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Found 9 results

  1. 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).
  2. Hi Folks, Anyone here have recommendations for restaurants in Hong Kong and/or Beijing? I'm doing my homework by looking at the numerous travel forum sites for tips, but I'd much rather get the advice that only Rockwellians can supply. We will be in Hong Kong Dec. 26th-Jan. 1, then Jan. 1-6 in Beijing. (Brrrr....) Many thanks! Sparkycom (aka Snarky Bomb)
  3. 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
  4. Little man requested Chinese food and the only criterion was to try a "new place," or "somewhere we haven't been before." Seeing this place in the Washington Chinese newspaper recently, I thought this would be a good candidate. Good signs: specials written in Chinese on a white board, mostly Chinese families, busy on Friday night with mostly Chinese families, Chinese families sharing a big round table, fish tanks, lots of clay pots and roast animals on tables, and good-looking roast ducks, chicken, pigs, and porks hanging on a window. Not so good signs: the prices. Little man and I shared: half roast duck ($12.50), stir-fry snow pea shoots ($14.95), vegetarian egg rolls ($2.45), and kingdom style pork chops ($12.95). We had more than half of each entree for leftovers, but even so, I had a little bit of sticker shock. I did really like their rendition of Kingdom Pork Chops. It was nicely sweet and sour, with a nice, slightly crispness to them. Little man's favorite tonight. The pea shoots are out of season, so it was slightly tough, but still good, even if a bit pricey. The duck was fine. I think XO or Golden Hong Kong has a slight edge to this duck. I didn't get to ask any questions about the chef or when they opened, as they were swamped tonight, but little man placed this restaurant in his top-eateries list. So we will be coming back. It is a great option for those living close to here. Taste @ Hong Kong (Ignore the wrong Chinese characters on the website's main page. The ones I used match those shown in the picture.)
  5. East Pearl has been open only two weeks, but I've already been three times. The menu is huge, and since every dish I've had has been a hit, I am drawn to keep returning. No website, and too lazy to scan the takeout menu. In fact, as I look at it, I realize that a good chunk of the "chinese" part of the menu isn't even on the takeout menu. In the restaurant, there's not a separate Chinese menu, though there is an add-on page of specials that they have brought each time, so there's no non-Chinese bias. In fact, as soon as I start pointing to the "chinese" side of the menu, they smile and start recommending dishes. Some things I have had, in no particular order: Shrimp wonton noodle soup - nearly paper-thin wonton wrappers that hold large diced shrimp inside, nicely chewy noodles that are impossibly long, and a broth that some might call salty but I can't get enough of. Cured bacon with chinese broccoli - nicely bitter greens, a rich brown sauce, and not only pork belly but also chinese sausage. Deep fried spicy pork chop - not that spicy by my standards, but well fried and juicy Assorted meats & seafood w bean curd in casserole - nothing fancy, but tons of shrimp, scallops, squid, cuttlefish, pork, chicken in a rich sauce. Pig skin & turnips - I was thinking this might be crispy, but it was braised and oh so good. There are entire sections of the menu for noodle soups, "rice on xxx", casseroles, noodles (chow foon, rice noodles, e-fu, young chow, pan fried, etc.), BBQ, and that's not even counting 2 pages of "chef's specialties" which include all kind of organ meats, frog, lobster and clams, etc. All of the food on the other tables looks great, and I'm the only non-Chinese person I've seen in the restaurant after 3 visits. Portions are generous, and prices are low. Three of us were hungry tonight, polished off 3 dishes plus a noodle soup, and the total was still well under $20pp after tax and tip. Definitely a $20 Tuesday candidate.
  6. As I was foraging through the newly-opened Momo's Nepalese Food in Springfield Plaza, I noticed across the parking lot a large banner declaring "Grand Opening" and many colored pennants flapping in the breeze at what is now called Golden Hong Kong.
  7. Nine hungry Rockwellian dim sum addicts descended upon Mark's Duck House at noon today. After disappointments at our two previous NoVa outings (China Garden in Rosslyn and Fortune across the street from MDH), we were delighted at the consistently good tidbits pouring out of this kitchen. Our feast consisted of the following: scallop dumplings roast suckling pig baked roast pork croissant (flaky triangular pastry filled with char sui) sui mei har gow shrimp cheong fan roast duck BBQ spareribs spareribs in black bean sauce tripe with ginger shrimp in seaweed shrimp/taro cakes baby cuttlefish clams in black bean sauce braised chicken feet sticky rice in lotus leaf potstickers salt & pepper head-on shrimp Chinese broccoli baked char sui bao stuffed bean curd skin tofu with some unspecified roast meat on top some sort of fried shrimp dumpling with a shrimp tail for decoration fried roll with shrimp and fake crab pineapple buns custard tarts sesame seed balls There might have been another dish or two in there as well. There were a few misses here and there, but the quibbles were minor - overall, the quality was consistently good. Service was outstanding compared to other dim sum places. My minor quibbles... The tea was much weaker than its color would have indicated. Perhaps the leaves were a bit stale? Sesame balls are usually filled with red bean paste, but MDH used something we couldn't quite identify. I think shredded coconut was a component. It wasn't really creamy or flavorful, and the balls themselves were loaded with oil. Not horrible by any means, as it still tasted nice enough, but it was not at the same level of quality as the rest of the offerings. The cheong fan sauce wasn't as rich as one normally finds - it was more like lightly sweetened soy sauce. I was surprised that the roast duck was the weakest meat platter we got at a place called Mark's Duck House. The fat wasn't fully rendered, so the skin was a little too limp and the meat a little too greasy. OTOH, the roast suckling pig had wonderfully crisp skin, and the BBQ spareribs were a major highlight of the meal. For me, the best dishes were the BBQ spareribs, the clams in black bean sauce (oh dear, did I really end up eating half the platter?), and the baby cuttlefish. Oh, and the triangular char sui pastry - I think Hollywood East On The Boulevard's version is a touch better, but it's a close call. (MDH had better pastry, HEOTB had better char sui) The restaurant is quite small for a dim sum crowd - I can't imagine it seating more than 150 people. Must be a heck of a wait on Sundays. Unlike, say, China Garden, MDH seems worth the wait. Cost per adult: $18 including a generous tip
  8. I figure if I'm not exactly clear on this, then it's a good bet others aren't either, so rather than just Googling or asking a friend, I thought I'd make this a public discussion. Can anyone provide a primer (either linking to one, or writing one) that can point out the basic similarities and differences between these two regional cuisines? I kind-of, sort-of get it when I see it, but not really, and I want to dig deeper and learn more. Thanks in advance if anyone can help, Rocks
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