Sunday 14 March 2010

Little Lamb Hot Pot

I'm getting a little bored with writing so I'm going to keep it brief and rely on pictures to describe dinner at Little Lamb on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Little Lamb is a specialist hot pot restaurant but if you're looking for the Lancashire variety then you'll be disappointed. By hot pot, I mean what the Cantonese call ‘daa bin lou’, Mandarin speakers call ‘huo guo’, and what the Japanese know as ‘shabu-shabu’. It's also commonly known as 'steamboat'.

The hot pot here is the common or garden Chinese variety. This is despite Little Lamb's misleading claim that it's a Mongolian & Chinese restaurant. No matter what you call it and what style you go for, hot pot makes for a fun and filling meal. 

Ordering is simple here as you use a tick sheet akin to those found in dim sum restaurants. You can go a la carte but I recommend going for the £20/head set meal (min. 2 persons), where you choose a soup base and five dishes per person. Between the two of us, we saved around a tenner ordering this way.

For the soup base, we went 'yin-yang' with a nourishing herbal tonic and a special spicy soup, into which the assorted meat, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms and noodles are cooked. The faint hearted should beware of the Sichuan-style spicy soup.

The above photos show off the beef, crab, prawns and Fuzhou-style fishballs. Apologies for the lack of photos of the other dishes but my attention drifted towards cooking and eating. In fact, the food was so good that I nearly forgot to take a photo of the noodles. Mind you, there wasn't much of the fensi or mung bean vermicelli left by the time I remembered.

I'd forgotten how much fun, hot pot is and if you don't mind cooking your own dinner then I strongly recommend Little Lamb. I'm also glad that my dining companion, Bellaphon enjoyed it. You should read his write-up, especially if you want to know what else we ate and what it looked like.

Little Lamb on Urbanspoon


  1. I adore steamboats, it's such a strong childhood memory, one of my best ones on a food theme. We have close family friends who would do a steamboat party for Chinese new year. Oh my.
    Must visit this place.

  2. I've had steamboat once before but i don;t remember it being as interesting as that looks! I love the idea of a two-keeled sauce boat with different sauces - that way you can tailor your ingredients to the stock that works best. After your and Meemalee's reviews, it's been added to my must-dine list.

  3. WB - I had a feeling from Bellaphon's review that I'd get a spam backlash.

    Kavey - glad you're a fan, let me know how you get on Little Lamb.

    GW - truth is there wasn't much tailoring of ingredients going on. The herbal tonic is for when you a breather from the Sichuan side of the pot!

  4. Hot pot is so much fun but you do end up eating a ridiculous amount which is why the set menu was probably a good deal

  5. I had never heard of this place until you told me about it a couple of weeks ago. I walked past it yesterday on my way from Mooli's, it can easily be missed out on the line of similar restaurants on Shaftesbury Avenue. How does it compare to Chilli Cool in terms of quality of ingredients as I believe Chilli Cool is only £5 dearer. Thanks.

  6. I went there a little while ago, and the set menu is definitely a good deal. Don't think we could've ate much more than what was in the set menu, so it was almost like all you can eat! We had a big group though, so we got to try a lot of dishes...

    And you don't have to order all your dishes in one go, so you can work out what the group likes the most of and order it in the 2nd round...

  7. GC - the set meal was more than enough, even for a glutton like me.

    LF - I've not actually tried the hotpot at Chilli Cool where I believe it's an 'all you can eat' hotpot, i.e. unlimited fill of ingredients. The thing with those kind of deals is that you get fobbed off with cheap stuff like spam and crab sticks. Whereas you get to choose your ingredients at Little Lamb which I prefer. The other thing is there's a limit to how much you can eat and I found the set meal at LL more than ample.

    Tracy - thanks for pointing out that you can order in rounds.

  8. It is good you actually enjoy your meal so much there, I am craving for some fuzhou fishballs now

  9. 3HT - the Fuzhou fishballs were one of the highlights and were as good as you get in London.

  10. Thank you for taking Bellaphon there!

  11. Meemalee - it was my pleasure.

  12. I should have known you'd been - awesome, hopefully I can relive some of Beijing here! Any other great hotpot places you've been to in London? HF

    1. Royal Palace in Rotherhithe is worth a mention (see my review April 2010). Otherwise, it's been a while since my last huo guo. Perhaps we could meet up for one some time?