Mongolian Little Sheep Hot Pot – Good Food, Poor Service
I’ve been re-reading some other blog posts of Mongolian Little Sheep Hot Pot (located in Lansdowne Mall) and I was surprised that many people said that they had good service. After the experience that we had last Monday, I feel a little gypped. I might go back and try them out in the future because the food was pretty good… it’s just that the service that we received was pretty sad.
Hot Pot places can be a little daunting for newbies (or people who can’t read or speak the language). I suppose that’s why they put handy “Hot Pot 101” instruction sheets as your place setting to tell you the basics of what to expect and what to do. Unfortunately, there’s always some things that they leave out which can make things a bit frustrating… especially when the servers don’t speak English.
We’ve been to Hot Pot places before so we kind of know the drill but we still found things to be a bit confusing. During lunch, there’s 2 different menus and you can also order regular cooked food if you want more than just hot pot items.
We decided to order 2 Mini Hot Pots plus some dim sum items. I’m thinking that part of the reason for our poor service was because they didn’t have enough people working (I think I saw at most 2-3 people working that day). We waited for about 15 minutes before we could flag someone down to take our order. And when we tried to ask our waitress a question, she just looked at us in a confused stare and mumbled something in Chinese and pointed to the menu. We finally managed to place our order and then we proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait.
It wasn’t just us (small comfort)… a number of other tables around us were all waiting for about 15 minutes before anyone came back to our tables. I’m not sure what was taking so long… how long does it take to bring out raw food? When the servers finally came out, they plopped a huge bowl of broth on everyone’s table and then brought out these complimentary cold plum drinks. It’s kind of an acquired taste… you’ll probably either love it or hate it.
We saw that they had Steamed Shanghai Dumplings on their menu so we decided to try them out. The dumplings weren’t bad but I think we were just happy to get some food (any type of food) after waiting for over 1/2 an hour. They would have been better if they had more soup in the dumplings and if the dipping sauce was more vinegary.
If you read the small print on their menu, their Mini Hot Pots come with free house special original soup broth (in their regular menu, you can pick and choose your broth). The soup was pretty fragrant and had green onions, goji berries, ginger, garlic cloves, and a bunch of other nuts and twig-like ingredients that we couldn’t identify. This wonderful smelling broth was boiling away at our table for a long time before they finally brought out our food – which just made us all the more hungrier. It took so long for our food to come out that they had to refill our pot with broth since so much of it had boiled away.
Usually, the thing that really makes hot pot food taste great is the customized dipping sauce that you get. At Mongolian Little Sheep Hot Pot, they have a centralized self-serve station on one side of the restaurant. The server never mentioned it to us and the only reason that we knew it was there was because we saw some other diners gather around the station and we wondered what the whole commotion was about.
For some reason, they didn’t have a lot of ingredients to choose from… we were both hoping that they would have things like cilantro or green onions but all they had was soy sauce, satay sauce, peanut sauce, chili oil, hot sauce, and ginger. I see in some of the other blog posts (see Oishizo! and Cute Pig blogs) that there were more ingredients when they went… maybe they have more ingredients during dinner or maybe they didn’t have the time to refill the containers… not sure. Despite the missing ingredients, the sauce mixture that I made was pretty tasty.
Our hot pot dishes finally came and I have to admit that the serving sizes were very good for only $10.99 each. The Health Giving comes with fatty beef, chicken, mushrooms, cabbage and noodles.
The House Special comes with fatty beef, tofu, bean curd sheets, cabbage, and noodles. The raw food was all good quality and tasted great in the house special broth. In fact, the broth tasted pretty good just on it’s own too. I just wish the service matched the food.
After our meal, it was pretty difficult to flag a server down for our bill. We had actually ordered another dim sum dish but they forgot to key it into their system.
Food: 4 / 5
Service: 0.5 / 5
#405 – 5300 No. 3 Road