Address: 36-35 Main St, Flushing, NY
Phone: 718- 358-6667
I am not sure what is our obsession with hot pot, but it is just something Gan and I love to eat especially during cold winter time. It is our ultimate winter comfort food. But for the longest time, we were not able to find really good hot pot places in New York and the best ones were usually done at home or at our friends' home.
Hot pot is said to have originated from Mongolia during Genghis Khan's time, where the main meat used in hot pot was lamb. Nowadays, we have hot pot dinner with all types of meat, vegetables, noodles, seafood etc and cooked in either herbal soup, regular clear soup or mah lah broth (dried chili broth). Dipping sauces are also important in a hot pot dinner and depending on where you are from, there are different types dipping sauce used. In Malaysia we use sambal chili, garlic chili sauce or soy sauce with chopped chili as our dipping sauces, while in China, fermented tofu sauce, hot oil sauce or sha cha sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce - not sweet) are more commonly used.
We actually ate at Little Sheep hot pot restaurant in Flushing after our friend Celine recommended the place. We did not know it was a chain store until another of our friend, Sarah, who had tried the Shanghai branch told us about it. Apparently Little Sheep hot pot restaurant is very successful, with approximately 350 chain restaurants worldwide; they have restaurants in China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Japan etc. The holding company, XFY was started in LA in 1999, and it had definitely expanded tremendously in the very short 10 year period.
What we like about this hot pot place is that they focus on quality ingredients and the soup is delicious (especially the herbal soup, it was very similar to what we have back in Malaysia). They also have excellent selection of dipping sauces. But eating here is definitely pricey; Gan and I ended up paying close to $100 for a hot pot dinner for two!