Mala Tang

4.7
452 reviews
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$30 and under
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Asian
Top tags:
  • Group Bookings
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Casual
The inspiration behind Mala Tang is the street food of Chengdu.. Here you'll find the streets filled with diners sitting at tables gathering around bubbling hot pots, in which dozens of dried chilies bob up and down in an oily red broth.

The hot pot itself is a pan that sits on a portable burner, surrounded by an array of small plates piled high with fresh ingredients. Guests select pieces of food and drop them into the broth to cook, and then dip them into delicious sauces.

For the main hot pot course, Mala Tang serves a variety of proteins including chicken, lamb, all-natural beef, and fresh seafood; starches such as sweet potato noodles, and a plethora of vegetables ranging from bok choy to lotus roots. Those who are "afraid of the chili heat," as the Chengdu locals jokingly warn incoming travelers, can tone down the mala flavor with a mild version of the cooking broth.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Asian, Chinese, Shabu-shabu
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Hours of Operation
Lunch
Mon–Fri 11:30 am–4:00 pm
Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–4:00 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–9:00 pm
Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–12:00 am
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Phone number
(703) 243-2381
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Payment Options:
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Executive Chef
Chef Jin
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Catering
On site and off site Catering is available.
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Parking Details
COMPLIMENTARY PARKING (MONDAY-FRIDAY AFTER 5PM & WEEKENDS) at American Legion Parking Lot across the street.DAYTIME VALIDATED PARKING 2 HOURS MAX. (MONDAY-FRIDAY 11:30AM-4:30PM ONLY) at the Garage Adjacent to Mala Tang.
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Public Transit
From Virginia Square Metro - turn left at N Monroe Street than turn right on Washington Blvd.
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Special Events & Promotions
Special Events menus are available in house.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining , Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 452 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
Food
4.2
Service
4.1
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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3
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1
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OT
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

Zhong dumplings and dry pot were amazing!

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OT
1 review
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I’m quite impressed overall. I went here with my friends and it’s all our first time. We will be back with our respective families. We will be back very soon.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 12 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Good service and food was very tasty. Noise level was quiet so it was great for a business lunch.

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MY
5 reviews
Dined on 3 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Mala Tang has been one of my favorite Chinese in the DMV area!

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T
26 reviews
Dined on 14 October 2018
Overall 3Food 5Service 1Ambience 4

Decided to try something different while visiting daughter in DC area. Went on a Sunday night, place was packed, had to wait about 20 minutes for our reservation. There were a lot of Asians in the restaurant- good sign. Sadly, the restaurant was grossly understaffed and service was abysmal. We had never experienced the hot pot style of cooking. No one asked if it was our “first time”. We did our best to order. Food came out, there was no explanation of how to proceed. We placed the meat, noodles, and vegetables in the pot. There was a sauce bar in the middle of the dining area that no one told us about. We watched as other patrons helped themselves to the sauces and did the same. Food was delicious but challenging to maneuver the cooking with minimal utensils and no instruction. The broth was boiling, the flame under the pot was huge. My napkin caught on fire, the broth splattered all over my shirt, and, still, no offer of assistance whatsoever. I threw my flaming napkin on the floor and stomped on it to put the fire out. Not one employee came by to ask if we were ok, or to offer assistance. I don’t think we’ll go back there due to the lack of service. It’s too bad because the place is cute and the food was pleasant. The experience was awful. I can not recommend.

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JL
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 2Ambience 4

Food was amazing and my 6 year old loved cooking her own food! The hot pots made for a fun activity. We liked the hot pot more than the dry pot and sharing one hot pot was plenty for us. Very large main servings!

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OT
2 reviews
Dined on 1 September 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Love this place! Hot pot is such a fun group activity. The broth here is so flavorful, the foods are fresh and delicious (the flounder is AMAZING) and the sauce bar makes it easy to create your own flavors. Awesome place for a group of family or friends.

