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Found 31 results

  1. I was out in Fairfax so I finally stopped in Nanjing Bistro (in the same shopping center as Chuy's). It's supposed to be authentic Nanjing cuisine. The menu I received has lots of pictures, so if you didn't get an authentic looking Chinese menu with pictures, you should request it. I had a cold spicy chicken dish (the sauce is surprisingly sweet with a hint of fishiness, probably from some kind of fish sauce), a bean paste fish filet, and some stirred fried veggies. None of them knocked my socks off but the food is pretty good.
  2. 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.
  3. Update on the Bethesda Fine Dining Location, which reports a May opening (credit--Bethesda Magazine)
  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. Is it possible that there's anything approaching Jin River out near Reston?
  6. With my wife and older boy out seeing the Astros take on the Rangers, I turned to take out for dinner tonight, and ordered from the Montrose location of Mala Sichuan Bistro. I went with my standard szechuan restaurant benchmark order of ma po tofu, cucumber with chili oil, and a noodle of some sort (typically dan dan mien, but I went with cold "funky noodles" from Mala). I am pleased to report that Mala is, as the kids say, legit. The ma po was spicy and numbing, but not overwhelmingly so. The funk of the broad bean paste was there, without the overwhelming saltiness I've experienced at other places. I stayed vegetarian tonight, but they do offer it with ground beef. The cucumbers were fresh and crisp, topped with a nice balance of chili oil and crumbled szechuan peppercorns. I think next time I'll try the version in garlic oil to add some variation to the flavors. The cold noodles were similar to Chengdu cold noodles, and a great version of them at that. The noodles were nicely cooked, with a good bit of residual bite, and nicely coated with the sauce as opposed to sitting undressed on a ladle-ful of sauce on the bottom of the bowl. There will be plenty of time to explore the legion of amazing holes in the wall in Chinatown, but for now, I'm glad to have found a more-than-solid joint close by.
  7. Breaking News! Bethesda Magazine is reporting that Peter Chang will open a new "flagship" restaurant called "Q by Peter Chang" in Bethesda. Don will have to decide if this qualifies for it's own thread.
  8. Soooooo Little Pepper has been getting lots of press. Like literally the times did a whole article on just this restaurant. People have made pilgrimages to this place en masse it seems. It's in a very strange location compared to it's counterparts in and around the main drag in Flushing central. This is in College Point. I was a bit skeptical as places that get SOOOOO much press tend to enliven my skepticism particularly when it's been throughout a relatively long period of time. Anywho, I went and had a very nice meal. They have that balance between the sweetness, the savory, and the spicy downnnnn. Sometimes I go to Sichuan restos and they like need to prove that they are from Sichuan and they just go all out on the spice. I can handle spice but having been to the Sichuan province and having quite a lot of experience with Chinese food I've found it's besssstttt when you get a certain balance in the flavors. I got a whole spread despite it being just me based on recommendations from several of the articles I had read about the restaurant. The menu is quite large which isn't strange but it is chock full of very nice dishes some beyond the usual dan dan noodles and such (they have those tooooo and I love Dan Dan just using it to make a point!!). I got the Chongqing Chicken, the Spicy Potatos, the Cumin Lamb, and the Beef Tendons. My two faves were the chicken and the potatos. The chicken had a great flavor but be warned it is very peppery and not to be eaten if u don't really like spiceeeee. Usually dishes like this with diced meat and chili can be mixed in quality I've found. Sometimes the meat loses out to the rest of ingredients!!! Spot on here in my opinion!! The potatos however could be said to be revelatory. Imagine french fries made by a Sichuan chef and thats what its like. I don't even LOVE French Fries and I felt this was a knock out. It had the perfect flavor blend of that herby peppery mouth numbing taste along with the gloriousness of a French Fry put together. SOOOOOO I would def make the trek and go here it's well worth it!!! Maybe ya'll disagree as well perhaps it has declined from a height it was once at before the hype etc LMKKKK!!
  9. I have not yet set foot inside Rolling Cooking (alternate website), but I pass it regularly and I'm hearing good things. From its menu (too long to download and post), it looks a little like a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, but I hear that the dishes are more authentic than Americanized, that Mapo Tofu is on the menu, that the Flaming Lamb is tremendous, and that they deliver. More to follow upon first-hand observation. I'm not sure what to make of the dual websites. One seems to indicate Bayonne is the location, but both point to the Springfield location. What Rolling Cooking replaced was a pretty bad Chinese place, maybe as long as 6 months ago....but I only recently noted the funky sign out front.
