Sanlou Mala Hot Pot and Craft Beer: 叁楼麻辣火锅

Article By Jin and Francis

This restaurant is called “Third Floor Mala Hot Pot” in Chinese for a reason – it is on the third floor, and their hot pot is spicy!
We weren’t surprised by this. However, we were pleasantly surprised at the wide international beer selection and how spacious the rooftop was. Deck chairs, flower planters, expansive shade umbrellas, and outdoor lighting made the space welcoming and comfortable, especially now that summer is here. Add in the beer, and you have a bona fide beer garden on a rooftop.

One of the first things you see as you walk in is a massive wall of refrigerator doors with a wide selection of bottled beer and other beverages. These include a wide selection of U.S. and other international brews such as Lost Coast’s Peanut Butter Stout from Eureka CA (USA), Valkiria Biere Blanche from Poland, Guinness Stout from Ireland, Trappistes Rochefort from Belgium, and others. They also have a selection from Alesmith, Brewdog, Revision Brewing Company, Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, Fifty Fifty Brewing Company, Offshoot Beer Company, Drifter Brewing Company, and Buxton Brewery.

Domestic beers include a limited range of local mass-market brews like Tsingtao 9˚ or other varieties of Tsingtao. However, they also have Laoshan Beer, which is brewed by Tsingtao in Qingdao with their local water supply as well as Baoji Beer, a local Shaanxi beer brand.
Still can’t find something here? There are many, many other beverages like plum wine, as well as soft drinks. They even have xingpishui, an apricot drink more popular in western China.

The sauces are self-serve and include all the basics you would expect: sesame paste, oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, garlic, coriander, green onion, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, and more.

Our hotpot was a bit slow to heat up on the outdoor burner, but once it got going, we were able to thoroughly enjoy xiahua (shrimp paste), slices of beef with hot pepper flakes, maodu (the dark cow stomach), beef rolls, shaopi (sweet potato noodle), and tofu.

One of the tastiest side dishes was the xiaosurou, or fried pork strips. These came with a customary spicy and salty dipping powder. They were VERY tasty, especially when paired with a cold, refreshing beer.

So now that summer is here, what are you waiting for? Get some friends, get some tasty hotpot, and wash it down with a cold one!

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