Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot and Grill
215 South Ellsworth Ave (3rd ave)
San Mateo, CA 94401
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot is a hot pot restaurant in downtown San Mateo, right across from Walgreen’s. Their soup base options have recently become more acceptable for mainstream Americans. This company has a couple locations in the USA and many more in Asia. Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell) actually owns this company.
Chinese hot pot is a fun meal where a pot of boiling broth at your table is used to cook meats, vegetables, and seafood. Cooking involves dipping the food in the boiling broth for 30 seconds to a couple minutes. They also have some pre-cooked BBQ and Rice, Dumpling, Pancake items on the menu. Our last visit was in 2014 for dinner. See how hot pot is done in Beijing Nam Men Hot Pot
Decor, Vibe – Mongolian Hot Pot has clean modern decor, surprising for a place like this. Bar area up front. Not like most Chinese restaurant, with clean bathrooms. This place gets crowded at night. Its popular has grown over the years. Thankfully, most folks take about an hour to fill themselves up.
Mongolian Hot Pot Menu
Mongolian Hot Pot Menu
Mongolian Hot Pot has added a Vegetarian soup base, Herbal Pot shop, Miso soup, and Pork Rib pot on our last visit. All cost $3.75 for three persons. These bases make their hot pot a lot more mainstream. Minimum Charge: Lunch $9.99, Dinner $16.95 per person.
Take care when you order, it is easy to order too much. You can always add to your order! Luckily you can cook all those extra items and take them home. The hardcore, like us, ask for plastic containers to take the leftover broth home. It is great for cooking noodles!
Mongolian Hot Pot Picks:
Half Spicy Broth/Half Normal
Mongolian Mini Hot Pot Combo ($9.95 Lunch) – We selected Half Original /Half Spicy broth, Lamb and Beef, Veggies. It was fun to cook our items. The soup base had a little more Chinese herbs than most may be used to, but was fine for us. You might be better off at Shabuway if you cannot handle this. Quality of the meats was average, nothing gourmet here.
Pork Rib Pot Soup Base ($3.75 per person) was a welcome addition to the menu. Little Sheep’s original soup base is pretty medicinal, while this one is a lot more mainstream with its strong port flavor. As a bonus you can meet the tender rib pork meat at the end of your meal. Almost no one orders the mushroom broth.
American Style Kobe Beef ($13.95) was much better than the normal beef, but still not as good as Shabuway’s. Quantity was not very liberal and each slice was tiny.
Supreme Lamb Leg Slice ($6.95) is a better bet than most other lamb option. Quantity is high and gaminess not too apparent.
Supreme lamb shoulder slice ($6.95) is also good for the price.
New Zealand Spring Lamb ($8.95) was added in 2013. It is also reasonable choice, but frankly the cheaper Supreme Lamb Leg Slice is a better value.
Assorted Mushroom platter ($10.95) is a must for any mushroom fan. Several different types.
House made lamb meat ball ($6.95) takes a while to cook but are a solid bet.
Assorted Vegetable Platter ($8.95) was filled with several different greens. A nice mixture to balance out the meats.
Ton Ho vegetable ($3.95) are relative of the spinach and broccoli family. You get a huge bundle of these greens which just take a couple minutes to blanch. Spinach ($3.95) is pretty much what you expect.
Winter melon slices ($3.95) took a while to cook but proved to be a nice addition to our pork broth.
Fresh tofu ($2.95) had a good-sized selection of jiggly white tofu.
House special wide noodles ($4.95) with a bowl full of wide glass noodles cooked up in 30 seconds or so. Thick Noodle ($4.95) looks like a thinner egg noodle. Cook the noodles last, so they can absorb all the flavor imparted into the broth.
Red Bean Paste Yam Cake ($3.95) had 2 soft and hot yam cakes filled with very sweet red bean paste. An acquired taste, but hot and delicious.
Sesame Balls w/ red bean paste ($3.95) had 3 large balls, fresh and HOT out of the fryer. Better than most dim sum restaurants.
Mongolian Lamb Skewers ($6.95) had 4 meaty skewers of lamb. Good quality, a little gamey, lots of spices on top made for a pretty spicy skewer.
Supreme beef slice ($7.95) was a pretty average selection of meat with no special flavor.
Prime Rib Beef ($10.95) was a fair beef choice with lots of fat. Slices are a lot bigger than the Kobe. The flavors were lacking though.
Mojito ($9) was on the weak side, more like a slush than a cocktail.