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Ericandblueboy

Hong Kong Pearl, Seven Corners, Daily Dim Sum and Late Night Dining

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Read about this place on Chowhound so I went to check it out today (a Thursday). They do in fact have carts on weekdays but the selection wasn't great. I didn't see any turnip cakes. On the other hand, the dumpling soup (ordered off the menu) was a good deal for about $5 - lots of tasty hong kong style wontons or dumplings. The dim sum quality was good, not great. I tried their chicken feet, lotus wrapped sticky rice, fish balls, and fried yam dumpling. Their seasoning are on the light side, and not oily at all. Now you have even more options for Cantonese food around 7 corners.

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We visited on Saturday and it is the best dim sum we have had in NoVa in years. Dishes were mostly hot, with the kitchen staff coming out to restock the carts as they rolled around, rather than leaving things in the kitchen to cool down. The one exception was the clams in black bean sauce, which were cold--in retrospect, we got them from a cart where they were the only plate of clams and we should have checked for warmth. We had:

  • Clams in black bean sauce--very good rendition of the sauce, I really want to try this hot next time.
  • stewed tripe with turnip--very sweet from the turnip and probably some added sugar, but this was a real comfort food dish
  • stewed pork skin--less successful for us than the tripe; just not enough variety in taste and texture to keep us interested
  • shrimp dumplings--a good version of this dish
  • eggplant stuffed with shrimp/fish paste; fluffier paste than we're used to getting, but a tasty dish
  • fried chive dumplings--the strongly flavored chive filling was studded with chunks of shrimp. My 12 year-old found it too strong tasting (she's generally a big fan of this dish) but the adults liked the strong, very fresh taste.
  • steamed tripe with ginger. Tasty, though they really should have cut the tripe a bit smaller.
  • fresh tofu with sweet ginger sauce
  • baked char sui bao --these came from the dessert cart and would have been better hot
  • steamed baby cuttlefish in a light garlic sauce. I've never had these before and they are very good. Portion size was big for two adults. My daughter declared them too cute to eat.

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Had dim sum with a friend today and tried numerous dishes:

shrimp dumpling

shumai

fried yam dumpling (served at room temperature when we got it, much better if hot)

fish balls*

turnip cake*

rice noodle wrapped around you tiao

chives dumpling

Unfortunately they don't have one of my favorites - shark fin dumpling

* my favorite dishes

The quality is the same as the first time. I like the fact that they're not over seasoning their food. Still pushing carts on weekdays.

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Went on Saturday and had very good versions of several standards that were less greasy and definitely fresher than, for example, Fortune:

shrimp dumplings

turnip cake

steamed rice noodle wrapped around shrimp

shiu mai

steamed pork buns

chive dumplings

fried taro fritter

pork/mushroom meatball wrapped in tofu skin

Also had:

clams in black bean sauce--echo the review above that this was great

chinese broccoli--crisp with not too much sauce

fishballs (surprisingly good)

a fishball type dumpling from the cart with the turnip cakes (also surprisingly good)

sweet tofu in syrup (good version--not as good as from the tofu shop across the way in Eden Center, but good nevertheless)

some sort of pink coconut jello thing with an umbrella stuck in it (an unsurprising choice by the kids, less offensive than i thought it would be)

All in all a great addition to the dim sum scene. It's also bright and clean (the fish tanks in the back are, at least for now, very clear). We went just before noon and didn't have to wait. Not sure how much longer that will be the case. Looking forward to trying their non-dim sum dishes.

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By the way — speaking of dim sum: there’s a very good new dim sum place across from the Eden Center, Falls Church: Hong Kong Pearl Seafood. Go.

from Todd Kliman's weekly chat.

My last visit (Friday 3/30) was rather disappointing. The weekday offerings were winnowed down to two carts, one steamed cart, one non-steamed cart. The steamed cart offered the typical dim sum dishes, such as shrimp dumpling, shumai, chicken feet, pork ribs, fish balls, meat balls, rice noodle wrap. The non-steamed cart offered mostly sweets. I ordered some shrimp dumplings, shumai, chives dumplings, fish balls, and fried yam dumpling. Same stuff as I usually ordered, so what's wrong? Well, the wrappers were thicker on the shrimp and chives dumpling. The dumplngs seem to have grown in size (bigger isn't necessarily better). The chives dumplings and fried yam dumplings left puddles of grease on the plates and the fried yam dumplings had very little stuffing and thus not much flavor other than stale grease. I need to go back on a weekend.

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Little man and I had a grand time on Friday night. The bill for the two of us came to $22 and change, with plenty of leftovers for this week. Little man really enjoyed the Chicken and corn soup (for two - $6.95): this is a classic homestyle type of comfort soup we often make at home growing up that isn't really regional, since I feel like every region has their own version.

For a more Cantonese dish, I ordered the Roast Pork with Broccoli Chow Fun ($13.95), which was served in this humonngggous plate. I feel like it was enough to serve four. Some of the chow fun was not cooked thoroughly, so that was the only downside. Service was wonderful, with a few of the women servers attentive to little man. He ate lots of everything.

It is a bit pricey compared to other Chinese restaurants, but for the amount to price ratio, I think it evens out a bit.

