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
If you've never had Sichuan Hot Pot, it's something fairly unusual and Mala Tang's specialty. We had a prix fixe/Bloomspot deal, and it came with an appetizer, choice of hot pot and sesame balls for dessert. I ordered the traditional hot pot, but it wasn't that hot. I'm sure you can order it hotter, so keep that in mind if you like things on the hotter side. The meat and veggie spreads have variety and are generous. The "sauce" station has nice variety of choices. Note the whole place reeks of strong Chinese herbs and spices, so you're going to smell like that when you leave.
This was our 2nd trip to Mala Tang. We returned because we thought both the service and the food were delicious on our first visit. This time, we were less than impressed.
The restaurant did not have a table for us at our time of reservation - we ended up having to wait for almost 40 minutes beyond our reservation time. We watched multiple other tables be seated, including parties that were without reservations. Our party may have only been for 2, but there comes a time when the host should be willing to give up a larger table to make up for their own mistake.
We had other issues once seated, but they most likely would have been forgiven more easily had we been seated according to our reservation. It was extremely disappointing
Mala Tang is a great place to try something a little different, especially with a group. The Szechuan Hot Pot concept is similar to a fondue in that you are cooking your own meat, fish, protein or vegetables in a personal pot of broth but you also have the ability to select from the 30 or so dipping sauces and spices (or make a few of your own by mixing them). All in all it's good food and good fun and not too expensive!
Even though we had reservations, our party of 8 was seated right in front of the kitchen door. The restaurant is very noisy and it was even worse with all the traffic and conversation among the servers.
Our server was lackadaisical, a best. It took quite a while for him to come to get our orders and he did not come back often enough to see if we needed anything -- we did! and had to flag him down several times. A decorative screen feel on my head and he simply looked in our direction and slowly cam to lift it off of me. No apology, no sign a regret. He did give us good advice on the quantity of food to order, however.
All this said, the food was good -- especially the appetizers, which were great. In future, I would stick with
Despite its lack of "communal" hot-pots, Mala Tang really delivers on the authentic hot pot experience. Master Chef Liu brings the flavors of Sichuan to Arlington, VA and allows those of us who miss the China hot pot experience to feel like we are back home. The sauce bar gives an added dimension to the experience. Highly recommended for people who are either nostalgic of their time spent in China, or are looking for a fun evening of Chinese culture and cuisine.
Food was very good and authentic Sichuan cuisine. Any time your mouth goes numb due to heat, you are eating Sichuan food. My husband and I decided to get a combo of hot and cold small dishes, called xiao chi in Chinese (little eats). I recommend the onion bread, the zhong dumplings and the pickled cucumbers. We liked the cold spicy chicken, but since it was too hot for me, I expect most people would not like it. It had a great taste, though. Also, their vegetable Dan-Dan Mein (Dan-Dan noodles) was great.
Their specialty is actually Sichuan hotpot and their Chinese vegetables and meats were impressive. We will try that another time. However, from observing others orders, it looked very authentic.
My boyfriend took me to Mala Tang for valentines day, knowing that I love hot pot restaurants. We had been to Mala Tang once before and throughly enjoyed it. However this time the service was absolutely Unacceptable. The server was beyond rude from the second he hit the table. He didn't greet us and immediately jumped into the concept of hot pot. The highlight of our awful service was when the server brought a tray with our food on it and walked away to take an order from another table. He then moved on to another table and then left to the back of the restaurant. I proceeded to serve myself and placed our 6 plates on our table. After we brought to the servers attention what had occurred he continued to be rude.
I was there with one other person and it seemed like they had given the table originally reserved for us to someone else that was in a better spot despite us arriving on time. We started off with the green onion pancakes w/ a sweet sauce which were perfect. For entrees we both got the spicy broth with chicken, flounder, and sirloin. The flounder was our favorite. The portions were large, we should have gone with just two proteins instead of 3 but I had some to take home for lunch and it was very reasonably priced. We both were big fans of the sauce bar, they had everything we wanted but the sauce from the pancakes was mysteriously absent. Overall the food was excellent and I am looking forward to coming back to try out more of the menu.
