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Charles Tsui

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About Charles Tsui

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    clam

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    Male
  • Location
    South Riding, VA

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  1. Since returning from our most recent trip to Hong Kong two weeks ago, we've been jonesing for some dim sum. Decided to try the weekend lunch at Q (we've been very happy with their dinner dishes). I tempered my expectations as Peter doesn't have a Cantonese cooking background, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Overall, I'd rate everything at least average quality by HK standards. By comparison, I've never felt that the dim sum offerings at Oriental East, China Garden, or Mark's Duck House would've made the cut beyond the local market. Stand outs: the sticky rice sesame balls (莲蓉芝麻球) wer
  2. Thanks for the correction! I never made it to their original location--only started going when they opened in Wheaton.
  3. Just a short post that I've been meaning to write for some time. Don: go back. As soon as possible. My previous, 2014 meal at the old Elements location (a kitchen table tasting that they used to offer) was very inventive. I appreciated the creativity and the chefs' stories behind each dish. But, in terms of absolute deliciousness? Ehh... pretty good. Went back in May for a Grand Tasting and was totally blown away. Amazing flavors without losing any of the playfulness. We'd just come back from the Bay Area and agreed that the meal was every bit as enjoyable as Meadowood, Manresa,
  4. Tiger Fork has to be appreciated in-context. Is their BBQ, for example, better than what I've had at the best specialist shops in HK? No way. But I don't really expect a $1.50 char siu rice box joint to pop up on Blagden Alley anytime soon. As I wrote above, if this place opened in Vancouver, it wouldn't merit much attention. But it's in DC, and there's nothing else quite like it right now. I do appreciate authenticity and focus. But I also understand why dilution may be necessary to succeed in a given market. 10 years ago, you couldn't really get a proper bowl of ramen here. Then, Toki
  5. Don, there's no widely-accepted standard adjective. "Hong Kongese" is used infrequently, but somewhat consistently, by the local English language press. You'll often find (and I prefer) the more natural "Hong Kong style". "Cantonese" is often used to describe cuisine, but is inclusive of neighboring Guangdong province (romanized as "Canton") in mainland China. A dish like steamed whole fish with soy sauce and ginger could be fairly described as Cantonese. But something like deep fried French toast with peanut butter and condensed milk should be specifically associated with Hong Kong.
  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 b
  7. What sad news. I have very fond memories of a dinner at Central in 2012 with one of Michel's son's friends. Halfway through the meal, Michel arrived with his wife and brother and they sat down for their own dinner at the table next to ours. We ate and drank until we were ready to pass out and Chef comped our meal. A most gracious and generous host.
  8. Enjoyed a really fun and delicious progressive sushi tasting with Chef Yu today. Since he knew that I would likely be sharing the pictures here, he wanted to be clear that this was an off-menu omakase that may not be possible to repeat (based on availability of fish, how busy he is behind the counter). But it was absolutely representative of the quality and passion that I've consistently experienced at Takumi (this was my third visit). Whitefish tasting (L-R): bronzini, medai, hamachi belly Tuna tasting (L-R): regular maguro, chu-turo, o-toro, seared Salmon (and friend) tasting
  9. Yes, I think this is currently the best sushi in NoVA (and rivals the best spots in the DC area). I asked Chef Yu to serve me omakase and he presented the following: Branzino with lime zest Tuna with black truffle Hokkaido hotate Seared scallop with lemon and salt Salmon with Old Bay Hamachi with uni Aoyagi Seared salmon belly Uni Smoked ankimo (disclosure: comped by Chef) Ikura With 2 pieces per order, plus a Brussels sprout salad and miso soup to start with, I was properly stuffed by the end of this lunch. While much of the menu will look familiar to Kaz regulars, there's a hard-to-pinpoint
  10. Rose's deserves all of the praise and recognition that it's received over the past year. FoH is as great as the kitchen. Not that they need my loyalty, but they've earned it.
  11. Speaking of obnoxious folks... We had a 7:45 reservation at the kitchen counter (we'd also sat there last NYE and loved it). After a long wait upstairs, the staff told us that our seats were being occupied by a couple who had long since finished their meal and paid, but weren't moving. At 8:30, they offered us a regular table and we took it (my wife was about ready to kill someone). The manager comped one of our dinners and everyone was genuinely apologetic. As usual, we loved the food and the service. I'm just astounded that guests, being fully aware of the packed reservations book, would be
  12. What an absolutely wonderful last dinner to remember CityZen by. I don't think it's just sentimentality that made this, by quite a margin, my favorite of the 6 or 7 meals that I've had here over the years. To be honest, all of those previous experiences had been missing something for me. The cooking has always been flawlessly precise--I've never had a single course that was not perfectly cooked or seasoned. But there haven't been as many truly memorable dishes as I'd expected. I was mostly left thinking, "great technique", "subtle balance", but not necessarily, "really delicious". My great fon
  13. Looking forward to hearing about what I'm sure will be an incredible dinner tonight. Also excited for my solo dining experience--I have no doubt that they'll take good care of me. So pleased that I will be able to enjoy one last meal at a restaurant that's hosted quite a few of my special celebrations over the years.
  14. Thank you, everyone! I didn't have any takers to join me, but I was able to switch the reservation to one. JoshNE, hope to run into you guys; have a great dinner!
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