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P
1 review
Dined on 24 June 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

As a foodie, I recommend this place simply due to its authentic Chinese cooking and the convenience location. The grill fish with pickle flavor tastes good, but it would've been better if the restaurant uses live fish. The hot pot is popular in this place, and the ingredients are creative (e.g. beef with milk or wine). I tried some authentic chinese dishes in this restaurant and they were quite tasty comparing to the other SiChuan restaurants in DMV area. Though the cost is a bit higher than the average, I will come back.

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j
8 reviews
Dined on 18 June 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 2

so-so food, relatively high prices. The decor is functional, the wait staff okay, but overall, you can get better Chinese food elsewhere at more reasonable prices.

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AG
5 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Had a great dining experience, would definitely go back for the Hot Pot

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EG
1 review
Dined on 20 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Perfect place for our family graduation celebration. Our waitress explained everything for the hot pot and made some good suggestions, like the cucumber salad. We had a fabulous experience.

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FO
14 reviews
Dined on 13 May 2018
Overall 3Food 2Service 2Ambience 2

This Chinese food is boiled (chicken/fish/meat/vegetables) in a broth that the customer helps by inserting food into the broth at the table but not much flavor for me. Also there is a cart full of spices, herbs, sauces etc...Mala Tang sichuan | hot pot is not for me .

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MT
1 review
Dined on 29 April 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Food was outstanding! Staff was very nice and responsive. The only negative I had was that their wifi was down so I couldn't pay by credit card. I don't believe that is a regular occurrence.

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CL
1 review
Dined on 12 April 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

Cooking on the hot pot made it an experience instead of just a meal.

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CF
7 reviews
Dined on 7 April 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

I had a solidly average experience at this restaurant. They were pretty busy and we arrived early for our reservation, the hostess the proceeded to seat several groups ahead of us and at least 2 didn't seem to have a reservation. She seemed annoyed that I inquired whether we could be seated earlier than our scheduled reservation. We were finally seated in the back of the restaurant. The waitress was sweet but overwhelmed and messed up our order. I enjoyed the dumplings and the fish, everything else, including our hot pot was serviceable.

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OT
2 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Definitely a great spot.

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J
147 reviews
Dined on 9 March 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

We were in Arlington (live in MD) and decided to try find a new restaurant. In our opinion, Mala-Tang is the first, we believe, authentic Szechuan restaurant we have dined in! After pursuing the menu and deciphering the choices, we chose the Dan-Dan noodles with finely chopped steak and a spicy pepper oil and seasoning sauce and a Dry Hot Pot for lunch. The noodles were delicious! I was tempted to order more for takeout. Real comfort food with a kick. The waitress was very kind and patient in helping us order. She was attentive without hovering.

The Dry Hot Pot gave choices for protein, vegetable, starch and “other protein” - which were items I never saw on a menu. We selected chicken, broccoli, mini-dumplings filled with a meat mixture and a nugget that was referred to as tempura. It was good. I think it was a lightly fried very dry tofu. I didn’t have a chance to ask. The sauce was spicy with different spices. Cumin was predominate. The chicken was tender, moist and tasty with a spicy sauce.

We would highly recommend Mala-Tang to all of our friends who are adventurous and enjoy trying new cuisine and enjoy spicy food.

We will definitely go back again and try something else. It was a fun dining experience with plenty of hot, spicy and good, fresh ingredients.

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V
9 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was amazing!! Our server was very sweet and polite. We would definitely go back again to
Try different dishes. Pot dishes are pretty different.

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t
1 review
Dined on 4 March 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

Food was great , just don’t order the shrimp balls or lobster balls ,I would stick to meat or fresh seafood :)

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B
4 reviews
Dined on 24 February 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Took the teens there for dinner - fascinating menu, able to stick to paleo/GF diet easily! Excellent service - our waiter was fast and explained the menu perfectly to we newbies. Love the sauce/pickle bar!

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t
22 reviews
Dined on 9 February 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Good value for food. If you like spicy food, this is the place to go. Hot pots are individual, not shared so your friends can opt for a non spicy broth. Tso’s dumplings are very good. The grilled whole fish is a good sized portion, but it was so good my friend practically ate the whole dish by himself.

