Xiao Wei Yang is an authentic Chinese / Mongolian hotpot franchise with four branches scattered across Dubai, this most recent one in Barsha-1 included. The interiors are much the same; simple, for the most part clean, and in typical Chinese style, with common dining area in the middle and private dining rooms on the sides.
A ‘condiments’ buffet takes centre stage, where diners come to mix their all-important sauce.
Each table has a built in ceramic hotplate on-which a pot of steaming aromatic broth is placed. The broth can be ordered normal or spicy, or both, the latter served in a Yin Yang shaped divided pot with one half filled with the normal, whitish coloured broth and the other half filled with a scary looking, crimson coloured, dried-chilli layered, spicy broth.
One then orders (from an extensive menu) an assortment of items to cook in the broth; thinly sliced, marbled meats, seafood, vegetables, handmade noodles, dumplings…sky’s the limit. Start by constructing your sauce. Thankfully this branch has a number of wait staff who speak English, and are happy to help out where this is concerned. I was lucky to visit with friends from Beijing who showed me how to make a typically Bejing-style sauce (see video). It is without doubt the best one I have had.
The Chinese themselves start cooking with the meats. This I am told, is so the broth takes on flavour. So it’s basically meats, seafood, veggies and lastly noodles and dumpling. But hey, hotpot is all about having fun. There are no rules. Use whichever order makes most sense to you. One quick recommendation however, if you are eating meat, try not to overcook; the meat is ready once it changes colour. Take it (or whatever you have fished out of the broth), dip it in your sauce bowl (to cool as much as to flavour it)…and chomp.
Service at this branch is very good; friendly, accommodating and super-fast. I have been to three of the four Xiao Wei Yang branches and this one is my favourite. It is most definitely worth a visit.