Mr. Diner & I love Mongolian barbecue restaurants. If you haven’t been before, it’s kind of like a stir fry salad bar. Customers pile their bowl with meats, vegetables, noodles, and sauce, then hand it to the person at the giant griddle. That person fries it up for you while also cooking up any other customer’s dishes…the griddle is big enough to accommodate several at once. When it’s done, they give it back to you in a fresh, clean bowl and you get to go back to your seat and enjoy it.
As you can imagine, the keys to great Mongolian barbecue are 1) Lots of choices of great, fresh ingredients; 2) A griddle operator who keeps his eye on things & makes sure they are done right; and 3) Your own ability to put together something you will like. Often there will be sauce “recipes” near the sauces to guide you in your attempt to season your dish correctly, and if you’re really lucky, you may have an awesome person who works at the restaurant who will help you out.
Unfortunately, Utah doesn’t have a great selection of Mongolian barbecue places. We stopped by Mongolian Grill in Springville for dinner. We were seated immediately. The place has a minimalist feel to it with just a few Chinese pictures & red lanterns around. My kids were excited to read the paper placemats with the Chinese zodiac animals on them.
We stepped up to the bar to select our ingredients. Mongolian Grill has a decent variety. The meats include beef, chicken, pork, lamb, barbecue chicken, barbecue pork, shrimp, scallops, & more. Many of the meats are thinly sliced and frozen. Others are kept on ice. Unfortunately, some of those “on ice” were actually floating in water, which makes me a little concerned about those being kept the proper temperature. Vegetables included celery, cilantro, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, and so many more. Most of these looked pretty fresh. The sauces are at the end with an assortment that includes everything from teriyaki to garlic sauce, chili sauce, pineapple sauce, cooking oil, etc., etc. Lots of choices. There is a sign with a few sauce recipes. For my first dish, I chose to follow Example #1, but was a little disappointed with it, so I made up my own combination the next time: 2 scoops house, 1 garlic, 1 sesame, & 1 pineapple…yummy.
The guy at the griddle was missing in action when I was ready for him to cook up my food. He showed up after a minute or so and sautéed my selections. Unfortunately, mine was a little overdone and had little brown crispy parts that were not to my liking. Mr. Diner thought the same of his. The kids didn’t seem to mind, though, and loved choosing their ingredients and eating their own creations.
At the end of the meal, the expected fortune cookies arrive with your bill. You can choose to give your payment to your server or pay at the register in the back. Mongolian Grill also offers take-out service.
Entrée Price: $$
Average Fork Rating: 3.2
Mr. Diner: 3
Mrs. Diner: 3
Amazing Diner: 4
Sweet Diner: 3
Little Diner: 3