Little Lamb Xiao Wei Yang is a franchise of award winning, authentic Chinese restaurants which specialise in Inner Mongolian cuisine, specifically hotpot. They’ve been on the UAE culinary scene since 2005 and today have seven or eight branches spread between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including this one opposite the Habtoor Grand Resort in JBR. The interior of this Xiao Wei Yang branch is stereotypical of this kind of restaurant with each table having an electric hob (where the hotpot is kept bubbling). On one end of the restaurant there is a condiments and sauces buffet from where you concoct your own sauce.
Every part of a hotpot is important but none more so than the stock or broth, and Xiao Wei Yang’s doesn’t disappoint. There are three basic broths starting with the original meat broth, which is opaque-white in colour similar to Arak, Raki, Ouzo or Sambuca mixed with water. There is a veg broth which, I am told, is made from mushrooms. Then there’s the chilli version of both which uses a concoction of chilli oil, dried chilli, Schezwan pepper corns and other oriental spices to spice things up. We usually order a combination of the original and the spicy which is served in a yin-yang partitioned pot.
It’s also very important to get the dipping sauce to your preferred taste. If it doesn’t taste right, then it will ruin your entire meal. I find it’s always good to seek help at this point. Thankfully, one of the friendly, English-speaking staff will guide you.
The rest is really about what you fancy cooking in your broth; Xiao Wei Yang has an excellent selection of thinly sliced meats, there’s an impressive range of seafood, greens and vegetables and of course fresh noodles. Remember, there’s more to this restaurant than hotpot. You can order à la carte too.
The staff at this particular Xiao Wei Yang all speak fluent English, something which can’t be said for their International City branch; they’re a friendly, attentive, accommodating bunch who are always willing to help if you need. So, whether you’re looking to try hotpot for the first time or simply looking to have a great hotpot or Chinese meal, there are few places I can think of outside International City which offer food this authentic and good. Highly recommended.
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