala broth is the spicier version, but it's not too much. You cook your meal in the boiling broth, head over to the toppings bar and create your own sauces. The food is delicious. Would have liked it if the air conditioning was working -- all that boiling broth creates steam at the table -- but wouldn't hesitate to go back. One of our favorite places. Haven't tried their conventional szechwan offerings. It's always hot pots for us.
We are an Asian American family that dines out 3 or 4 days per week. This is by far the worst Korean food we have ever tasted. The menu states that they use a numbing ingredient in their dishes and they mean it. Ever put food into your mouth and feel as though the dentist was your chef? Absolutely Horrible!
This is a nice place to eat and the food was good. However, we arrived for a late dinner at 9:30pm. They close at 11pm, but at 10pm they started taking down the sauce bar and cleaning the restaurant. We should have had access to all the restaurant offered. The staff was so focused on cleaning I had to go looking for the waiter twice. I felt like I was keeping them. If the want to close at 10, then close at 10. I felt very uncomfortable.
This was our second time at Mala Tang and was definitely not as good as the first. Both the kitchen and the service had problems; they were out of multiple items on the menu and there were long waits for basics like drinks and ordering. The concept is fun but the restaurant needs some work.
It is always an interesting experience to eat there. Unfortunately, due to two large graduation parties, some of the fresh vegetables : bok choy, cilantro, and spinach were out when we came to dinner on a Wednesday. We need to come, again, to be able to enjoy the fresh ingredients.
Hmm. Hot pot is great. Stay away from dry pot - too much oil, over-powering seasoning. Maybe cook's night off? Second time here. First time we all did hot pot (with broth) which was was fun and flexible for all palettes. This time, three tried dry pot, which was not good. One tried hot pot, which was great, as usual. Hope this place gets its act together ; we love it for its genuine cooking.
I would consider Mala Tang to be one of the best restaurants in the DC Metro Area, but my experience there on Saturday was beyond lacking. I've come here with parties of all sizes - and have been coming here multiple times a month, every month, for at least the past year - yet for the past couple of months, the front door staff have been beyond rude. When I came on Saturday, I booked a reservation at 7:45pm through the app, and showed up at about 7:42pm. There were at least 3 two-person tables open, and multiple tables for parties of 4 and greater, yet they refused to seat us. Why, you ask? The "gentleman" at the front told me that I would have to wait because I made the reservation so close to the actual time. I told him that OpenTable had a reservation open for 7:45 so we booked it. He responded that because I booked it "minutes" before 7:45pm, that I would need to wait like everyone else. He then pointed to the bar and then said we could sit there if we wanted, but we wouldn't be allowed to have a table until at least 8pm because we made the reservation too close to the actual time. Maybe had he said the tables weren't ready, or some other legitimate excuse, that would be "understandable," but that was not the case. So we sat at the bar. The aforementioned tables sat open, with wait staff available, for the whole hour we were there. We sat at the bar and the food came out before water did, as the bartender simply stared at us from TWO FT AWAY. Surprising, and unfortunate, experience. Furthermore, the same "gentleman" at the computer at the entrance proceeded to yell at two young women who were dining together because after he ran her card and gave her the check, she realized he did not return her credit card. She inquired, nicely, and he proceeded to actually usher them out of the restaurant and tell them that he simply "doesn't lose cards," while contradicting himself and pulling out a stack of other people's cards that had been previously lost to demonstrate.
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