Old Sichuan’s Mala Hot Pot, Spicy and Numb!

1 May

Sichuan (四川), more commonly known as Szechuan in the Western world, is a province in China.  Mala is a very popular Szechuan sauce or style of food from there.  The direct translation of Mala actually describes the taste almost perfectly: Ma = Numb, La = Spicy.  (However, I said almost perfectly because it left out that the taste is what I describe as magical!)  The numbness actually comes from the Chinese peppercorn in the Mala sauce.

During my visit in Kaohsiung, I had many many Hot Pot meals.  However, the one visit to a restaurant called Old Sichuan (老四川), was by far the best hot pot I had.  What we got was a Yuan Yang Pot (鴛鴦鍋), which means that the pot has a separation in the middle so you can have two different styles of Hot Pot going on:

Sichuan Yuan Yang Mala Hot Pot

Yuan Yang Hot Pot

Half of it is Mala style (the spicy red half), and the other half is some chinese herbal style that is not spicy.  This way you’re not stuck eating too much spicy and dealing with stomach problems on the toilet later!  ;)

It’s sitting at our table which has the following set up:

Table Setup at Old Sichuan

Table Setup at Old Sichuan

You can see our bowls with sauces (soy sauce, sacha suace, peppers, green peppers, etc.) are all ready while we waited for our hot pot to arrive!

If you look around the restaurant the decoration is quite fitting for the whole Sichuan feel:

Old Sichuan's Interior

Old Sichuan’s Interior

Old Sichuan's Interior

Old Sichuan’s Interior

Old Sichuan's Interior

Old Sichuan’s Interior and the helpful servers!

I must add that the servers were amazing.  The entire that we were eating, they would constantly come by to make sure everything was okay, and refill the soup base of the hot pots and add more of the base ingredients.

Hot Pot on our table

Hot Pot on our table

They bring out the ingredients you ordered for your hot pot on a tray, and place it next to your table.  We ordered some veggies (not pictured, was already in hot pot!), assorted mushrooms, Squid balls, and of course lots and lots of meat (lamb and beef):

Hot Pot Ingredients

Hot Pot Ingredients

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10 Responses to “Old Sichuan’s Mala Hot Pot, Spicy and Numb!”

  1. Morgs May 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    All looks yummy! Dumb comment maybe but….the meat doesn’t look cooked (the pink bits at the back) do you add it to the pot and it cooks at the table? Or is it smoked so is cooked? – Morgs

  2. Morgs May 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Ok…I’ve just read the previous blog post and answered my own question. I’m a retard :D <3 Morgs

    • Tina May 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      lol! It’s cool! I didn’t expect you to read ALL the post before commenting!

  3. cavegirlcuisine May 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    This looks amazing!

    • Tina May 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Thanks! It really was!

  4. twyankeesfan May 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Old Sichuan is indeed a good choice for spicy hot pot in Taiwan. :)

  5. 35andupcynicismonhold May 17, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    yes, it’s usually fun to eat hotpot. They’re a little more expensive, though. But every now and then, a family or a group of friends could use this kind of treat… :)

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Delicious and Authentic Szechuan in the Suburbs? It’s possible! « Oh Snap! Let's Eat! - September 3, 2012

    […] Now, if you’re not familiar with Szechuan (or aka Sichuan) cuisine (四川菜), a quick overview is that the flavor is bold, and commonly spicy.  A popular style is called Mala (麻辣) and is basically a mixture of spicy and numbness (from the Chinese peppercorns added in Mala dishes).  If you’re interested in awesome Mala dishes, check out my visit to Old Sichuan’s Hot Pot restaurant in Taiwan here! […]

  2. Delicious and Authentic Szechuan in the Suburbs? It’s possible! | Oh Snap! Let's Eat! - January 6, 2013

    […] Now, if you’re not familiar with Szechuan (or aka Sichuan) cuisine (四川菜), a quick overview is that the flavor is bold, and commonly spicy.  A popular style is called Mala (麻辣) and is basically a mixture of spicy and numbness (from the Chinese peppercorns added in Mala dishes).  If you’re interested in awesome Mala dishes, check out my visit to Old Sichuan’s Hot Pot restaurant in Taiwan here! […]

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