At the end of August, the ChineseBites.com review group met up in Burnaby near Metrotown for a variable feast at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot Restaurant. With over 300+ branches worldwide, this hot pot chain is the largest in the world and takes great pride in their commitment to fresh, traditional ingredients.
Before we started in on the actual hot pot experience, we were served a couple appetizers to whet our collective palate. Although I enjoyed the Chinese donut and sesame bun, I would not recommend partaking in too many heavy carbs before the actual meal begins. That said, the doughy appies did go well with the lamb and beef skewers that were served right after. A few of my dinner companions saved their rolls to dunk into the soup bases later on which was quite ingenious.
Getting into the main meal, we had two large pots going to serve our dinner party of 10. Each pot was split in half to accommodate a spicy soup base and a mild yet fragrant house special variant. If you have never had hot pot before, definitely sample the soup bases to see which you like better before dumping in your choice selections. Personally, I spent most of the evening digging food out of the spicy half of the pot but the other side was quite pleasing as well. A separate push cart in the centre of the main dining room allowed us to pick and choose a custom assortment of sauce which was very convenient.
As the various platters starting arriving, it was quite plain to see that the quality of the ingredients was quite high. Inspecting a few of the fish balls before they were cooked, I found the raw meat to be very clean and pure. My favourite plate of the evening was definitely the seafood platter consisting of large prawns, scallops etc. The endless plates of perfectly sliced lamb and beef cuts cooked easily and were consumed in record time.
To help cut the copious amounts of heavy meats and seafood were baskets of fresh green veggies, different types of mushrooms, plates of tofu etc. I definitely do recommend you try to balance your meal out as consuming purely meat for two hours is probably not the healthiest decision when it comes to hot pot. Alternating between seafood, meats, greens and dumplings etc. is the ideal way to enjoy a long but engaging meal.
To wrap up, hot pot gatherings are always the most enjoyable when spent in good company. The very nature of the meal promotes socialization as friends and family alike help cook and serve food to others. At Little Sheep, a lot of care and attention is put into the quality and freshness of the respective ingredients and it really does show. With vibrant, tasty soup bases and an enormous selection of ingredients to choose from, I am confident that hungry patrons will leave warm, full and most importantly content.
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot
#200 – 4755 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC