Little Lamb Mongolian Hot Pot (Beacon Hill) now open
- Prav May 3, 2013 08:47 AM
I plan to try it tomorrow night. Review to come.
Anyone tried it yet?
Went last week. I had the hometown vegetarian pie and the Mongolian lamb pie (they said they were out of mutton, but had lamb, even though lamb wasn't an option on the menu). Only had time for a take-out snack that day. The vegetarian pie was similar to what you can get at other Chinese restaurants, and the skin was a little tough (maybe it was a bit old? I went at the end of lunch hour). Vegetable and bean noodle filling was tasty, but a familiar flavor (and probably MSG laden). The lamb pie was very oily, but tasted great -- very flavorful (probably because the lamb was so fatty). Some mild spices to complement the lamb, but the main flavor was lamb itself. I would probably get the lamb pie again, just because it's nice to have lamb options every now and then. Probably wouldn't have it every week, though, because it was pretty oily.
Looking forward to trying the actual hot pot and bbq offerings.
I went last night. I had the same exact feeling about the lamb meat pie - oily, fatty, mildly seasoned, but delicious. But good god, that thing is drowning in oil.
The dumplings are also excellent - clearly handmade, I think they might be my new favorites.
On to the hotpot - we got a split broth of "Mongolian" and "Mongolian Spicy". The Mongolian looked like murky water with some random gingko nuts and other odds and ends floating in it. It pretty much had no discernible flavor until toward the end of the meal when it had boiled down.
The Mongolian Spicy looked hard core, angry red with chilis and peppercorns, however it lacked ANY sort of punch. I was expecting (and hoping) for something similar to the Sichuan Spicy broth at Kaze, which is no joke. This stuff was barely piquant. Each broth is SEVEN bucks.
In terms of raw ingredients, you order a la carte, with dimsum/sushi-style checkbox with half-pencil.
Everything besides the vegetables comes frozen, which I know is probably the reality everywhere, but sort of makes everything cheap. "Thick slice lamb" is mostly fat, yet does not even taste particularly lamby (nor is particularly thick) ($12). The pork, on the other hand, could have been served as chicken, as it was so lean, pale, and flavorless. "Arctic clam" was a saucer of frozen clam pieces, no shells ($8).
Vegetable assortment was weak compared to Kaze.
Then they have this self-serve "sauce bar" which was left unattended to largely for the night, so there were some sad looking containers of nearly-depleted satay, garlic paste, "chili rings" (sliced up green/red chilis), vinegar, soy, and some other odds and ends including a gray-colored "Dipping Sauce". Sadly, the language was barrier was so severe that I didn't try it out of fear that it may contain sesame seeds (allergy). And, they have the nerve to charge you for all of this. Why they couldn't just bring a simple tray of crushed garlic, satay, and scallions, like everywhere else, I do not know.
Anyway, considering the weak broths, the expensive a-la-carte pricing structure, the lack of usable shabu-shabu untensils (we could have used one of those prison baskets!), and the nerve to charge to use a neglected sauce bar, I recommend NOT going for the shabu shabu.
Instead, go here for the wonderfully hand-made dumplings, whose skins are delicate and thin, and have a spot of blush on each side where they were pan fried; the unctuous (but satisfying) lamb meat pie; and the dense fried dinner rolls with a gravy boat of condensed milk that we had for dessert.
Sadly, this is sort of a difficult location, and I don't know how well it will do. I almost feel like they should focus on those pastries more, as a quick service joint to serve MGH and other foot traffic, as it is literally across the street from the ED entrance.
Though you were disappointed in that broth, I think I'd like to change my screen name to "rojo furioso".
I actually peeked in yesterday, but was REALLY short on time, so the quick service comment struck a chord with me. But, hey, people go to HarGar and the Hill for lunch... Still, I would like to know how they picked that location. Great rent after being vacant for so long?
The other day, I was craving those dumplings and meat pie, so I called ahead for a pick-up order. They told me "20-25 minutes" (which sounds like a lot, but hey, maybe they were busy).
I came 30 minutes after the call, and ended up waiting 15 more minutes. There was only one table occupied at the restaurant.
Meanwhile, the waitresses giggled and chatted and did their own thing while I stood around awkwardly.
45 minutes for an order of dumplings and meat pie. No acknowledgement or a simple 'sorry you had to wait so long'. I feel like this type of service experience won't go well with the Beacon Hill crowd...
My son and I have lunch together in Boston or Cambridge once a month or so, and Saturday we tried Little Lamb. As others have mentioned (ranted) the kitchen is really slow. We had a pleasant waitress, and we as first timers we bumbled through the menu with varied amounts of success. We had the mongolian spicy broth, and it was pretty tasty...we had sweet potato, baby bok choy and watercress for vegetables, the beef/lamb combo for meat, a meat pie and scallion pancakes for sides. Scallion pancakes were good, meat pie nothing to write home about. Wouldn't order it again. Veggies came right out, meat took over 20 minutes, and the apps came last. However, the dipping sauces were good: got the hot oil and the ginger soy, and we really enjoyed the meal. It was pricey...$50 for lunch for two. After reading the other comments I might try a different hot pot spot.
That seems pricey, especially with very slow service. Q Restaurant in Chinatown does a great lunch hot pot for $8-$10: a big plate of vegetables, and rice or noodles, and meat or seafood, and basic broth, with several broth upgrade options for $3 (mala broths a bit more expensive). Very good and a bargain, plus it's a pretty sleek space. It doesn't take forever, either.
I think it's in contention for best hotpot option going, including Little Q, There. I said it.
Love the dipping-sauce "bar." The chive-flower sauce is beautiful. They charge you a $1.50 fee for, what, 20 options (as opposed to the standard shabu-style four), and that is a rip-off? Bright green chive-flower sauce!
I thought that the broths were complex and interesting. (The mushroom broth may be my favorite of the two times I've been, but the Mongolian Spicy was also good.) The veggies are beautifully presented, esp the napa and spinach. The second time around, I tried the Mongolian BBQ lamb ribs. Dusted hard with cumin, they come out still on the dramatically curved bones; the server carves the fatty meat off them at the table, leaving a couple of still-meaty bones to gnaw on. A little pricy, but terrific, and not what you can find elsewhere around town.
Had no problem with slow service.
I will respectfully disagree that paper-thin slices of meat need to come to room temperature before cooking.
Will emphatically agree that this is a horrendous place to park. In the end, we rolled a Whole Foods visit into the meal, and so cheated the parking, walking the 2 1/2 blocks each way.