What is malatang?

In Chinese, “Ma” means numbing. “La” means spicy. “Tang” means soup. Combined, “malatang” refers to a unique soup that is characterised by a numb and spicy taste. 

Malatang is a popular street food which has origins in Sichuan, China. It involves grabbing your own bowl, and then loading it with the ingredients you would like to enjoy. The bowl is then cooked by the kitchen in fragrant broth.

At the end, you can choose which sauces and condiments to add on top of the broth. Commonly, people enjoy adding sesame paste, garlic sauce, Chinese pepper oil, sugar and vinegar.

You can think of malatang as a type of hot pot where you gather the ingredients you want to eat, and the chef cooks for you 😉 These pictures are taken at No 1 Malatang, a restaurant chain based in Sydney.