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X.O. Taste, Cantonese in Seven Corners - Not Open as Late as Before

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For those who are not a fan of Mark's Duck House but are a fan of Cantonese cooking in the Falls Church area, there is a little, hidden alternative pretty much right across the street. Open since February of this year, XO Taste has the hanging poultry & ducks, roast pork, and other familiar Cantonese dishes on an expansive menu, BUT in a much, much cleaner and brighter setting.

Today's Pipa Duck was the highlight of the evening, nicely roasted, although slightly fatty still, crispy skin, with great juice and marinated flavor. The bonus was that it was not too salty or dry, as served at some places.

They also had a great array of congee, so my friend and I went with the traditional Thousand year old eggs with pork congee. Again, not too salty, but not as thick as other Cantonese restaurants--this dish was every bit as comforting as good congee should be. The pork had a nice salty kick to it, but not overbearing.

The only miss of the evening was the Seafood in XO sauce, since they didn't use a lot of sauce, and the kitchen used too much yellow chives and onions, and not enough seafood. But it's XO sauce!

All this came to around $32, which is probably a bit pricier than some of its Cantonese counterparts, but for the atmosphere and complimentary sweet red bean soup dessert, I'd come here again. Especially to explore more parts of the menu. And those little swimmers in the water tanks towards the back of the restaurant. Most of tonight's diners were Asian families, in case you were wondering.

Someone on one of the area chats asked if the reviewer had gone before, so it's on some people's radars. Hopefully it'll be on the area food critics' radars soon too.

6124 Arlington Blvd.

Falls Church, VA 22044

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For those who are not a fan of Mark's Duck House but are a fan of Cantonese cooking in the Falls Church area, there is a little, hidden alternative pretty much right across the street. Open since February of this year, XO Taste has the hanging poultry & ducks, roast pork, and other familiar Cantonese dishes on an expansive menu, BUT in a much, much cleaner and brighter setting...

This is mighty encouraging.

Thanks for the post. Can't wait to check it out.

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I think I just found my new favorite Cantonese restaurant. Clean and airy atmosphere. Twin lobsters with your choice of cooking method for $25. What's not to love.

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They even serve complementary Cantonese tang shui at the end (azuki beans flavored with orange peels).

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The wife and I went tonight and tried the Peking Duck ($24.95). Pretty good, almost as good as Mark's. But in a much nicer setting and friendly, efficient service (most of the servers at Mark's either ignore us or are curt or both). We'll go back to X.O soon.

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Does this place have push-cart dim sum on weekends?

I have not seen any advertisement at their establishment indicating that they serve dim sum. I can drive by this weekend to confirm.

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Am I correct in my surmise that this restaurant is in the space formerly occupied by the unlamented Hunan Champion? (That is, the last bit of Willston II facing Patrick Henry as you go north?)

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Am I correct in my surmise that this restaurant is in the space formerly occupied by the unlamented Hunan Champion? (That is, the last bit of Willston II facing Patrick Henry as you go north?)

I believe so. It's around the corner from the Safeway, hidden on the side, next door to a convenience store of some type and near that BBT bank/atm, or a bank/atm.

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Since I have grown tired of both Vinh Kee and Mark's Duck House -- the two convenient Cantonese restaurants that my wife enjoys in our 'hood -- I finally convinced her, after reading the positive comments on this thread, to try XO Taste. She's glad that I did. Really enjoyed the "Seafood Special in XO Sauce." Nice crunchiness to the meat which I have missed in most noodle dishes served in these parts. Also had a beef with noodles to which they were kind to add at my wife's request some gai lan, so the dish was very close to the traditional Malaysian beef with wide noodles that we both enjoy, The beef in this case was fairly thickly sliced and grilled so it made its presence felt. We examined the Yuling style duck that was hung up in the display case so that will be on the menu for our return engagement. The place is very clean and the barbecue smell is a nice appetite whetter when you enter. Unfortunately the wine list is a typical generic red/white selection, so MDH has them beat in this regard. Didn't look at the beer offerings.

