There is a typical Asian dish, “father” of many dishes that over time have differentiated themselves by ingredients and geographical location but that all have the same thing in common: a steaming pot to put in the center of the table. This is the hot pot. In Milan, at Via Paolo Sarpi 8, you can try it at Little Lamb.
Of uncertain origin, the hot pot was born, according to various legends, in Mongolia. It is known to historians that Mongolian warriors used to boil the ingredients of meals in their helmets; many nomadian tribes could not afford many tools because of the constant displacement. Then, when they adopted a more sedentary lifestyle, they began to use the pot to place in the middle of the table, in front of the diners. This way of cooking developed in northern China during the Tong dynasty (618–906 A.D.). Each region then began to refine its recipe with different ingredients. During the Quing dynasty (1644–1912) it later established itself as one of the most popular hot dishes in China.
Today, in the most modern homes in large cities, the hot pot is made using induction plates or gas stoves. In 2001, Jiarong Yu discovered the formula of “Mongolian fondue” in a restaurant in Batou City. He decided to make it a real concept and in 2003 his chain counts something like 200 franchises across China. The name “Little Lamb” soon becomes synonymous with authentic and tasty food. What you eat at Little Lamb is precisely the result of the research of this ancient method of cooking.
Little Lamb seems to be known only by the Chinese: the place is always full of only Asians. The waiters (all Chinese) speak a perfect Italian and explain pointlessly how the formula works, recommending the various ingredients (on the menu there are over a hundred) according to personal taste. It starts by choosing the type of broth in which the ingredients will be cooked: there is meat of all kinds cut very thinly (beef, chicken, lamb, sheep), fish and seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, ravioli and noodles (to eat once all the once the broth became tasty). Once the dishes are cooked, you pass in a dip that each diner can create to his liking choosing from, for example, soy sauce, onion, garlic, hot sauce and oyster sauce. There is also the possibility to choose the meat at the barbecue: in this case it will arrive already cooked directly at the table.
Definitely a suitable place for a dinner together, it is a very fun and tasty experience. I was there with my best friend: at first we were very awkward, but between a laugh and advice from the staff we had a beautiful evening and ate well.