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Found 158 results

  1. The somewhat, erm, "unkempt" Happy Family closed, and the space is now a sparkling clean Silk Road - a somewhat more interesting pillbox of a restaurant. Make sure to look under "Chef's Specialties" if you visit their website. I thought sure I wrote about Happy Family once, but I can't find it anywhere. Silk Road is directly across Route 29 from Ramen Factory 42.
  2. I don't remember how I heard about this joint. It could've been Tyler Cowen, or it could've been Chowhound. We ordered from the Chinese menu, which has pretty pictures and English translation. We had some mapo fish with tofu ($14), cumin lamb, ($14) pot stickers ($7), and hand scratch pan cake ($4). The cumin lamb arrived first, along with its body odor-like smell. Luckily it tasted much better than it smells. The lamb had some gaminess, but the cumin and chili peppers did a good job of covering that up. Other than 1 particularly chewy piece, the lamb was tender and plentiful. The mapo fish with tofu arrived on a plate rather than a bowl. The tofu was tender and the fish was not the least bit fishy. The more I ate of it, the more I enjoyed it. At first it was just spicy and salty but I detected more flavor as I continued shoveling the stuff down my throat. The pot stickers were nothing special, the dough being rather thick. The pan cake didn't have any flavor. A decent authentic Chinese joint (which makes it 10x better than any American Chinese restaurant in my book). They also have a buffet but I didn't see what was on there.
  3. I'm not much of a writer - and Tyler Cowen has already briefly covered this place - but I would urge everyone to visit Dumpling Queen and order the xinjiang ribs from the chef's specialty portion of the menu here. These pork ribs have presumably been cooked twice or even thrice! They have a crunchy, fair-food, fried exterior and are completely SAUCELESS! What makes them so delectable? The addictive spice blind that adorns the aforementioned ribs. I am not exactly sure what is in it, but I could detect sesame seeds, fried shallots, fried garlic, and peanuts. I ate an entire order by myself! I'll probably return and do a little further exploring next time I am in the area.
  4. My parents sold their home of 40 years this past spring, exchanging the hassle of maintaining a 2,000 sf house for the simple life of a 2 br rental at Leisure World. Over the decades, they had not done a good job of curating their possessions, consequently, they were overwhelmed by the decision of what to do with their mountain of stuff. I helped them figure out what to keep (my 8th grade report on the Mayas, with a picture I drew showing how they formed a baby’s head into a point) and what to donate (3 flour sifters). Of course, the final home for the majority of stuff was the MoCo dump on 355. Over the many trips there, I had time to contemplate “Big Wang Cuisine” on the east side of the road, just south of the dump. I speculated a restaurant with a name that, in English, is quite amusing, would be hardcore. The majority of contributors to Yelp confirmed this. Young SB and I went there last week. The restaurant specializes in dry hotpot, which, from what I can tell, is a Szechuan stir-fry. You select what you want from four categories; the categories are priced from $2-$5. We chose beef, pork belly, dried bean curd, bok choy, wide vermicelli, and Tribute vegetable (a hollow-stemmed vegetable that had been dried) and asked for extra spicy. We also got House Special Beef Noodle Soup, a lamb skewer, and a beef skewer. All the dishes were excellent. The hotpot, served with rice, had a lot of chili peppers, Szechwan peppercorns, and oil. The items were cooked well and there was a nice contrast of textures. There was plenty for two. The skewers were juicy; both were spiced with hot pepper and cumin. The lamb was quite fatty and gamy. The soup had a very nice flavor. The restaurant is clean, bright and the service was fine. They give a 5% discount for cash. I’ll go back for the hot pot. Some other diners had ordered the fried pig feet dish and that looked tasty.
  5. Facebook page. Read about this place on Chowhound so I went to check it out today (a Thursday). They do in fact have carts on weekdays but the selection wasn't great. I didn't see any turnip cakes. On the other hand, the dumpling soup (ordered off the menu) was a good deal for about $5 - lots of tasty hong kong style wontons or dumplings. The dim sum quality was good, not great. I tried their chicken feet, lotus wrapped sticky rice, fish balls, and fried yam dumpling. Their seasoning are on the light side, and not oily at all. Now you have even more options for Cantonese food around 7 corners.