  10. Tried 88 China on Saturday and was disappointed. Spicy capsicum chicken was certainly hot enough, but was more heat than flavor. Shredded chicken with leek was terrible. Crabmeat and asparagus chowder was tasteless. Every time we get one of these "Authentic" places out here in Western Fairfax, I get my hopes up and they are always dashed. Happened with Sichuan Village. Happened with 100 Degree Chinese Cuisine. Happened with Taste @ Hong Kong. All these places have some good dishes, but none comes close to a stellar eatery like HKP. Cheng's Asian Cuisine has some potential. And we haven't had even a decent dim sum spot out here since Fortune Reston closed.
  11. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Yesterday, I joined a tradition that many Americans celebrate - a feast at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas day. I went with my co-worker and his family to this unassuming restaurant in a strip mall deep in Montgomery County. It is quite difficult to get to - if you put in the address into the GPS, it doesn't quite get you there. When you enter the plaza you think you should be entering, you will approach a roundabout. Don't take it all the way into the plaza - head towards the Hilton and then you'll make a left to get to the back part of the plaza where the restaurant is. I sat down with my friend's family and we caught up. Hot tea was delivered to the table. Now, here is the frustrating part. I know this is part and parcel of "authentic" Chinese restaurants, but it really bugs me. They have a Chinese-American menu and an authentic Chinese menu. The part that is really annoying is the Chinese menu is completely written in a Chinese language script. The only thing in English is the headings ("Pork", "Beef", etc.). There is absolutely no way to try to order from this unless you either read Chinese or have the staff translate every single thing on the menu. I was lucky in that my co-worker's mother is Chinese and speaks/reads the language that was on the menu, plus they have been there several times. They ordered a mix from both menus (I think). You look at the menu at table, and then go up and order/pay (like Joe's Noodle House). We started with the pot-stickers (I think, b/c I have no freaking idea what the dish is actually called). Pan fried and deliciously pork filled. We also got what I assume were XLB/soup dumplings. I like these a lot, don't have a great frame of reference for what is good or not, but these were tasty to me. For the mains, we got (and this is based on me asking Barbara and the server what these dishes were called) "shredded pork and beans", "chicken with spicy garlic sauce", "tea smoked duck", "sour fish soup with vegetables". Very, very tasty. I loved all the dishes. The pork dish was slivers of tasty pork with vegetables and beans and a tasty sauce. I haven't had it anywhere before. The chicken was spicier, and the sauce was a little sweet. The duck was fantastic. Crispy fried on outside, tender and fatty duck meat on the in side. It was served with those small white buns and hoisin sauce. The fish soup was good and interesting tasting, but could have been spicier with more hot peppers. I like this place a lot. The food quality is very good (IMO). I liked each dish and it seemed very consistent. My friends mom said she forgot to ask for spicy, so that could have enhanced it, as well. I think asking for it a little spicier and being selective with dishes could make this as good as Joe's Noodle House, but far less crowded and rushed of an experience (I think Joe's is sort of best for take out, but it's 27 miles from my house, so it's not an impromptu option). I'm looking at the Chinese menu now, and hit the "Google translate" button, so now I can see the menu options. I'm just going to print this out next time and take it with me.
  12. Florence Fabricant of the New York Times reports on the new Han Dynasty at 90 Third Ave. "A First Look at Han Dynasty in the East Village" by Robert Sietsema on ny.eater.com
  13. Brian Freedman's review of Xi'an Sizzling Woks in philadelphiaweekly.com website (Note: the website says Xi'an Sizzling Woks is closed Mondays; the article implies otherwise).
  14. This place has opened up in the place formerly occupied by Chef Chen's. The space is much bigger than Tempt Asian but still kind of drab despite a remodel. We have been there a couple of times. They have a "Chinese menu" that is translated and easily available along with the usual Sino-American fare. We have had the spicy fish pot that was Excellent. Also loved the Nanjing salty duck, bamboo cumin fish (although the cumin could have been more pronounced and beef in dry pot. The spicy dishes are hot but not unbearable so. Talked to the owner's son one evening before he went back to school. He said they have high hopes for this location and might even consider moving the whole operation here. Asked couple of different people but didn't get an answer to why they didn't just name it Tempt Asian II. My little corner of Alexandria desperately needed a good Chinese joint. I am excited. Looking forward to reviews better written than this one.
