Hot pot chain Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot is making its D.C. area debut, landing in Northern Virginia at the Saigon Garden area of Eden Center as soon as this fall.
Its centerpiece "hot pot" offering is a traditional dish served in a metal pot and can be filled with fresh ingredients like goji berries, jujubes, ginseng, and black cardamom pods. The restaurant's signature soup base features up to 36 herbs and spices. Also expect special sauces and desserts. It will join the area's growing slate of hot pot-focused restaurants, located mostly in the suburbs.
The Eden Center shopping center sits at the epicenter of Northern Virginia's Asian and Vietnamese communities and has pho, banh mi, and bubble tea outlets, among other offerings. Recently, more non-Vietnamese restaurants have been opening there, like Thai street food restaurant Kao Sarn.
The Little Sheep chain, which is based in Seattle, already has a large U.S. presence, especially in Texas and California — internationally, there are locations in Canada, China, and Japan. Based on its following, Eden Center is predicting big crowds at the new 160-seat venue coming to 6799 Wilson Blvd. "I have visited their New York and New Jersey locations and I fully expect there to be lines out the door on most days," said Eden Center's Graham Eddy. The opening has been in the works since last year.
The 3,000-square-foot restaurant, which includes an outdoor porch, will sit in the space formerly occupied by Viet Bistro and most recently Spicy Restaurant. It was completely gutted for a brand new buildout.
The opening is slated for this fall, at the end of October at the earliest.