Mala Tang

4.5
444 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Asian
Top tags:
  • Authentic
  • Spicy
  • Group Bookings
The inspiration behind Mala Tang is Sichuan Master Chef Liu Chaosheng’s hometown 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
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Asian, Chinese, Shabu-shabu
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of Operation
LUNCH Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm; DINNER: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm (Last seating is 30 minutes prior to closing)
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(703) 243-2381
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment Options:
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress Code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive Chef
Liu Chaosheng
icon/ic_cateringCreated with Sketch.
Catering
On site and off site Catering is available.
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking Details
Mala Tang offers two hours of complimentary parking for all reservations and walk-in guests dining in the main dining room (hot pot menu). 15 minutes free parking for carryout. Parking is available in designated retail spaces in the garage.

Garage parking is available on the P1 level in spots designated as Retail. If Retail parking lot is full, please leave your keys with a Parking Attendant.
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public Transit
From Virginia Square Metro - turn left at N Monroe Street than turn right on Washington Blvd.
icon/ic_special_eventsCreated with Sketch.
Special Events & Promotions
Special Events menus are available in house.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining , Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 444 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.2
Service
4.1
Ambience
4.0
Value
Noise · Moderate
67% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Loved For
Sort by
Newest
Filters
P
4.0
Dined on 24 June 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
j
2.0
Dined on 18 June 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
AG
5.0
Dined on 14 June 2018

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

Report
Helpful
EG
5.0
Dined on 20 May 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
FO
3.0
Dined on 13 May 2018

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 .

Report
Helpful
MT
5.0
Dined on 29 April 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
CL
5.0
Dined on 12 April 2018

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

Report
Helpful
CF
3.0
Dined on 7 April 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
L
4.0
Dined on 9 March 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
V
5.0
Dined on 8 March 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
t
3.0
Dined on 4 March 2018

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

Report
Helpful
B
5.0
Dined on 24 February 2018

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!

Report
Helpful
t
5.0
Dined on 9 February 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
JP
5.0
Dined on 7 February 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
D
5.0
Dined on 5 February 2018

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

Report
Helpful
BB
5.0
Dined on 25 January 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
D
5.0
Dined on 19 January 2018

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!

Report
Helpful
F
4.0
Dined on 6 January 2018

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.

Report
Helpful
S
5.0
Dined on 31 December 2017

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.

Report
Helpful
JA
4.0
Dined on 30 December 2017

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
4.0
Dined on 25 December 2017

Food was great and authentic

Report
Helpful
t
4.0
Dined on 25 December 2017

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.

Report
Helpful
P
3.0
Dined on 25 December 2017

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.

Report
Helpful
w
5.0
Dined on 15 December 2017

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
3.0
Dined on 12 December 2017

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0
Dined on 2 December 2017

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

Report
Helpful
J
4.0
Dined on 1 December 2017

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

Report
Helpful
EP
4.0
Dined on 10 November 2017

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

Report
Helpful
P
3.0
Dined on 3 November 2017

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

Report
Helpful
RM
5.0
Dined on 27 October 2017

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.

Report
Helpful
CV
3.0
Dined on 21 October 2017

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.

Report
Helpful
JH
3.0
Dined on 26 September 2017

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

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0
Dined on 2 September 2017

Amazing food, service, and ambiance! Lit

Report
Helpful
OT
3.0
Dined on 20 August 2017

Waited more than an hour for our food, which was not flavored enough when it finally served...felt people forgot our order and made it the last minute...horrible experience.

Report
Helpful
n
4.0
Dined on 20 August 2017

The food was good, but service was terrible. We had a hard time getting anyone's attention, and the server who took our order was in such a hurry that he even rushed us to finish ordering. The women's bathroom was nasty and it ran out of toilet paper too.

Report
Helpful
V
4.0
Dined on 1 August 2017

This was the second time at Mala Tangs since we got to understand the concept of the dry or hot pot and most importantly the mild vs. the mala! There is a huge spice difference between the two. If you are in to spice,and I mean HOTTTT choose the mala. If you are in for some spice but tamed down extraordinarily , go mild. I went Mala dry pot my first go round and could not finish the meal. This time I went mild and was good with the spices. I must be a light weight in spice area. The others in my group went Hot pot and they seemed content with the meal for they finished it all!. Mala Tang is a fun experience and worth a try. It is all the buzz and then some. Go for it, it does not disappoint .

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0
Dined on 25 July 2017

As always, the food was outstanding. Our server was great. She was friendly and had a great sense of humor. We look forward to the next visit!

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0
Dined on 22 July 2017

Great spot! The staff was really nice and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere!

Report
Helpful
t
5.0
Dined on 20 July 2017

Mala Tang is not your usual neighborhood Chinese Restaurants. Yes, they do have all your Americanized favorites, but their specialties are the hot pots and dry pots. If you order the hot pot, you select your proteins and vegetables and cook them at the table. We chose the dry pot, where you select your proteins and vegetables and optional starches, and they are presented in a huge rectangular bowl with flaming burners underneath. It can be ordered in varying degrees of spice, or no spice. It is just wonderful. Plenty of good food, prepared and presented beautifully.

The servers are able to describe each choice knowledgeably, and are very pleasant. A fun time. (We took half of our dinner home, and I'm a big eater!)

Report
Helpful
n
4.0
Dined on 9 July 2017

Had the shared combo hot pot. everything in the broth was on a stick, which was different, but with two people it was kind of equitable (I know sounds strange). The broth was wonderful and the melon, lotus root, quail eggs, shrimp and beef were good too. We asked for mild and it was just right. Bubble tea is always fun and the potstickers were a good accompaniment.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
12