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  1. Riverside Hot Pot opened last week in the old Chop Stix space. Address is 820 Muddy Branch Rd Gaithersburg, MD 20878. Website is: http://riversidehotpot.com/. Evidently it's a chain from China. I think this is the first (?) US location. You pick a stock from about 6 choices, they bring you a individual sized pot with burner. Add ins are all you can eat (think after the grand opening special of $21, it will be $25/pp). There is also a really nice sauce bar. There is a "traditional" Chinese menu as well, but we didn't opt for that. I got the Szechuan broth (which was good but I was hoping for a bit spicier), my wife got the vegetarian "health" pot (it had some various radish type things and goji berries for some additional flavor). If you are a vegetarian, be sure to tell them, because they top the pots of with a house broth which isn't vegetarian (they brought a teapot of the veggie stock for my wife). The list of add-ins is extensive. We got an assortment of veg (spinach, bok choy, napa, other greens, lotus root, mushrooms (shitake and enoki), bamboo shoots, frozen bean curd (has a nice spongy texture), shrimp, scallops, clams, squid, octopus (wife eats fish). I also got a spicy beef and another beef with enoki. Last item was a clear noodle. Everything was really good. The kitchen didn't give us everything each time we asked but the servers were good at finishing up the requests when something was missing. My only negative is that when they re-fill the broth, it would be nice if they did so with the broth that you ordered. My Szechuan ended up pretty watered down. Would definetly go back a second time (perhaps as soon as tomorrow!) Cheers!
  2. I'm sure this will be a smashing success just like Eataly was back in 2010, when Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich opened their first store in New York, but a small voice inside me keeps asking "which part of Chinese cuisine has omakase sushi?" "China Live: A Food Emporium of Epic Proportions in San Francisco's Chinatown" by Jonathan Kauffman on sfchronicle.com
  3. District Dumplings: Jun 6, 2018 - "District Dumplings Set To Open New Location in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center" by Alex Koma on arlnow.com
  4. Thinking of going to the Rockville location of Peter Chang this evening before being sequestered at the Courtyard Mariott for a weekend of everything the Catholic Church wants us to know about being married. Would this be our best bet for Chinese food or would Sichuan Jin River, China Bistro, Bob's Shanghai or Shanghai Taste work better?
  5. 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.
  6. 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/
  7. 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.
  8. Does anyone have a good recipe for this? I've looked at a few, there are some significant differences. Trying to recreate Chang's or HKP's version at the home front...
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Driving along North Washington Street in Rockville last night a sign caught my eye: "Bob's Bakery". It was on a papered-over window in the same building and around the corner from Bob's Shanghai 66. A cursory internet search turned up a yellow pages listing and no more. You now know all that I know. Suddenly I've realized that it's been more than a week since I've been to BS66! This is a situation that must be rectified promptly. While there I will ask about the bakery.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Update on the Bethesda Fine Dining Location, which reports a May opening (credit--Bethesda Magazine)
  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. 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/
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. When planning our recent NYC jaunt, we remembered reading that the Hong Kong dim sum mini chain, Tim Ho Wan, recently opened a NYC outpost. We'd been to Hong Kong last fall and went twice to one of their outposts there and fell in love with it. So, knowing all of this, we HAD TO GO if we were going to NYC. We tried to get there the first morning we were there. They open at 10AM and we got there at 10:15 and discovered that there was a one to two hour wait. We gave up (trying to get to the nearby Artichoke Basille's Pizza, but there had been a fire there just the night before - there were a bunch of firefighters there getting instructions from the fire marshal to help figure out the source - so sad, we love that place). Rebuffed, we ended up going straight to Die Neue Gallerie and had a wonderful lunch at their Germanic restaurant on site (but that is another post!). So the NEXT day, we got smart and got to Tim Ho Wan by 9:25. We were 9th and 10th in line. Yes, yes, I HATE to wait. But they open at 10:00 and we both really, really wanted to go here so the 35 minute wait was what we had to suffer through to get our fix. Be forewarned, if you want to get in the first seating of the day, you'll probably have to get there early or suffer much longer waits later in the day. We ate our way through the menu, but we ordered two of the baked BBQ pork buns. These are SO MUCH BETTER than steaming them. The NYC version was quite, quite good, though not quiiiiiiite as amazing as those in Hong Kong. Their Deep fried eggplant with shrimp were fine, but I would not bother ordering them again. I wanted the eggplant to have far more crispiness. Their various dumplings are all worth consideration and trying out - we tried many and they were wonderful. I really enjoyed their steamed rice rolls - difficult to eat but very, very good. Their steamed rice with minced beef and pan fried egg was EXCEPTIONAL. The congee, which Hong Kong made me a fan of, with preserved egg was kind of flat. They did not have adequate toppings to doctor up your congee like I expected. I'd certainly go back here. If you can go with a group, you get to try more. And remember, this is the order off the menu on to little sheets of paper place, not the rolling trolley kind of dim some place. It's some seriously good dim sum. Photos
  24. "She (the dumpling stand owner) also opened a restaurant nearby in a small mall on Kissena several years ago and I can't remember the name, but the dumplings there were lighter and better prepared (& somewhat costlier). I think its still there, but I haven't been since the opening". Well, I made myself curious and decided to check in on this place. First of all, it turns out that Dumpling Galaxy is on Main not Kissena, several blocks past Golden Mall, where her original dumpling stand in the basement remains &, second of all, it appears that a lot has been written about her. Seems that Helen You is now quite a celebrity, with a new cookbook and lots of fans (some of whom I know well & respect). At any rate, here's some reading material on a now famous dumpling maker: Nov 11, 2014 - "Dumpling Galaxy in Queens" by Pete Wells on nytimes.com "The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook" by Helen You and Max Falkowitz on amazon.com Jun 14, 2017 - "Watch the Story of Dumpling Galaxy's Helen You" by Joe DiStefano on chopsticksandmarrow.com I'm guessing that I may have to go back.
