Chef Liu Chaosheng (of Hong Kong Palace) is launching Mala Tang, a Sichuan hot pot restaurant Monday. While the restaurant’s soft opening is on Monday, I was lucky enough to try a few of the Xiao Chi (small plates) today.
The spicy wontons (ground pork, house made soy sauce, mapo tofu) topped with ground pork, and cold spicy dried beef (with sesame seeds and ground Sichuan peppercorns) were excellent, and had the fragrant and floral spiciness associated with authentic Sichuan cuisine. I’ve had all of these dishes before, but even if I hadn’t, I’d be able to tell that they are very good and very authentic. Really, who else makes their own soy sauce and tofu?
I NEED to try the hot pot and dan dan noodles next time. The restaurant has individual burners set up, since they thought it would be more friendly to an American audience than one large hot pot per table. I’m fine either way, but I have really good memories of a long gone Queens Sichuan restaurant (Lion Pavilion) that had amazing dan dan noodles, and I’m hoping Mala Tang’s are as good. I’d settle for half as good, if I hadn’t already tried some of Mala Tang’s food. Everything I tried at Mala Tang was delicious so I have high expectations for future visits.