Finally Little Sheep close enough for me to try without driving half hour!! I have heard about Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot since my Vancouver days (There is one in Richmond) but never tried it because my roomie’s favourite is Cattle Hot Pot and so we would eat there everytime we have a craving.
After moving here, and always hearing bout Xiao Fei Yang (Little Sheep) & knowing one opened up in Cupertino I have been trying to convince Meep to try it but the half hour or so wait always put us off. When he was away on a work trip, V asked if I wanted to eat there – YES!!!!
I kept driving past the location because my GPS seems to think it was some where else, so I was lost for a good 25 minutes or so. V & H has been waiting for about 25 minutes, so shortly after I arrived we got seated. I was surprised at how small the restaurant is!! There were about a dozen or so booths that were all comfortable, able to accommodate small & big groups.
Menu gets dropped off the menu and the guest marks the number of orders they wanted. I had no idea how big each serving was so we definitely ordered a tad too much. There is a selection of soups, meat cuts, seafood, veggies, noodles:
Cooked small appetisers, BBQ dishes, sides
& finally drinks & sauces.
Half & Half $3.75 per person
The broth was amazing (I was a tad worried when I saw the amount of random chinese herbs floating but it was not overly herby). Every mouthful of the soup tasted like a hearthy umami-licious chicken soup! For the first time, I did not need any sauce to add flavour to the cooked items without any sauces. The soup was already so packful of flavour that everything cooked it in absorbs it all in the mere seconds/minutes swimming in there.
The spicy version just tasted like the original soup with a crap load of chili oil floating on top, the heat was not incorporated through and mostly prominent if the food item is coated in oil but not in the soup itself.
As we added more and more items into the broth; the soup develops even fuller flavours. We did have to have more water added halfway through as it reduces fairly fast with the constant boiling and gets fairly salty.
Prime Ribs Beef $10.95
I was a tad taken aback when I saw we only get 5 slices for $11 BUT it was definitely the best cut. The meat is a thicker cut with great marbling. Takes only seconds in the broth and results in tender, fatty, rich slices of beef. Definitely a must order; great quality and delicious natural beef.
Beef Slice $5.95
Thinly sliced beef that is sliced so well that it cooked in under 3 seconds in the broth and remains extremely tender even if overcooked. Great quality and decent quantity for the price.
Lamb Slice $5.95
The pale colour was a little worrying but again it was sliced extremely thinly so it cooks in seconds BUT the lamb maintain all its natural gamey flavours. There was a good amount of fat spread on each slice; it was tender and of good quality. I loved it but wished there were more on that plate.
Lamb in Red Wine $8.95
One of the favourites of the night! The lamb slices are a little thicker cuts than the previous non marinated version but it is still very tender. I appreciate the fat that is left on the slices that is just right – gave the meat the extra fatty flavours. The wine flavours were well absorbed by the meat, so even after swimming in the boiling soup it still had hints of the wine marinade. It was delicious!
Fu Chou Fish Ball $5.95
I love fish balls (the regular springy version) but this is stuffed with a minced meat that has some sauce. It literally squirts into your mouth… The fish part of the ball is fine but I did not care much for the sweet minced grainy meat in the centre.
Fish Dumpling $4.95
I was quite excited about this but it disappointed. The fish dumpling barely had any hints of fish paste – it was just doughy and pretty blah…
Tiger Prawns $7.95
The shrimp was surprisingly good! It was really fresh and did not smell at all. It has a nice snap to it after boiling – firm with a nice sweet aftertaste. It peels really easily which is a great sign. I would have appreciated if the heads were left on but I understand why it wasn’t.
Fresh Octopus $6.95
The fresh octopus was quite fresh – there was not a hint of fishiness. However, it was quite difficult to eat coz the pieces are pretty big and once boiled – they were springy and hard to chew. Maybe we were over cooking them but it is hard to tell with this.
King Oyster Mushroom $4.50
Fresh and good but a tad skimpy.
Fresh Wood Fungus $4.50
I don’t know what fresh wood fungus is suppose to be like but it seemed just like the regular dried wood fungus that got rehydrated. I didn’t care much for it especially for $4.50.
Napa Cabbage $3.95
Can’t have hot pot without napa cabbage! Sad thing is, veggies can be easily polished off since it cooks down to become next to nothing. I am starting to think that they are awfully skimpy with their vegetables~
Tong Ho $3.95
I have never tried this before but it was great!! Tong Ho turns out to be known as Edible Chrysanthemum leaves~ It was herby without being pungent and maintains a nice texture after boiling (a lot like watercress). I loved it!
Wide Potato Noodle $4.95
Again, this was new to me. The potato noodles takes longer to cook than the regular noodles (when undercooked, they are not al dente (w a bite) but just a very chewy unpleasant mochi like noodle). When cooked through, it was slippery and transparent. It was interesting to eat and actually very good! Imagine chinese rice noodles but chewier like tapioca balls in bubble tea or the chewy mochi!
Gotta love bubbly goodness
Root Beer $1.95 – I appreciate that the soda is not overpriced and also refillable; especially when consuming hot steaming soup~
Total Damage: $125.48 (including tax & tip)
Personal Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (Excellent)
I loved everything about this place! The fact that the food was fresh, broth was amazing and service was top notch! The only gripe I have is the price…
For 3 people, paying over $40 for hot pot is the most I have ever spent in any city/country. And it It does get a tad pricey considering the more affordable choices around the area. Service was surprisingly good for a Chinese run establishment. Once we got seated, we were presented with the menu which then got picked up once we were ready. Food started coming out in droves 5 minutes after ordering. Drinks were refilled, soup topped up and dishes cleared consistently throughout.
Ultimately, it is still the best hot pot I have ever had so I will definitely indulge myself once in a while..
19062 Steven’s Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 996 9919