  6. As a Hong Kong native, I'm pleased to report that dinner at Tiger Fork was a satisfying taste of home for me. The combination of technique and ingredient quality accounts for much of the positive experience. Cantonese food in East Asia (and, for that matter, in Vancouver, Toronto, SF, and NYC) is represented across the full price spectrum. In the DC area, I feel that most Chinese cooking available to us is clustered around a relatively low price point. The Source comes to mind as an exception, but I've always found their interpretations to be too muted in flavor. In interviews, the team behind Tiger Fork talk about research trips to Hong Kong and the menu reads like a collection of their favorite finds. Nothing wrong with that. There's a focus on dai pai dong (street-side food stalls) classics, with some dim sum and HK BBQ thrown in. They really did their homework; I think the flavors and textures are pretty spot-on. Cheung Fun with Shrimp and Flowering Chives and the "Kowloon Buns" showed expert dough technique: chewy but not tough. The cauliflower part of the Chinese Cauliflower dish was unremarkable, but the star was copious stir fried flowering chives which were crisp and fragrant and just the right amount of oily. The BBQ Plate of pork belly, char siu (why do so many restaurants, including this one, spell it "char sui" on their menus?), and soya chicken showed textbook preparation, but was elevated by use of high quality cuts. Minor nit: the char siu marinade tastes exactly like the jar of Lee Kum Kee I have in my fridge right now. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they happened to have perfectly reverse-engineered it for their house-made version! We didn't try any of the (heavily hyped) baijiu cocktails, but the Hong Kong Milk Tea was good: properly strong and not too sweet. We wanted to try the Coconut Rice Cakes for dessert, but they were already sold out at 7pm. The HK Style Egg Tart is, according to the Washingtonian piece on the restaurant, out-sourced to Maria's of Rockville. It's not a great egg tart. (Tiger Fork: if you're reading this, please in-house the next version. I suggest studying the Portuguese egg tart from Fat Rice in Chicago.) Front of house was run perfectly--there were no signs that it was opening week. By the time we left, the bar and dining room were packed. This is a great addition to the local scene and I'm looking forward to trying more of the menu (especially the announced dim sum brunch expansion).
  7. B and I went to Hakka Restaurant (4401 Cabrillo Street (45th Avenue)) in Outer Richmond. We're definitely returning... The menu is voluminous. Pictured are most of the Hakka regional specialties and some of the Cantonese ones. Apparently they give you a complimentary bowl of soup as a sort of a first course. Tonight it was lovely chicken broth with shredded chicken and turnip. The broth was deeply flavored and redolent of garlic and ginger. Sautéed Chinese broccoli with rice wine. Pork stomach with salted preserved vegetable. Slightly chewy and crunchy with a touch of vinegar. Definitely addictive. There's that texture thing going on. B wasn't a fan but I loved it. Home style steamed sea bass, served with black beans, garlic, ginger and scallion. It was awesome. Red bean soup. Again, a complimentary bowl, served for dessert. Lightly sweet and just right. Portions are huge. The total for all this food was $62, not including a 20% tip. We have tons of leftovers too.
  8. We went to the Rincon center branch of Yank Sing for dim sum yesterday. If you've never been there, it's a restaurant located in the food court section of Rincon Center. Their main location is at Stevenson Street. There were so many people there just for the dim sum service that tables were set up outside of the restaurant in the court itself. We had the following: Curried chicken satay. At left are shrimp dumplings. Chive pastries with sesame sauce. Crispy sea bass Pork dumplings Mushroom dumplings Soup dumplings Potstickers Braised chicken feet. Not good - they were covered in a gloppy sweet sauce. Disappointing. Peking duck. One of these days when we go to Yank Sing, I'll be able to have some. We had missed this cart; by the time it came out again, we were leaving. There were additional things we ordered not shown above - melon balls, egg tarts, mango pudding. Bill came out to a little over $200 for four people.
  9. Foong Li is not great, but it isn't nauseating. We've been all over the menu at Foong Li, trying the familiar and the not-so-familar and while we have had dishes we didn't like, none were as bad as those at HEOTB. Are you telling me that we shouldn't order spicy shrimp wonton (and if so, why?) or that they are supposed to served in a greasy glop? Are you telling me that a dish that is supposed to have ginger and scallions, but has no ginger is the fault of the Westerner who ordered? Maybe I am supposed to know that authentic Chinese ginger is flavorless? Sorry - I really think this was bad cooking, not bad choosing.