  25. What can I say? I love dumplings. We went up to NYC for four days of dumplings and dumplings and general walking around. We had some excellent dumplings and some tragic ones. On the excellent side: Sheng jian bao: So far, I have not found any in the states better than the ones at 456 Shanghai at 69 Mott Street. The reality is that sheng jian bao are best from a standalone shop that is making 50 of these at once, and as far as I can tell I'm only going to get that in shanghai. but in the meantime... I can make it to 456 in nyc when I have a craving. Xiao long bao: for convenience and reliability, Shanghai Cafe at 100 Mott is pretty much my gold standard. Cash only. We did find a better xiao long bao... but it was a big trek. You have to balance your craving against the effort. Diverse Dim Sum, in the New York Food Court in Flushing, has much better XLB. But they only have disposable plastic spoons and forks. So if you trek out to Flushing, I'd advise bringing your own spoon and chopsticks and chili in oil (for the wonton below). Wonton in chili oil: White Bear, 135-02 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing. (the shop entrance is actually around the corner on Prince St.) Cash only. Three tables. There is a long menu but you want the #6. The wonton are pillowy and subtle. The chili is flavour, not heat-- if you go in expecting spicy, you will be disappointed. Although, there is usually some spicy chili on one of the tables, if you must. Or bring your own. We started and ended our Flushing trip here. Delicious. Pan-fried pork and vegetable dumpling: Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, 1 Doyers St. Cash-only. The dumpling were fabulous. So were the pan-fried knife peeled noodles, as were the hand-pulled noodles. No air conditioning, tiny, cramped, delicious. (Not a Dumpling): Roast pork sesame pancake sandwich, Milk tea boba: Vanessas Dumpling House, 118 Eldridge. They also had tasty pan-fried pork dumplings and wonton in chili oil, but while very good they were not as excellent as the examples above. ---- Calories I ate so you do not have to: Nan Xiang XLB in Flushing. Maybe it was a bad day. If so, it was a bad day for everything we ordered here. the XLB were inedible (meat was... stale.) The scallion pancake was fried well but I think may have started life as cardboard. And the sheng jian bao were essentially just taiwanese bao that had been soaked in oil and given a very little pan fry at the wrong heat. no soup, too doughy and oily. edible- but no reason to actually eat them. Lao jia, or old street dimsum in queens crossing mall, flushing. The sheng jian bao were utterly tragic. They had been sitting under a heat lamp, they hadn't been fried enough, and the meat was not good. The guo tie otoh had just come off the stove and were pretty good, but not sure why you would otherwise find yourself in queens crossing mall. --- The New York Food Court and the New World Mall were both hopping shanghai-style food court malls, with tons of great smells. If I hadn't been on a dumpling mission, I know I would have found a lot more to inhale. There are also a couple of cute asian bakeries around town. I can definitely make the case for taking the 7 train out to flushing, starting at white bear, and then just eating your way through those two food courts before stumbling home.. possibly with a final stop at white bear before you go. Also the bathrooms at New World are some of the best public bathrooms I've been in. --- other note: Yes, we went to Joe's on our previous trip. Huge tourist trap, long waits, and the XLB were... fine? I like 100 mott better, and it's cheaper, and much less crazy. Joe's did have the best scallion pancake I'd had in years, though, so I might try to figure out how to just get one to go? Maybe.
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