As many of you probably already know, my husband and I recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and are currently staying in a temporary housing situation until we can find a more permanent home. While it’s going to suck to have to move for a third time in the matter of only a few months, we feel really thankful and fortunate to have the ability to take our time to find “the right” place to call home.
We took full advantage of this weekend and began our expedition to find our home in the Bay Area. We kicked it off by exploring many of the cities in what are called the South Bay and the Peninsula. We had a lot of fun driving through the neighborhoods and the downtown areas of the various cities. But, the highlight was without a doubt our lunch pit-stop in San Mateo at this marvelous hot pot restaurant called, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot.
I had tried hot pot before over at a friend’s house many many years ago, but never out at a restaurant. So, my husband and I were kind of hot pot virgins, if you will. We weren’t really sure of what to order. Thankfully, the menu included a hot pot 101 and our server was very kind and patient in answering all of our questions and helping us decide on what to order.
The ordering style was a la carte. We chose the type of broth we wanted and opted for their house original broth. Then, we picked out various kinds of meats, veggies, and noodles to add to our hot pot. Here’s where we had to be careful because it can be very easy to over-order (and rack up your bill). There wasn’t any sort of package deal. Every single item you order comes with a cost, including the broth.
The portions were very generous! One order of a meat dish was a gigantic platter of thinly sliced raw meat that quickly cooked up in our large bowl of boiling, salty, delicious broth filled with all sorts of herbs and spices, most of which I had no idea what they were. We opted for two lean meat options, the chicken breast and the lean beef. They were both really tasty.
The veggies were also plentiful. With the help of the waiter, we ended up ordering the assorted vegetables. Best recommendation ever! It was excellent! It was a mountain of various leafy greens, including baby bok choy, napa cabbage, green leaf lettuce, and tang ho. It was incredible how naturally flavorful these greens were, especially when paired with the delicious yet mysterious broth.
Additionally, we ordered some enoki mushrooms, which I loved. (Not to mention, they are frickin’ adorable!)
Another highlight were the “thick noodles”. Again, another item we ordered thanks to the help of our waiter. We debated between those and the udon noodles. We almost went with the udon noodles because we actually knew what they were, but I’m so glad we went with the “thick noodles”! They were excellent. According to the waiter, they are a wheat-based noodle.
The two criticisms I have of the restaurant, however, are: 1) The service tapered off once our food was served. We literally never saw our waiter again. When we were finished with our meal, we waited around for a while and eventually had to flag down a waiter (different from ours) to bring us a to-go box and to bring us the check. 2) It would have been nice if they would have offered a package deal of some sort. For instance, the option to order a broth, a meat, a veggie, and a noodle for a single (discounted) price. That sort of thing – instead of offering every single little item as a la carte with a la carte pricing.
Overall, though, it was a great experience and I already can’t wait to go back again. Even if we don’t end up living in San Mateo, I have a feeling we’ll frequently make the trek out there for this amazing hot pot. Plus, as an added bonus and even more incentive to re-visit, the restaurant is located right in this cute little downtown area with lots of shops to explore.
If you don’t live in the Bay Area, there might still be a location near you! According to the restaurant’s website, it also has locations in Texas, Washington, New York, Southern California, and Canada. I think it’s definitely worth checking out if you can!
*Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this meal or review. The opinions shared here are 100% my own.
Thanks to Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting this Marvelous In My Monday!