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Mar 19, 2011 01:43 PM

Little Q Hot Pot/Chinatown

The food may be great; but I would't know it. Ms 9 and I got there for lunch about 12:15. Quickly seated by the hostess, who retreated to her booth. 2 tables occupied. We were in a window seat in the bar and had the pleasure of watching the bartender open a bottle of wine and the hostess read a newspaper. This went on for 20 mins; by which time we got up and walked out.

So no little Q for us.

Maybe I need to see Scotty the shrink..:) I have a 30+ bias against hot pot. In my teens, a few friends went to 1 of these places in NYC. It was a new concept to the US..and only chopsticks were offered. ! friend who'd just been to Japan managed to eat all the good stuff with his chopsticks before we were able to obtain forks. I think I got a few vegetables. All wasn't lost because we continued to CTown and ended up at Ratners...but my luck with hot pots continues to be subpar.

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  1. Have you tried the Arlington branch? I agree that there's something collegestudent-like about dropping bits of food in a communal pot, then reaching over (half-standing if you're short) and fishing around with your chopsticks to find it, fending off your companions as you do so ("hey, that was my shrimp -- yours is at the bottom somewhere under her tofu"). But the food's good enough to make it worthwhile.

    4 Replies
    1. re: FoodDabbler

      I haven't but the reviews sound good. I'm now chopstick capable but the CTown branch is far mor easy to get to.

      I'll give them another shot. Seems like they are busy at night. This was just a bizarre experience, 2 staff, and a 1/3 waiting on a table..and no one acknowledged us after the initial greeting.

      I'm not shy and would have spoken up, but a beer at Jacob Wirth's was starting to feel like a better idea..:)

      Jacob Wirth Restaurant
      31 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116

      1. re: 9lives

        Funny, I've also had to struggle to get any attention from servers in the chinatown Q bar area.

        1. re: 9lives

          Such is the strength of the ma-la broth that if you drop your chopsticks into it, you can simply eat them minutes later as al dente noodles.

          1. re: FoodDabbler

            Ha! That's great.

            That's what I was planning on ordering and hoping for...:)

      2. The staff at the Arlington branch is extremely friendly, and speaks good English. Haven't tried the Chinatown branch.

        Having said that, I'm very tempted to buy my own little tabletop stove and do hotpot at home. It's so much more economical and no one will laugh at me when I drop food all over the place.

        1. That shocks me.

          I have only had totally opposite experiences there, in Chinatown. Its a beautiful space with great food and service.

          If anything, i have found the service to be a bit overbearing , if well-intentioned. They could not be more accommodating, though. Once you figure out the hovering service, it's easy to see that they are just super accommodating and you can use them to your needs. I love that.

          We LOVE the place. For all the right reasons: excellent food, service, and accomodations

          I would absolutely suggest giving The Q another chance. They have
          It in them to be great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: C. Hamster

            Ham,and others, no one was more shocked than us. All the good reviews abd the the hope of mala broth..not to be.

            I live very nearby and we'll go back soon and I hope my review is much better.If you read the extensive reviews of places I'be been, I think you'll find very fewnegs. I just don'y enjoy writing them; but to be ignored for 20 mins..isn't accepatable.

          2. Had the mala broth at both branches. The one in arlington seemed to be a bit weaker in intensity but worse was the fact that the waitstaff was overly eager to push us out during dinner service.

            1. Another Mala broth here. Food was delicious, but the service was atrocious the 1 time i went. I was also seated in the bar area. I wanted to get more food, but the service was just so bad I had to go to the bar and ask for the check.

              To be fair, I went opening weekend so I am definitely going to give them another chance very soon.

              3 Replies
              1. re: hynespb

                We only eat in the bar area and have always been hovered around by the waitstaff. Once or twice the apps have come out slowly but that's the worst. So far, at least.

                We liked the mala broth at the old Quincy location better. We sense a slightly different formula which went very heavy with the camphor berries.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Ham and others,Please don't get me wrong. Enough posters whose opininins I respect like the place. .including you and others .The service glitch was not so egregious that they do deserve another try.and will get it.

                  I'm hoping to go back soon, enjoy that mala broth. and post about it here.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    I totally understandd

                    I'll make sure to pay attention to the server situation next time I go.