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Tai Shan, Sushi, Dim Sum, and Some Shanghainese Dishes on 7th and H Street near Verizon Center - Sold and Closing in Sep, 2015


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It's been tough waiting for HECOB to reopen.

So bad, I half remembered Todd Kliman's snippet last summer about Dim Sum being served at Tai Shan in Montgomery Village. This location has always been pretty steady for mains even before the name/ownership change [back in the pre-butterstick, Peking Supreme days].

Beyond the sushi specials and the halfhearted Chinese-American staples, there's an authentic Chinese restaurant, one of the best in Montgomery County. Also one of the most comfortable, with padded booths set down in a spacious dining room festooned with red lanterns. A tureen-size bowl of corn soup and a dish of house-pickled cucumbers with slivers of garlic and finger peppers get a meal off to a strong start. From there, look to a plate of fried pork chops doused with spiced salt and a greaseless stir-fry of shredded chicken with hot green peppers and leeks. On weekends, the Shanghai-style dim sum served from 11:30 to 2:30 is excellent.

-August 2009

A couple of Sundays ago I went and found that a display case of tendon, seaweed peanuts and other cold dim sum had replaced the first couple of booths inside the dining room. The dim sum is ordered from a menu [attached], not carts, and is delivered from the kitchen when ready. I had pumpkin pancake [more like a bun], scallion pancake [no too oily] and pan-fried pork buns.

The setting is almost serene compared with New Fortune and seemed to pick up after noon with Asian families.

TaiShanDimSum_Dec2009.PDF

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My husband and I just went here for Sunday lunch with my family. It's a haul from DC, but definitely worth the drive. There are so few really good northern-style dim sum places in the area.

Partial rundown:

  • XLB, an obsession, was excellent -- plenty of broth, great flavor (but you have to ask for soup spoons)
  • Sesame shao bing (I think that's the right name) available if you call in advance, worth it... crispy crunchy outside, tender and not too doughy inside, got an order of thinly sliced 5-spice beef to stuff inside
  • Steamed buns with pork and preserved vegetables, not commonly found, very tasty
  • Salty soymilk and ma la tendon also very good
  • Spicy wontons (another obsession) were OK, have had better... mock chicken also just OK

We over-ordered out of sheer excitement. The only reason there were leftovers was because we stuffed ourselves so silly that we just couldn't fit anymore in. Will definitely be going there again...

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Went to Tai Shan with my parents this past weekend, bummed to say it was not as good as in years past. To mirror the same rundown that I did a few years ago:

  • XLB: Mediocre... good flavor, but some had broth while others did not
  • Sesame shao bing: Still excellent -- crispy layers on the outside, pillowy soft inside
  • Steamed buns with pork (belly) and preserved vegetables: Good, though they seemed skimpier on the filling
  • Salty soymilk and ma la tendon: Still good
  • Spicy wontons: Totally different and not very spicy

Not in a hurry to return in the near future since it's such a trek to get there. Such a bummer...

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Went to Tai Shan with my parents this past weekend, bummed to say it was not as good as in years past. To mirror the same rundown that I did a few years ago:

  • XLB: Mediocre... good flavor, but some had broth while others did not
  • Sesame shao bing: Still excellent -- crispy layers on the outside, pillowy soft inside
  • Steamed buns with pork (belly) and preserved vegetables: Good, though they seemed skimpier on the filling
  • Salty soymilk and ma la tendon: Still good
  • Spicy wontons: Totally different and not very spicy

Not in a hurry to return in the near future since it's such a trek to get there. Such a bummer...

Hmmm. Very interesting.  Have you had the xlb at either Shanghai Taste (Rockville) or at Peter Chang's in C'Ville or Richmond?  After not having xlb for a few years, I've been able to try both in the past 10 days (Peter Chang's twice) and was anticipating this review to see if a trip up to Tai Shan would be worthwhile. Sounds like maybe it isn't but I'm a bit curious to know whether Tai Shan's xlb would rival those of Shanghai Taste.  Like Tai Shan, the xlb at Shanghai Taste did have some variability on broth but the other big factors are filling flavor and wrapper thinness. Thanks, NightOwl!

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Have you had the xlb at either Shanghai Taste (Rockville) or at Peter Chang's in C'Ville or Richmond? ...I'm a bit curious to know whether Tai Shan's xlb would rival those of Shanghai Taste. Like Tai Shan, the xlb at Shanghai Taste did have some variability on broth but the other big factors are filling flavor and wrapper thinness. Thanks, NightOwl!

I haven't been to either, but plan to go to Shanghai Taste... would love to go to Peter Chang's and just need to get motivated for the drive.

My parents said Shanghai Taste is run by the wife of Tai Shan's owner and, based on a recent visit there, that the XLB there are good (but not much else right now, so wait till they get into the swing of things a little more). Tai Shan's XLB are good in terms of flavor and thinness of the wrapper. The only thing that gives me pause is that they use gelatin in the filling (vs natural gelatin in broth if done the traditional way), but maybe everyone does that now -- does Shanghai Taste? Likely since they are run by the same family.

Bottom line for me: After my last lunch at Tai Shan last weekend, I'm more apt to give Shanghai Taste a try next since it's closer than Tai Shan. Maybe Tai Shan is feeling a little stretched right now between there and Shanghai Taste? Just an uneducated hypothesis.

Thanks for your posts elsewhere here on XLB, Shanghai Taste and Peter Chang's, darkstar965!

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Okay, I've been spending an inordinate amount of time unraveling the mystery of Tai Shan, formerly at 19204 Montgomery Village Ave. in Gaithersburg. Here's the situation:

The Gaithersburg Tai Shan is closed and shuttered. (Thanks, JL)

There is also a Tai Shan at 622 H St. NW, not far from the Gallery Place Metro.

I called them, and was told that they *are* the same company, and that the building in Gaithersburg was purchased - in other words, it was a forced closure due to a lease either being terminated or not renewed. It was not the owners' fault.

I asked if they would reopen in Gaithersburg, and the (very polite) lady kind of chuckled with an "I don't know" laugh - in other words, I wouldn't expect it to happen ... but it might.

So for now, Tai Shan is at 7th and H Streets, and listed under the Verizon Center neighborhood in the Washington, DC Restaurant Guide.

There was a chocolaterie next door to Tai Shan in Gaithersburg, called "Just Chocolate Palace," which has also been closed and shuttered.

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Don - say hi next time. My dad's best friend owns it and we used to have juk there every sunday night. I could have easily found this out for you. 

Do you know why, if you Google, "Tai Shan Restaurant," and you see the first link which says taishanasianrestaurant.com, clicking on it takes you to a place called "China King?"

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