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I just tried XO Taste the other night for take out. We had the "Good Deal" chow foon, which had shrimp, pork and curry, and also the BBQ sampler with duck, roast pig, and chicken. Everything was excellent. Another amazing thing about XO Taste is that they are open until 2:00 am on weekdays and 3:00 am on weekends, which was convenient, since it was after 10 on a weeknight and very little is open right around there. The menu is very extensive. Can't wait to go back.

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A few weeks ago after seeing a line out the door at Mark's Duck House (which admittedly has gone down hill over the past few years) I remembered this thread and decided to try XO Taste. I have been there three times over the past few weeks. Just about everything we tried has been excellent and the cleanliness and quality of service are on a par with the food. Among the things we have tried that I can recommend are:

  • Congee (I have had the version with squid, peanuts and pork)
  • BBQ (Roast Pig and Roast Duck are great, the Roast Pork is a bit sweet for my taste)
  • Triple Tripe Casserole (Of course they were concerned that a round eye would not like it, but it is the best use of tripe I have tasted since I had Tripe a la mode at Chez Dennis in Paris)
  • Noodle Soup with Roast Pig (as good as Mark's Duck House)
  • Thinly sliced Pig Knuckle
  • Various sauteed greens with garlic

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He seems to suggest it's operated by the Bailey's X-Roads Full Kee folks.

That would help explain the late-night hours.

Am I the only one who didn't like the Peking Duck here? Mine was a low-quality duck, not freshly roasted, greasy, and without any crispy skin; there was no attempt to reheat it (most are at least slightly warm), and the pancakes were hardening. I can't remember having a worse Peking Duck, although I suppose I probably have.

Overall, though, my impression was of a pleasant restaurant (if a bit too bright), and a potentially good neighborhood choice.

Cheers.

Rocks.

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Am I the only one who didn't like the Peking Duck here? Mine was a low-quality duck, not freshly roasted, greasy, and without any crispy skin; there was no attempt to reheat it (most are at least slightly warm), and the pancakes were hardening. I can't remember having a worse Peking Duck, although I suppose I probably have.

If you are looking for crispy skin, the roast duck, half-portion would fulfill your crispy-skin-craving. The skin had a nice *crunch* for parts of it, a bit of fat/grease pouring out with each bite into the moist, pretty nicely done meat. It was nice of the butcher to ask if I wanted the head (yes!), and for $9.95, you can't beat the amount given, especially if you are eating it over rice and that nice juice-fat runs and mixes into your rice. I think even synaesthesia would approve. Maybe they had to step things up since the Post review, as things tasted pretty fresh for my last night's carry out order?

It was pretty busy last night at 7pm, with only about maybe 4 tables empty, and a large party occupied most of the room. It was a nice mix of non-Asians and Asians, with nary a parking spot in the 10 available ones in the front.

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He seems to suggest it's operated by the Bailey's X-Roads Full Kee folks.

I asked tonight, and it's owned by both the Bailey's Crossroads AND the Richmond (surprise!) branch of Full Kee - they own three restaurants only.

Thanks to the review by Tom Sietsema, I ordered #165, Congee with Mince Beef, Squid, Pig Skin, and Peanut ($6.50).

I did not see a single piece of pig skin, but certainly saw some faux pig skin (as Michel Richard might call it) - wheat-based fried wonton strips (the long, rectangular ones that are commonly found in plastic bags and dumped into hot-and-sour soup). The congee was a lot of food - it came in a one-quart plastic container - and for $6.50? It's a great value, one which every single post-midnight-hungry person on this website should be enjoying. Other than the squid - which is great in this, and merits your attention - it's meant for shoveling down uncritically, and would be excellent for a preemptive strike against impending hangover.

