Ma la tang is like a DIY soup shop. You’ll often spot these eateries by their open fridge of fresh produce displayed near the entrance. Grab a basket and a pair of tongs and load up on veggies, meat and fish balls, dumplings, eggs, tofu, noodles and more. Then hand your basket over to the cooks manning the gigantic steaming cauldrons for your selections to be turned into a delicious meal. You’ll often have a choice of “spicy” or “non-spicy” broth as well as a few more condiments (such as garlic, chili, vinegar, and sesame paste) at the tables.
Prices typically range from 12-25 RMB, depending on the ingredients.
These shops often open up before lunch and stay open until around 9pm, or later depending on the neighborhood.