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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Little Lamb - not my cup of 'hot pot'?

Little Lamb on Urbanspoon
Little Lamb is situated on Shaftesbury Avenue, and is primarily a place where you can order hot pots, or steamboats as most people know them. Having gone to Beijing Dumpling on Lisle St, and only paying £20 for ALL you can eat ingredients, I was slightly 'worried' about potentially being unsatisfied with 5 ingredients per person at £23 (yes, it is still a lot of food, but if given an option, 'greedy' is often the choice).
The Pot with two broths

The restaurant is tiny, with only 5 or 6 tables available, and has an a distinct scent which hits you up the nose with spices, and lingers the whole night! Having only being able to pick 5 ingredients each, the decision becomes critical, if not slightly stressful. Each ingredient adds its own flavour to the broth, and together they can make or break the meal. I enjoyed the ordering process much more at Beijing Dumpling - 'if you get it wrong, just order something else!'
Prawns and Crabs
The food started coming out, and like I suspected some was disappointing. In particular it appeared that some of the key ingredients, such as the tofu, prawns, and the salty beef had been previously frozen, and in some cases still were! This not only increased their cooking time, but the fried tofu, for example, was rock hard, stale, and in no way flavoursome or enjoyable.

The positive aspect was however, the presentation; each ingredient served on a seperate plate.
Some of the ingredients: salty beef, two types of tofu
Further flavour is added to the broth by sauces (all different types, and some are better when mixed with others), but these came at an extra cost, while at Beijing Dubling there is a sauce station. 

Overall, even though Little Lamb is an established restaurant with a high reputation, on this occasion, it failed to deliver the standard and satisfaction received at other restaurants serving similar Hot Pots. 

Here is a link to Beijing Dubling, to see pictures and my 'urbanspoon user review':
Beijing Dumpling on Urbanspoon

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