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JP
1 review
Dined on 7 February 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

This was our second time to Mala Tang. My son who studies in DC requested to go back when I was visiting him. Love the hot pot. Great choice of meat, seafood, and veggies. I love the spicy chicken broth, and others liked the mild veggie broth. They were also able to accommodate a person in our group who had food allergies. Great for groups, pairs, or singletons. They also have other amazing looking apps and entrees. Definitely will be back again.

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D
81 reviews
Dined on 5 February 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent service, delicious foods, and large selections of entrees and hot pots! Will return!

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BB
2 reviews
Dined on 25 January 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food and great service. Food comes out fast because you get to cook it yourself in the hot pot! The sauce bar is a nice touch. Its almost a blend between Pho and Fondue! Great beverage selection as well.

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D
2 reviews
Dined on 19 January 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food, great service. I've had a lot of hot pot, both in China and outside China. This is one of the better ones. The food is about the same as Uncle Liu's -- certainly not worse - but the decor and ambiance is way better. It's probably a little pricier for that reason, as well as for the location. Conversation is easy: tables are not packed closely together, the walls and floors absorb sound, and the background music is tasteful jazz at a low volume -- perhaps it's not authentic in that way!

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F
13 reviews
Dined on 6 January 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Portions have gotten larger - if you are not huge meat eater, order a combination plate with your spouse/friend to share and order additional veggies.

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S
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had a delicious hot pot meal and drinks. The service was super nice and quick, despite it being the beginning of the New Year's Eve madness. I would happily go back here.

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JA
4 reviews
Dined on 30 December 2017
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

The Food was very fresh but it was a bit pricey per person. There was a minimum of 3 items to get the hot pot but after eating 3 items it was more than enough food. Cost seemed high for this style/prep food approach.
The Milk Tea was excellent.

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OT
3 reviews
Dined on 25 December 2017
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Food was great and authentic

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t
22 reviews
Dined on 25 December 2017
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Hot pot is very good, two types of soups - many meat choices as well as pescatarian. Also possible to order vegetarian dishes. Great if you need a spicy food fix. Their dumplings are very good. The fried whole fish dish seemed to be popular. We will try this next time. Good seating options for large groups as well. Service is prompt.

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P
67 reviews
Dined on 25 December 2017
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

Only one major problem: we reserved through open table for an 11:30 am seating; but the restaurant doesn't open until noon on weekends and holidays.

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w
99 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always a great time & good food at Mala Tang! Fun with a group. I always get the same thing, but tried the veggie mild hot pot tonight & it wasn't as flavorful as the mala.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 12 December 2017
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 2

service was good. but value has dropped. we were a group of 8 and the tables seemed smaller than before. we were a very tight fit with everyone going for hot pots . validated parking is no longer in the building but there is free resturant parking across the street.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 2 December 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always delicious! This is one of our favorites! A great place to bring friends. It is always a hit

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J
1 review
Dined on 1 December 2017
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Fresh veggies and meats cooked at the table by diners in their individual hot pots and broth. Yummy!

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EP
22 reviews
Dined on 10 November 2017
Overall 4Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

The waiter didn't know a lot about the menu which was frustrating since this was out first time there.

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P
61 reviews
Dined on 3 November 2017
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

Lamb was dry, C+. Fried string beans were A+++. Mahbo tofu was A. Service was indifferent, bordering on rude

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RM
8 reviews
Dined on 27 October 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I like that Mala Tang can accommodate large groups. Although we started out as a big group, they were able to scale down on short notice without a problem. There was something for everyone to enjoy and it was great that we were seated at a round table so we could all talk to each other. The service was excellent and our final bill was unbelievably reasonable, even with drinks! We'll be back.

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CV
39 reviews
Dined on 21 October 2017
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 2

Food was OK, but not great. They seem to specialize on the hot pot. Everything else we got was good, but very greasy like it sat around too long.

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JH
4 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2017
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

The food was very tasty, but the hot pot set up was a little underwhelming. And the service was okay, but not great.

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