  10. Hong Kong Palace has been a wonderful source of Hong Kong-style Chinese food for the last couple of years. But the restaurant of last week is no more. In its place is Hong Kong Palace, a place of the same name but with some major changes. The kitchen is now staffed with a pair of Chengdu-trained Szechuan chefs (part owners!) who seem to know what they are doing. Yes, the restaurant has some rough spots that might be expected in any place that has just changed hands in the past week, but it appears to be very promising. We stopped by last night expecting typical HK fare, but were surprised by all the new faces for the staff. The real change came we asked for the Chinese Menu, and we were handed a total different menu from the one we had seen in the past. It was brimming with all manner of Szechuan-style dishes. Speaking with our waiter then made things clear. The previous owners had sold the restaurant and the new owners were heading in a different direction, cuisine-wise. As we continued to speak with the waiter we considered that this new place might have promise. We decided to share the Chengdu Spicy Cold Noodles for appetizer and ordered the Ma Po To Fu and Sliced Pork with Dried Bean Curd for dinner. What we received were very fine renditions of classic Szechuan fare! If there were any complaints they centered around our inability to convince the waiter (and chef?) that we wanted the food spiced authentically. While there was some heat and numbing character in the entrees, it was just a little short of what we had come to expect from the best of the local Szechuan restuarants, such as Joe's Noodle House (in Rockville). We will be definitely be going back, and I suspect that with a little effort we will be able to get the kitchen to pull out all the stops and make the dishes with the bold flavors that is the hallmark of classic Szechuan food. I would be interested to hear reports from others. Vince
  11. Guess some of you will be headed down my way now. http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2013/02/14/broker-new-fredericksburg-restaurant-likely-to-draw-from-no-va/
  12. I did a quick search and found no listing for what I consider one of the more important restaurants in DC. Not since the glory days of Henry's Hunan and Brandy Ho's both in San Francisco have I found a restaurant that can have such a profound effect on me for days after eating there. I am not talking about any effects of food poisoning or any of that namby pamby stuff, but real fire from the extreme use of chilies and Sichuan peppercorns. Joe's, Joe's Noodle House, serves pretty down to earth and homespun Sezchuan cooking. Owner Audrey is there during the day. If you order one of the dishes with two chilies and a star, she will ask you if you want it "toned down". No matter what you say, it will be toned down for the first few trips if you don't answer back in Chinese. But even then, the heat will be on. I m actually at the stage where Audrey will comment that she can't eat food as hot as I like it. Joe's has far more than noodles but they are a great first introduction. There is a large selection of noodles and a few dumplings. I really like the unusual rice noodles in red sauce. No discernable flavor to the noodle itself, just a jelly like freshness that offsets the heat of the sauce. I also love the wonton or dumpling soup, with or without needles. To go with the noodles, I always have a plate or three of "cold dishes" such as pickled cabbage, sweet and sour cabbage, pickled cukes, stuffed bean curd etc. This is the same territory staked out by A & J. I like both places, with the style being more earthy and rustic at Joe's and much more restrained and slick at A & J. But A&J is not known for having a large traditional menu as Joe's has. Some of my fiery favorites on the large menu include the Spicy and Tasty Tofu (With or without pork)- I had with for lunch today!, three pepper chicken and dry and spicy beef. The greens with garlic are just that, great simple straightforward greens with loads of garlic. The selection is huge and I have probably only worked my way through a third of the menu. Rabbit, home made bacon, pork belly, pork with garlic chives and pressed bean curd, tripe with spicy sauce are all available. If there is enough interest, we can have a DR.com dinner there. I would be happy to arrange for it but no wimps allowed for my menu. It will be full of the fiery stuff!
