Lao Ma Tou Hot Pot

Lao Ma Tou Hot Pot

Lao Ma Tou is an authentic Sichuan Chengdu hot pot restaurant that recently opened in Downtown Bellevue. Featuring premium meats and seafood, a variety of broth options, a customizable sauce bar and a delicious array of appetizers, vegetables and noodles, Lao Ma Tou is a must-visit restaurant for hot pot enthusiasts and newbies alike.

Lao Ma Tou originated more than 20 years ago in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province in China. The root of Chengdu hot pot traces back centuries to the Qin Dynasty, where fishermen experimented with different methods of cooking after harvesting their catch. Chengdu hot pot gained popularity after adding spicy and numbing flavors into the mix and has evolved over time. “Lao Ma Tou” is a Chinese term for “old pier” or “old wharf,” representing where hot pot first began and the history and culture that surrounds it.  

Lao Ma Tou has two locations in California, and now it has opened its first location in the PNW. Situated in the SOMA Building in Downtown Bellevue, Lao Ma Tou has a spacious, beautiful interior with plenty of tables and lantern lights adorning the ceiling. The sauce bar and dessert bar are both toward the entrance, and every table comes with a simmering pot in the middle that is used to cook the ingredients that you order.

The experience begins with choosing your broth, with Lao Ma Tou being famous for its spicy broth with traditionally-sourced numbing spices. They source all of the Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, beef oil and spices from Chengdu. There are also lots of non-spicy broths to choose from, with the mushroom and tomato broths being very popular. All of the broths are cooked for at least eight hours from scratch on a daily basis.

Lao Ma Tou Hot Pot shrimp

Ordering your broth and your ingredients is super easy—you do it all right at your table using a tablet that has photos and prices of every menu item. The menu consists of appetizers like the black truffle fried rice and the spicy pork wontons, and a large list of ingredients that you can cook in your hot pot. This includes fresh vegetables, a variety of noodles, and premium meats and seafood. There are so many amazing options to choose from, like the quail eggs, enoki mushrooms, lamb shoulder, A5 wagyu beef and pork belly. The Barbie meat special is really fun and unique, and comes with various types of beef, including rib eye and wagyu. The seafood platter is also a fantastic option as it comes with mussels, scallops, prawns and fish.

After choosing your broth and your ingredients, you’re able to make your own customizable sauce at the sauce bar. There are suggestions of different sauce mixtures which is helpful for those newer to hot pot. Then it’s time to cook your ingredients. One of the best things about hot pot is that it’s a laidback, relaxing activity. There’s no rush, and you can take as long as you want and order more if you’re still hungry. At the end of the meal, enjoy complimentary soft serve to cool you down after all of the spiciness, which is such a nice touch.

Lao Ma Tou is open Sunday to Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on. For more information or to book a table, visit

288 106th Ave. NE, Ste. 200
Bellevue, WA 98004

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