I am curious to try their dim sum, but with hours like open until 2:00am (Sun-Thurs) or open until 3:00am (Fri-Sat) and the live fish/lobster/king crab tanks in the back, I would come here over XO Taste for a late night snack in a heartbeat.

If anyone is interested for their regular menu $20 Tuesday type of place, I think it's worth trying several things off their menu, especially casseroles and some seafood items.

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We had a great $20 Tuesday here earlier this week. The highlights for me (other than seeing old friends) were the whole crispy chicken and the triple seafood delight. The service was excellent for our party of 11 and we are looking forward to going back.

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Had dim sum here on Sunday at just after 10 a.m. The selection wasn't much better than on weekdays. They have the basics (but no real Cantonese spring rolls) which are pretty good. The roast duck here is pretty mediocre.

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Had dim sum here on Sunday at just after 10 a.m. The selection wasn't much better than on weekdays. They have the basics (but no real Cantonese spring rolls) which are pretty good. The roast duck here is pretty mediocre.

I went here for dim sum some time in the summer and like it much better than Mark's Duck House and Fortune. It's probably the better option in the Northern VA area right now. Service was nice too--been meaning to go back.

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I sadly agree. There two weeks ago and was disappointed compared to a prior visit last year. Mark's went down noticeably (due to ownership change?) & now this once-reliable port.

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Big mistake going to Hong Kong Pearl on Sunday and we don't need to go back. The place was packed when we arrived but tables there turn over pretty quickly and we were seated within about 15 minutes. We were given what was probably the worst table in the place- right next to the cash register. So the entire meal we were  being climbed over by both staff trying to get to the register and surrounded by people milling around while waiting for a table.  Maybe because the place was so packed and maybe because our table was marginally inaccessible we watched carts of food pass by us without stopping and others get emptied out at bigger tables without ever fully being refilled thus the selection we were offered was no longer hot/crispy, limited and less than exciting. What we did eat was pretty mediocre.Lesson learned- we'll stick with A&J (which I realize is a different region but superior quality).

.

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Went here with friends for the first time. Their shumai was really, really, really good. They also had these wonderful tiny little smoked octopuses. Their tripe soup was pretty good. A lot of other standard were fine, but I've had better. The durian pastry I tried was slightly nauseating, but only because of the durian (not a fan, but had to try it).  So some highlights and other items were average to slightly better than average. Not bad at all and worth exploring further when we visit with these friends again.

Does anyone know if there is a place around here that does soup dumplings?

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Does anyone know if there is a place around here that does soup dumplings?

There was a place in Mclean that has soup dumplings, but I cannot recall where. As usual, for good soup dumplings, you will have to trek to Maryland...

Little man and I have been back a few times since this last post. I like that you can get dim sum a la carte at night now. I find the food slightly inconsistent from visit to visit, but not enough to stop dining here.

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Does anyone know if there is a place around here that does soup dumplings?

I swear I saw it on DR.com, but now can't find where, but I believe it was mentioned that House of Fortune in McLean has them.

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I swear I saw it on DR.com, but now can't find where, but I believe it was mentioned that House of Fortune in McLean has them.

It was on Chowhound.

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I haven't gone out for dim sum in quite some time.  A quick google search showed that all 3 7 corners joints (the others being Mark's Duck House and Fortune)  open at 10 a.m.  I thought I'd give HKP another shot - chefs come and go and all that.  I stuck to gnarly stuff - tripe, pork ribs in black bean sauce, chicken feet, meatballs, and 1 veggie - sauteed pea shoots.  I would say all the dishes were pretty heavily seasoned, which don't bother me all that much.  Carts were being pushed vigorously and it was 3/4 full when I arrived a little after 10.  People were waiting for tables by 11.  I'd have to check out the other joints to see if any one of them excels.

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Still hopping on weekends.  Shortly after 10 a.m., the place was at least half full with people streaming in steadily.  As soon as you sit down, 4 carts converge on you.  Unfortunately I don't think the food's very good and the atmosphere is far from relaxing.  

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Steve and I gave this place another try.  We were supposed to meet at 10:30 on Sunday morning.  I arrived 5 minutes early, had to put my name down for a table of 2.  10 minutes later, we got a 4 top right next to the hostess stand.

Right away, the steamer cart came by and we got some har gow (shrimp dumpling), siu mai (pork dumpling), and spare-ribs in black bean sauce.  The har gow was regular sized, made with small whole shrimp - pretty good.  The siu mai were also decent.  The spare-ribs were bitter from too much garlic, and more gristly than usual. 

Sip more tea, reject many attempts to shove food onto our table.  That's what they do now, they walk by, pick up a plate off the cart as they tell you what it is and start to set it on your table - you have to tell them to bugger off.  

Much later, the cheung fun wrapped around you-tiao came by.  Steve loves the shit so we order some.  The fried crullers were no longer crispy, so the dish lacked proper texture.

Wait even longer, we got the fried taro dumplings and the salt water dumplings.  The taro dumplings were cold and soggy.  The salt water dumplings were okay.

The place was packed - I don't understand why people wait in line for the mediocre food.  I prefer the low key atmosphere of Vinh Kee to this shambolic purveyor of shite.

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