  15. I've had many a Ma Po Tofu, including at Hong Kong Palace, that had the perception of overwhelming saltiness. Maybe this is a "cilantro-soap" thing? [Reminder to N00bs - click on the "snapback arrow" (top-right of quoted text) to snap back to the original conversation.]
  16. Not sure if this is on anyone's radar, but I discovered this place through another website that shall remain nameless (begins with a Y), but even there, it seems to be flying under the radar except for people of Chinese extraction. Anyway, I decided to check it out last weekend. Here is a synopsis of what I have posted elsewhere: My server seemed eager for me to try some of the Szechuan specialties which are printed in English on both the eat-in menu and take-out menu, rather than the Chinese American menu items (maybe it was because I expressed interest in the crispy pork intestines). Anyway, the menu has a section with "Szechuan and Country Style Entrees" and "Szechuan Chef's Specials, Appetizers and Cold Dishes". I stuck with the appetizers: String Beans in Ginger Sauce, Shrimp with Scallion Sauce, Dan Dan Spicy Noodle with Minced Pork, Steam Dumplings in Red Hot Sauce, and Sauteed Duck Eggs with Green Pepper. I definitely got the lip and tongue numbing sensation caused by Szechuan peppercorns. Personally, I thought the steamed dumplings were the tastiest of the lot. The dumplings themselves were a slightly thinner versions of pot stickers/gyoza. The duck eggs were what are sometimes known as thousand-year-old-eggs, century eggs, etc. and the green pepper was actually jalapenos. Although I didn't try any of the mains from the Szechuanese menu, it included such Szechuan staples as Double Cooked Pork and Ma Po Tofu in addition to more interesting sounding items such as Lamb with Cumin and Shredded Duck with Szechuan Sauce. But, to add another twist, there is yet another menu of specialties (on a separate menu) from Xi'an called Rouga Mo. These are like muffins/biscuits/flat bread split down the middle and filled with pork that's been cooked with five spice powder. According to my waiter this is what a lot of what the Chinese clientele (the majority of the diners) come to order. That and Chengdu Spicy Noodles. He was kind enough to offer me one on the house, and it certainly would make for a great lunch/snack.
  17. Guess chaofun had a scoop, as he added this location to our dim sum guide before any of us posted. I had seen this place advertise in the local Chinese paper but not visited until today. I saw an acquaintance post about dim sum today, so, well, I felt I wanted to have some dim sum on a dreary day, so I went. Golden King opens as early as 10am, which is great, given the congee selections on the menu. I stopped by at 11:00, knowing that they serve dim sum off the menu during weekdays (carts on weekends). The portions were big, I feel, given the price; I think dim sum is just getting pricey. My bill came to $21 and change after taxes, pre-tip. I ordered: Shrimp Har Gow Fried Shrimp & Pork Dumpling Pan-Fried Radish Cake & Twist Cruller Rice Noodle Crepe 1/4 order roast duck All were pretty good, with lots of leftovers since it was just me. I liked some of the things but I also like HK Pearl, which is closer, but it's nice to know there are now two options in Northern Virginia. I think I would like to try ordering from the menu next time, as I love Cantonese rice platters. Definite comfort food. The server said you can order the dim sum or regular menu to go. Delivery is within 5miles (I think) with minimum order of $15. Definitely worth a second look. I will scan in menu tomorrow. 703-433-5888 Hours: 10:00am - 11:00pm Dim sum: 10:00am - 3:00pm 21800 Town Center Plaza, Suite 269 Sterling, VA
  18. 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/
  19. Arlnow.com reports an off-shoot hot pot/shabu shabu in Virginia Square now, by the name of Mala Tang (as in ma2 la4=hot, spicy and tang4=to heat by water) to occupy the former Mei's Asian Bistro vacancy.
