Thursday, April 29, 2010

Restaurant Experience: Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot! San Mateo, CA!

The great thing about being in California is the opportunity to get exposed to all the food culture! While on our visit to Palo Alto, Dr. Wright took us over to San Mateo for some Mongolian Hot Pot.  What is this you ask?  We will get to that but first we need an appetizer...........
...............of Kimchee. We had made this back in Cuisines of Asia, but I never really liked it. Traditionally, it is made by fermenting cabbage in clay earthen pots with assorted spiced and red chili's.  I don't know how they make it at Little Sheep, but they make it good. Slightly sweet and spicy, but not too spicy. Very Nice!
Next out came all of our order. I didn't know what was going on, I just sat there with my ever present stupid-grin on my face ready for the food excitement that was to come. Fresh bowl of cilantro, pea shoots, green leaf lettuce, baby bok choy, and Napa Cabbage.
After that, Tempura Shrimp.
Then shaved thin slices of Beef and Lamb. You can't eat at Little Sheep without getting some lamb.
Then a Hot Pot drops in and it is filled with broth (I think Vegetable but the server said Chicken?).  One side is spicy, and one side is mild. The broth has steeped ginger, garlic, scallions (G.G.S for you cooks out there) dry shitakes, and arbol chilis. From this point on, it just becomes a free for all of self-poached meats, mushrooms, herbs, greans, and tempura shirmps.
In case that wasn't enough, I went ahead and ordered the Mongolian Beef Meat Pie. I am still not for sure what was in the filling, but it tasted like fried minced beef and shrimp paste. Not for sure if I would order it again, but experiences are experiences. 
No room for dessert, but every good Hot Pot meal should end with a palate cleansing Orange. I am not for sure if this will curb the sweet tooth of us Arkansas-based Americans, so we might have to head out for a local Chinese dessert shop.  What will we find next? 

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