Cheers,

Rocks

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The congee was a lot of food - it came in a one-quart plastic container - and for $6.50? It's a great value, one which every single post-midnight-hungry person on this website should be enjoying. Other than the squid - which is great in this, and merits your attention - it's meant for shoveling down uncritically, and would be excellent for a preemptive strike against impending hangover.

Cheers,

Rocks

Or for a recuperating Malaysian Chinese lady who wants something easy to digest that reminds her (somewhat) of home. :angry:

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I have been to XO at least 6 or 7 times now. You can't go wrong with the lobster, stir fried pea shoots, and any of the bbq items hanging from the glass case. The chef here tend to be heavy handed with corn starch when making casseroles and soups, which is a shame because Cantonese are expert at making these dishes, and they are so good if done right.

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Strategic inspection.

Cantonese connection.

Uplifting selections.

Long overdue for an emissions inspection (thanks, Alexandria, for the helpful ticket reminder!), I chose the Seven Corners area with the intent of walking over to X.O. Taste for lunch. Enjoyed the lunch special menu's Seafood With Egg ($6.99) and the regular menu's Marinated Cuttlefish ($8.95). Soup (looked like tripe; could have been bean curd) arrived gratis with the lunch special, but served at room temperature rather than hot. Seafood With Egg included scallops, tiny briny shrimp, and a touch of lobster. Flavor went from ho hum to hot damn once a liberal splash of red wine vinegar jumped into the mix.

The cuttlefish simply blew my mind. Bright and freshly pickled radish and carrot beneath the impossibly thin, chewy, orange-colored slices. A slight citrus edge, perhaps from yuzu rice vinegar? Regardless, the best rendition of this item I've had in years.

A few other observations to add to the astute thoughts from previous posters:

*The lunch special menu is inexpensive and extensive.

*Free tea arrives in a metal teapot, but the top half is plastic. Many restaurants of this genre use all-metal pots which sometimes get bizarrely funky or rusty towards the spout. Not an issue here.

*Would be a great place to take a group of 10 or 12 people. Lazy Susans on family-style tables probably get frequent workouts here. Perhaps this will emerge as a $20 Tuesday option in the not-too-distant future.

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And if misery loves company, I've been on a liquid-only diet today consisting of black coffee, coconut water, and gin. It's going to be a challenge not to pick up that phone tonight and get the roast pork at X.O. Taste - but I'm not going to.

Does making it past midnight count?

The (Seafood) Congee ($8.95) wasn't worth the extra money over the basic $6.50 bowls.

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Frog Legs With Yellow Chives had me jumping out of my skin at dinner the other night.

Meltingly tender, chopped off the bone but including gratifyingly-juicy sections with bone, subtle and ideal seasoning, an especially excellent rendition for anyone not yet acquainted with amphibious appendages. My first choice was going to be Conch prepared the same way, but the kitchen had run out of that ingredient.

I've never had a bad dish at X.O. Taste. This day was no exception--also tasty was the Minced Beef with Cilantro soup showcasing deeply flavorful broth, the aforementioned and outstanding marinated cuttlefish, and Squid with Sour Cabbage.

I have a feeling takeout from here would hold up well.

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I'd love to go into detail as to why my Seafood Tofu in Casserole ($15.95) last night was great, but instead I'll just say that I found an empty mixing bowl this morning on my nightstand.

Still open 'till 2 AM (and, for those concerned, I'd gotten it earlier in the evening, knowing that I'd be hungry later),

Rocks.

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Harumph. I'm glad you enjoyed your XO Taste dinner, Don. Last night I planned to get my usual take out fave from XO Taste -- the Good Deal Chow Foon. But when I arrived around 8:45, they said their power had just gone out and no further cooking was being done until the power was restored. So no good luck with the good deal chow foon. Fortunately, Hong Kong Palace is nearby, and provided a pleasing substitute -- dan dan noodles, spicy Zhong's spring dumplings, and sichuan ribs.

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