  13. Definitely hipster Asian joint (in the vein of Momofoku or Toki Underground). I had their steamed pork dumplings and pork bao. Their bao were just like Momfoku in that steamed bun with a taco type presentation vs traditional enclosed bao. Quality was decent. I'm definitely interested in going back and trying their house made noodles. http://www.nainaisnoodles.com/ 1200 East-West Highway Silver Spring, MD 20910 301-585-6678
  14. Last night I got takeout from a new Chinese spot in Glover Park called Dumplings and Beyond. It opened recently in the old Shanghai Tea House space. I was seriously blown away. The dumplings were clearly made in-house and were top notch, the sichuan boiled beef in fiery sauce rivaled (or possibly exceeded) Sichuan Jin River, and the garlic eggplant was out of this world. I wish I could have tried more dishes. A huge plus - I asked for both entrees to be extra spicy, and they actually did it. The only gripe I had was that the ratio of authentic dishes to Americanized food was pretty low. (Actually the total number of dishes in general was quite low for a Chinese restaurant) But everything I had was just unbelievably good. They also had some intriguing Chinese casserole dishes with pork rib and meatballs which will definitely be next on my list. I would highly recommend trying this place.
  15. Everyone has one. A go-to Chinese food place that you go to whenever you have the urge for good Americanized Chinese food. I had one once but it closed 13 years ago. The old Sampan café, back when it was run by Brian. My family went there for 25 years. I haven't found anything close since. Sure, I still by Chinese food, but it is more for simplicities sake. I am generally not happy afterwards, but when you have a bunch of kids, and no time to cook, Chinese food is in the rotation. Flash forward to last night - I had some of the kids playing at an indoor playground while mulling over what to get for dinner. We just did Café Rio and I couldn't stand to have Chick Fil e again. We hadn't done Chinese food in a while, and I wasn't in love with the place we normally go to so I pulled up tripadvisor and searched for restaurants near me. The number 1 restaurant in town, according to the wisdom of the massed happened to be this place. Higher than Ford's. Higher than Thai Basil. I was intrigued. I placed my order and headed over to Airline Pkwy to go pick it up. The place was not that busy but the staff was very friendly and attentive. I ordered: Triple Delight Soup with house made noodles, combination fried rice, governor's chicken (kung pao), and smoked tofu with pork. The food had to travel home for 20 minutes but at the most part it ranged from good to very good. I want to eat there in person sometime and there are a number of interesting things on the menu that I want to try. Something noteable that the meats in the soup and fried rice were actually really good. They actually tasted like meat. Upon completing our meal, my wife commented "Why don't you go here from now on." I agree, I think I will forego any of our other carryout places for this one. I put this out there because I know many of this board's denizens live in the South Riding/Chantilly area. If you do, I encourage you to give them a try and let us know your opinion.
  16. Update on the Bethesda Fine Dining Location, which reports a May opening (credit--Bethesda Magazine)
  17. It was the kind of meal where the more we ate the less satisified I felt, resulting in eating too much yet still alking away wanting a good dim su meal. The tarts, fresh out of the oven and still hot were a treat. Service was spotty.
  18. With Rockville a bit of a hike for this father of a one year old, I'm still trying to get a grip on the level of excellence the DC crowd expects from their Chinese cuisine. My education on the finer details is somewhat lacking, but I have spent a LOT of time eating in China (to the tune of 40+ trips to Hong Kong and Shenzhen), so while I'm sometimes fuzzy on the details of how the good stuff got there, I like to think I recognize it when I have it. So I figured I'd share a little place that some of us Charm City Hounds have been frequenting for the past couple of weeks, and see if any of the Chinese fiends here have had a chance to check it out. Crackers and I have been organizing dinners at Grace Garden in Odenton as of late (and who could ask for a lovelier and more capable co-host than Crackers?), and we've been truly impressed by what we've had. It's a completely nondescript strip mall joint that seems to be subsisting on its Americanized carryout menu for the Army base across the street, but they have an authentic menu as well that focuses on the chef's native Cantonese, but also includes some Sichuan and others. We've had tender fish noodles in a velvety, subtle ginger sauce. We've had complex, fiery Sichuan fish with rice powder and crispy fried bones. We've had a sticky rice stuffed steamed duck that redefines the word comforting. We've had sliced pork belly stir-fried with toban djan, pristine baby bok choy with salted fish, salted egg shrimp with a crispy fried exterior and a volcanic head gush, mixed seafood with a superbly balanced hot/sweet XO sauce... I could go on. If it isn't bad form, here's a link to a more complete post with photos: http://www.skilletdoux.com/2008/05/grace-garden.html I'm inclined to think this is a diamond in the rough. Anybody else been there? Grace Garden www.gracegardenchinese.com 1690 Annapolis Rd. Odenton, MD 21113 410-672-3581 Mon - Thu 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM Fri - Sat 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM Sun Closed
