Which place do you immediately think of when your friends suggest hotpot in Richmond? I am about to introduce a newly renovated hot pot place at Landsdowne Center – Happy Lamb Hot Pot (快乐小羊). Regardless of price, quality, and portion, it is at top-notch, and I had a great experience with my friends here.
Happy Lamb Hot Pot is located at Landsdowne Center, at the former location of Mongolian Little Sheep Hot Pot. It is convenient for both transit and car.
Post-COVID-19 Dine-In Experience
As the restaurant is very spacious, there is no problem with social distancing. I went on a weekend during dinner time, in which guests are scattered and dined in different corners of the restaurant. All customers are required to check the temperature before entering the restaurant. All staff wears masks and gloves, and I felt safe dining here. Customers order directly from the iPad, which also minimizes your contact with servers, and plastic water bottlers were provided.
The owner revamped the interior, and it is now spacious, modern, and clean. About two-third of the restaurant is filled with sofa seats, and the remaining is seats for small groups (1-4 people). There are also four VIP rooms, which currently allow a maximum of 6 people due to COVID-19. Customers can choose between individual pots or classic big pots. In addition, there is a kid’s zone which the children can have fun safely while the parents are enjoying the meal. Unfortunately, the area is not open during this time. Near the exit, there is a deodorizer machine that can remove the smell from hotpot.
Please click here to see the full menu.
We ordered both Plum Juice ($8.99) and Fresh Coconut ($5.99), and I think they are the best pairing with hot pots. Plum Juice comes in a pitcher, and it is refreshing with minimal sugar. “Sour plum” flavor is strong. I personally prefer the Fresh Coconut more, as it is literally served directly with the coconut. It is light, refreshing, and it helps clean my palette.
Soup broth is the soul of hot pot, and there are two most popular broths that I would recommend – House Original ($5.99/S) and House Spicy ($5.99/S). They are rich and milky-looking from the simmering beef bones, and they do not contain any MSG. So feel free to dig in and drink some before the feast.
For the House Spicy, Phil, the manager, explained that Mongolian hot pot is not meant to be spicy, instead, it is more aromatic. You can adjust the spiciness as well. I enjoyed both broths, but I do prefer the House Original more especially for cooking vegetables at the end. Tomato broth is available for vegetarians as well.
Though the self-served sauce station is not available, customers can order their preferred sauce and toppings, and the servers will bring them over in individual bowls.
Happy Lamb Hot Pot offers fresh and high-quality ingredients, with great portion and price. All dishes are presented as the photos shown on the menu, and they are totally instagrammable. We ordered almost every signature item on the menu, so you don’t have to. And here are the items we ordered:
- Wagyu Beef Set
- Prime Boneless Short Ribs
- Lamb Platter
- Fresh Black Fish
- Lamb Skewers (4)
- Fish Tofu Puff
- Fried Tofu Skin
- Oyster Mushroom
- Shrimp Paste
- Housemade Beef & Cuttlefish Balls
- Golden Chicken Noodles
- Golden Pie
- Brown Sugar Fried Mochi
Meat & Seafood Choices
Happy Lamb Hot Pot has a wide variety of beef and lamb from Canada, Japan, and New Zealand. Unfortunately, some meat choices were not available during this time, such as the Lamb Loin, which is a must-try, according to reviews online. Instead, we ordered Prime Boneless Short Ribs, Wagyu Beef Set and Lamb Platter.
Prime Boneless Short Ribs (8oz) is fresh, tender, but also budget-friendly. For $15.99, you can get this plate loaded with high-quality beef. It has the perfect proportion of fat and lean, which is perfect for hot pot. This would be my go-to meat dish for my future visits.
If you have a bigger group and lamb lovers, I recommend ordering the Lamb Platter. It comes with two types of lamb – Prime Lamb Shoulder and Lamb Sunshine. I am surprised by its portion, and the lamb is not gamey at all.
Wagyu Beef Set is on a pricier set, but its quality and quantity is totally worth the money. It comes with Wagyu meat and Wagyu Cubes. The Wagyu Cubes is my favourite; unlike the ones I tried elsewhere, this remains tender even it is slightly overcooked.
Fresh Black Fish is probably the only item I would not recommend in here. Though the fish is soft and flaky, a lot of small bones are attached that are difficult to remove. Some can easily drop into the soup as well, so you have to be careful when drinking the soup after. So I would recommend going for the Flounder Fillet instead.
Each order of Lamb Skewers ($5.99) has 4 skewers, and I am surprised by its tenderness. It is also juicy and flavorful. I might have to admit that they are the best ones in Vancouver.
Golden Pie is similar to a deep-fried mantou covered with sesame. This is one of the popular items on the menu. It comes with 6 big pieces, which I recommend to order if you have a group of 4 or more. It can be quite filling. I found it quite bland on its own, but we all think dipping into our soup (especially spicy) elevates the bun by a lot.
Golden Chicken Noodles is another house special. It is a cold noodles, served with house made sesame sauce and scallions. Make sure you give it a good mix before eating it. It has an aftertaste of numbing spicy from the sauce, and it might get heavy after few bites. However, we were addicted to the unique flavor as well.
For tofu lovers, I would go for the Fried Tofu Skin and Fish Tofu Puff. Both absorb the broth, which makes them extra delicious.
I am in love with Shrimp Paste . They are freshly prepared in house. The Shrimp Paste comes with three tubes, which I think the portion is too generous, but it is great for large groups. It is bouncy with no fishiness, and I don’t think it needs any dipping as it has enough flavor on its own.
I think Oyster Mushrooms are one key ingredient in my hot pot, but I found it hard to find in Vancouver. So I am happy to see them again in my pot, and the presentation is impeccable.
For the Housemade Beef & Cuttlefish Balls (aka Ball Platter), they are less bouncy as expected. I was hoping that there are tiny chunky cuttlefish pieces to give a nice chewy texture to the balls.
For dessert, I recommend trying the Brown Sugar Fried Mochi, which is dipped in soy bean powder and brown sugar syrup. I enjoy the contrasting texture of crispy skin and soft mochi. This is not oily and very delightful to end the meal.
Overall, the dining experience is great, with comfortable and spacious seatings. My friends and I felt safe dining here, and we would return again. Some of the highlight dishes are Prime Boneless Short Ribs, Lamb Skewers, Fish Tofu Puff, Shrimp Paste, and Fried Mochi. For drinks, I recommend getting the Fresh Coconut. I am impressed by its fresh and high-quality ingredients, but at a very reasonable price. However, I do wish they can offer half-portion dishes on some items (non-meat dishes), in which small groups can order more varieties. If you are planning on a family/friends gathering, I would highly recommend Happy Lamb Hot Pot.
Taste : 4.5/5 • Service: 5/5 • Ambiance: 5/5 • Quality-Price: 4.5/5