The food (as it should be) was the star of our meal. The service and location leave a little something to be desired. We frequent many small mom and pop restaurants from various Asian cultures and we are used to erratic service where there are no assumptions made, this is not that. There were plenty of people on the floor, they just seemed to be overwhelmed. Maybe they are just new but the next time we come back we will make sure to try an off peak time.
The one thing that stuck a raw nerve with me was that they left the check on our table when we were slightly less than half way through our hot pot. I do not know if they do not offer a desert or just wanted our table. I will try again in a year or so.
Food was good. Hot pot is always fun. Was just annoyed by the service. They were going to seat us at the worst table (next to the sauce bar) when the restaurant was completely empty (we had an early reservation). Then they tried to hurry us out (twice) when we wanted desert. Meal was not expensive but I wouldn't go back. I prefer the service and food at Peking Gourmet in Falls Church.
Wait for 30 minutes after reservation time to be seated. Waitress was not helpful at all in navigating the menu even though we said we has never had hot pot before. My water glass was constantly empty. The food was great but would not eat here again due to poor serving staff. The bus boys and host were great, but the waitresses all seemed annoyed.
We've enjoyed dinners at Mala Tang several times. A nice break from the usual restaurant, also engaging for children. Service was swift and efficient. This is another restaurant heavy on furnishings which reflect sound, so the noise level is high but not so high as to inhibit conversation.
The food was really good. I just got back from Beijing and wanted to celebrate the New Year with some Chinese food. It was a really nice fusion between Chinese hot pot with enough American-style options to please a diverse crowd. The atmosphere was really pleasant, and the staff were friendly.
no real complaints. food and service was solid - not outstanding but far from negligent. I thought the food was maybe a little overpriced. this won't be a favorite spot but i will certainly recommend for others to decide for themselves. i will likely go back, but i'm in no hurry.
This place is delicious, but seriously overpriced. Luckily, 30% off through Open Table! Times/days are really restricted (only M-Thurs, all options after 6pm were taken off on Jan 18)
Anyhow, their food here is great. The soup base is delicious, whether mala or mild. All the ingredients we get are always fresh and well-prepared: sirloin (not the red wine one--had it once, didn't think it belonged in hotpot, really), napa, spinach, enoki mushrooms, silken tofu, maybe some fish balls, and sweet potato noodles. Delicious! Also, make your own sauce :) My concoction: shacha jiang (chinese BBQ sauce), tiny bit of soy sauce, scallions, garlic, and mala powder.
All in all, great place. I'll be back!
This resturant was a new twist for us, but we had a great server (Helen) who explained all the details of dining and spices. We were planning on regular chinese food but this place top the experience we were expecting. Thanks to the friendly and prefect service we had a great time. We are putting this on our list and telling our frineds.
Thank you Helen you were great
This was my first time doing individual hotpot; I've done group hotpot many times in the past. Service seemed slow, but we had a large group. The food was spectacular with all the options available. Most of the group chose the a la carte option. We were surprised at how much food we ended up ordering because we didn't ask our server how many items we should order individually, and she didn't let us know the portions were definitely large enough to share. I would recommend going for the experience and the food.
I'm afraid the spice level isn't Chengdu. To get the real cuisine you're going to have to lay on with the condiments--especially the Szechuan pepper. The waiter was very present until the food was served--then went MIA and we eventually had to ask the bus boy for our check.
A neat concept with questionable execution. Since you cook the food yourself, it's hard to complain about the execution, but the raw meat could be better trimmed. They have 20 different sauces from which to make a concoction, but many of the jars are empty and not refilled frequently. Getting water takes several requests and you could grow old waiting for your check.
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