  19. JDS Shanghai Famous, or just Shanghai Famous, opened in late March, occupying two adjacent storefronts in the strip mall facing MD-124 near Criswell Chevrolet, right behind the Starbucks. I haven't the slightest clue what JDS stands for in their name, but I'm reasonably certain this may the only time I've seen those three letters _not_ stand for Jewish Day School. But I digress. Photos of their XLB have been popping up all over the past couple of weeks, along with descriptions comparing them favorably to the ones from Bob's Shanghai in Rockville, so I absolutely had to check it out. And...you should too. At lunchtime today, the place was maybe half-full, but essentially all the parties appeared to be Chinese. The menu is straight up Shanghainese food...no Northern Chinese, no Cantonese, no Taiwanese (hence no bubble tea), no Americanized. While I didn't think that the crab-and-pork XLB quite rose to the level of the NYC and West Coast XLB destinations, the wrappers were good (they could be a smidge thinner, but were at least in the ballpark), the soup level was good, and the flavor was good. I give these the edge for flavor profile, although for intensity I think Bob's chicken-soup filling is a bit deeper. Also, porcupine will probably be a bit disappointed in the lack of freshly julienned ginger, apart from a few bits premixed into the black vinegar in the dipping bowl. Still, a credible contender, at least until something even better comes along. 519 Quince Orchard Rd., Gaithersburg MD 20878 Here's The Menu
  20. Peking Gourmet Inn is out in Falls Church/Bailey's Crossroads. IIRC It was a favorite of Pres. Bush (41). I have mostly had lunch specials there, which are usually not too bad. The Kung Pao is not too oily and not overly sauced. We do carryout for lunch from there fairly oftent - Some of my coworker's favorites include the Szechuan Beef Proper, Jade Chicken, and Fresh Garlic Chicken. Based on my semi-recent meals at both City Lights and Meiwah (neither one was very good - City Lights was horrible), Peking Gourmet is the better choice. That being said, I prefer Full Kee (Bailey's Crossroads location).
  21. We went to Oriental East today. At first, we thought we made great time by getting there at 10:50 AM, but it turns out that there was already a line of about 200 people outside, waiting for the restaurant to open. They ran out of tables before we could get a seat, so we had to wait about 30 min for the first round of people to finish eating. Next time, we will be there 30 min prior to opening. Everything was really good, except for the turnip cake, which was too soggy. Oriental East doesn't have any warming mechanism on their cart to keep the dim sum warm, therefore, you have to get there early to get fresh and hot dim sum.
  22. City Taste Asian Cuisine opens today at 930 Wayne Ave., in Downtown Silver Spring, featuring up to 50 percent off sushi rolls: https://www.sourceofthespring.com/city-taste-restaurant-opening-today/
  23. Liu Chaosheng - who dat, you might ask. Well, he's the guy who opened Hong Kong Palace and Uncle Liu's Hot Pot, and he's now opened Asian Origin, in the old Panache space on Pinnacle Drive as noted in this McLean Patch article. When I first received a menu, I noted its Sichuan dishes and instantly decided to compare it to HKP (not knowing at the time they're sister restaurants). The beef, tendon, and tripe dish is $9 at HKP and $12 at AO. Spicy wontons are $6 at HKP and $8 at AO. Dan Dan Noodles are $7 at HKP and $8 at AO. So the prices are higher at AO, presumably reflecting a higher rent as well as fancier décor. Now I have to decide whether to drive a little farther to HKP or stay in McLean.
  24. I was walking past the old Sorriso space in Cleveland Park and saw that it was open for business. I popped my head in to see what was up - Dolan Uyghur Restaurant Things looked to be bare bones with no decor. I saw several plates of fat noodles with stir fried stuff on top going by. If I hadn't just picked up a bunch of Thai food I would have stuck around and ordered something to go. But the menu looked pretty extensive so I'll have to return with some neighbors to order a bunch of stuff. i've never had Uyghur food before but looking forward to trying it out.
  25. Shaved as in from the knife straight to the pot? Could you see them do it?? If so, this calls for a road trip...
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