  20. I have not been here yet, but I know there are spicy food-, especially Szechuan food-lovers on this board. So I wanted to bring attention to a new opening of another Szechuan-style cooking in Rockville. Around the corner from the nail tech and nearby Bob's 66 is this new place, with a recent review in the Duowei Times, suggesting to try the "Twice Cooked Pork" because of its twist. Apparently the head chef used to head the kitchen at Joe's Noodle House and is also from Szechuan. If you go, the recommended dessert is the "Taro red date with glutinous rice." The sub-heading relates to the restaurant's Chinese translation. Sounds like a good TMB Rockville or TDT opportunity. 巴山蜀水 Sichuan Pavilion 410 Hungerford Drive Rockville, MD 240-403-7251 M-Thurs: 11:00am-10:00pm F: 11:00am-10:30pm S: 11:30am-10:30pm Sun: 11:30am-10:00pm
  21. Had Sichuan food on my mind last night, as so often happens, so I visited the poorly-programmed website for Hong Kong Palace. (hint: URL tags, like fading relationships, need some sort of closure) Ah. The owners just bought a place called China Jade up near Shady Grove Metro. So I just happened to find myself in the Shady Grove area at lunchtime today, and can report that the Cumin Beef recipe successfully made the trip north. Much of the HKP menu is duplicated here, plus they've added Cantonese seafood dishes to the mix. When I sat down, Maggie the manager handed me the traditional and Americanized menus, and suggested some of the traditional specialties. This was before she even noticed I looked Asian. We chatted a little about HKP, and she pointed out a family also making its first visit after discovering the change in ownership. So if you're craving some of that HKP cumin beef or fish in peppery broth, but can't cope with crossing the river and getting lost in Seven Corners (Dean, I'm looking at you), give China Jade a try. China Jade 16805 Crabbs Branch Way Rockville, MD 20855 301-963-1570 11am-10pm daily It's at the intersection of Shady Grove Rd and Crabbs Branch Way, in the shopping center with Giant and Red Hot & Blue.
  22. On my way back from the library today, I stopped to pickup a lunch special from Hunan Deli, which despite it's name, serves Korean food. It's in a small strip mall on Telegraph Rd., near Rt. 1. I ordered the jjampong, a spicy seafood soup, & it is delicious. I've had a bit of a cold & congestion, & the taste of this will clear your throat right up! It's a small place w/ just a few tables, but most of them were full with folks happily eating big bowls of yummy looking food. I look forward to going back & trying something else...
  23. 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
  24. I was invited for dinner at Sichuan Pavillion couple nights ago. Prior to my visit, I searched on the web to check out some reviews...there was almost none. Despite the fact that I probably passed by the restaurant thousands of times, it never struck me to check it out. The restaurant has a "traditional chinese/sichuan" menu on the last page of menu...the remaining of the menu is what you would see at a typical Chinese-American take out joint. We ordered from the traditional menu and we were pleasantly suprised at the authenticity of the dishes. We ordered the husband and wife beef tendon/tripe appetizer, sweet and sour cabbage, ma po tofu, steamed flounder, noodles with meat sauce (chinese take of spaghetti bolognese), chicken with dried red peppers, steam beef with red sauce and sauteed pea shoots. All of the sichuan dishes definitely had a kick and numbing sensation. Compared to Peter Chang, I would rank it lower but compared to Hong Kong Palace, the Szhechuan place on 14th Street and China Star, Sichuan Pavillion fared better. Can't wait to try out more dishes with a larger group.
  25. I hadn't been to North China in 10 or 15 years. The last time I had been there, it was a better-than-average Szechuan place, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary. About a month or two ago, I got a menu from North China in the mail, and I saw that they had a lot of more traditional dishes listed. We decided to try it. We were in for a surprise when we arrived. The restaurant used to have two rooms; now it was down to one. And whereas the decor had been sort of upscale suburban, now it was much more bare-bones. The food was outstanding. We had first-rate ma-po tofu, a very spicy shredded pork and chili appetizer, a sauteed squid dish with shredded pork and finely chopped greens, and a more conventional beef & mixed vegatables dish that was very well prepared. We didn't delve as deeply into the menu was I would have liked, because there were only three of us, one of whom was my son, who is more limited in his tastes than my wife and I. But there was lots of unfamiliar (to me) stuff to try. Fish stomach, anyone? Although one visit isn't enough to base a comparison on, based on what we ate it wouldn't be outrageous to put North China roughly in the same ballpark as Joe's Noodle House. It's certainly a closer-in alternative if you're looking for non-Americanized Chinese food. The address is 7814 Old Georgetown Rd.