Jump to content
perrik

Mark's Duck House, Seven Corners - Hong Kong Style with Peking Duck in Willston Center

Recommended Posts

I was going to rise to the defense of Mark's "Peking Duck" but it suddenly dawned on me that most places that serve authentic Peking require it to be ordered a day ahead to allow for the requisite blown air drying of the skin,and this is not the case at either Mark's or Peking Gourmet (which could actually be air drying their ducks in anticipation of customers ordering it the next day since that is their House specialty). Despite Mark's name Duck is not really the single specialty -- they have a number of others. I guess the way to view the duck at Mark's that is served with the accompanyments associated with authentic Peking is "duck in the style of Peking."

Can you recommend any in the Northern VA area that have this day-ahead approach?? thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Say hi next time. :P

I got Seven-Corners Screwed for the second time in a month by the Kingdom Pork Chops ($10.95) at Mark's Duck House, described on the menu as "Baked Center Cut Pork Chops w/Exotic Brown Vinegar Sauce." It sounds pretty good, right?

Actually, no ;-)

I don't think I would go here without Nick's cantonese mom; the staff dote on her. She wanted seafood, we expressed concern about it being both a monday and a holiday week. The waiter led her to the tanks and they consulted for a while.

The tofu/veggie/mushroom hot pots are good. The short ribs are excellent. The whole fish is excellent; I like nibbling on the deep-fried bones. (it helps that the fish chef is the husband of one of the servers; I think he gets a lecture when our order goes in.) I don't really go in for lobster, but the noodles with it are very good. I'm happy as long as I get my snowpea shoots. The duck is variable; I think it helps if you order a whole one. The times we've order a half the duck seems more tired somehow.

We can loan you Nick's mom for consulting next time ;-)

_k

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I got Seven-Corners Screwed for the second time in a month by the Kingdom Pork Chops ($10.95) at Mark's Duck House, described on the menu as "Baked Center Cut Pork Chops w/Exotic Brown Vinegar Sauce." It sounds pretty good, right?
I think it's the word baked that gets me here. I can't remember the last Chinese food my parents baked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it's the word baked that gets me here. I can't remember the last Chinese food my parents baked.

Direct your attention to the third paragraph here (I wrote this, so if it's wrong, there's nobody to blame but me).

Truly, it's not the baking; it's the swamping in thick, sweeter-than-sweet sauces that overthrows both of these Kingdom dishes. Did you ever see the movie "The Blob?" That's what the sauces are like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Direct your attention to the third paragraph here (I wrote this, so if it's wrong, there's nobody to blame but me).

Truly, it's not the baking; it's the swamping in thick, sweeter-than-sweet sauces that overthrows both of these Kingdom dishes. Did you ever see the movie "The Blob?" That's what the sauces are like.

Yeah you're right... there is salt baking. It sounds funny in the context though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to Mark's Duck House because of stellar reviews it received, but I was sorely disappointed by the experience. I was still unsure, maybe I hit it on a bad day, so I gave it a second try and still the verdict was the same. This place is overated. I think it may have been one of those place that's really good in the past, but have since declined, and their business still rests on their past reputation. None of the dim sum I had was memorable, some were making the rounds on the dim sum cart well past their edible state. I would rank China Garden and Fortune above MDH, although the best dim sum I have had was from Holywood East.

The service was terrible, and that's saying something since I am used to bad service from authentic Chinese restaurants (I am going there for the food, not the ambiance or pat on the back) and I never complained until now. I once waited over an hour for a table of two while numerous tables of 3 or 4 were being seated almost immediately upon arrival. Their reasoning is that they are not going to sit two people in one of those square table that can sit 4 people. Several people along with me complained and they finally gave in and seated all of us immediately. Its not that they didn't have tables available, but they were being greedy and gave preference to larger party. Absolutely ridiculous

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have loved Mark's Duck House for many years now, although I would have to agree that their dim sum is not that great, especially the typical dim sum dumplings. I have had some things off their carts that were wonderful, though, most memorably, I think, a dish described to me by the server as "cow stomach"; she seemed rather surprised when I said okay, I'll have that. It was an utterly delicious stewed tripe, and if you spot that on one of the carts, go for it. A dish of clams with black beans also stirs fond memories.

But perhaps the most wonderful thing about Mark's Duck House is their carry-out window, just inside the entrance, where you can get whole ducks or chickens, spare ribs, roast pork, or--to me most exaltedly--crisp-skinned roast pig. In the case of chickens and ducks, they're sold by the each; the various parts of the pig are sold by the pound, and the roast pig costs $11 a pound, which is surprisingly close to free considering how good it is. I have a 7-month-old dog (she's 7 months today exactly) who needs a lot of exercise, and my local enclosed dog run, in Walter Pierce Park, is out of commission while they upgrade the fencing and perhaps do other things, so this morning I drove with her out to the very nice dog park in Arlington near the East Falls Church Metro station, where Kiko was able to run her, well, tail off for about forty minutes. Then, after a quick stop at Grand Mart at 7 Corners (some excellent produce today, and a small tub of cold Korean noodles, among other things), we ran over to Mark's Duck House, where unfortunately someone ahead of me was getting enough food to serve about a hundred people, presumably at a New Year's party, so I had rather a wait. But eventually I got my roast pig and brought it home. With the Korean noodles and a couple of glasses of cremant de Bourgogne, that made a fine lunch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a festive mood at around 6pm in celebration of the Lunar New Year holiday tomorrow. They took some standard Chinese dishes and gave them festive names to sound appropriate. Maybe added a dish or two, but there was no stand out in the list I read. The servers seemed overwhelmed and a lot of duck (between the Peking and Roast Ducks, they were running behind) was being ordered. The window meats still seem the way to order here, as some of the other stuff there just seemed typical Cantonese fare.

Ema: I wouldn't rank Fortune FChurch anywhere, as my experience there was awful and cold food-wise for dim sum. Service was horrid there, whereas I could at least flag someone down here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I went to Mark's Duck House because of stellar reviews it received, but I was sorely disappointed by the experience. I was still unsure, maybe I hit it on a bad day, so I gave it a second try and still the verdict was the same. This place is overated. I think it may have been one of those place that's really good in the past, but have since declined, and their business still rests on their past reputation. None of the dim sum I had was memorable, some were making the rounds on the dim sum cart well past their edible state. I would rank China Garden and Fortune above MDH, although the best dim sum I have had was from Holywood East.

Try Canton Cafe in Springfield. I've only been once and I enjoyed it. If more people recommend it, we might be able to do a dim sum Sunday in NOVA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Canton Cafe will feed you well for dim sum. But raise it another notch on the weekends and go 2 miles down Franconia Road to Sampan, and you will be uplifted. Mind you, I will be back and forth between them, with the annoying lure of the best Middle Eastern 'dim sum' in northern Virginia (Mediterranean Gourmet Market two doors down just disembowels dim sum with mezze). But if I am well resourced and plenty in the green, I'm oh so there...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to Mark's for dim sum yesterday because they open at 10 a.m.!! A couple of weeks ago I swumg by around 11 and the place was already packed so this time I got there at 10. The restaurant was open but the carts didn't start rolling out until 10:10 or 10:15. By 11, the place was packed with a wait for tables. Apparently most people haven't gotten the memo :rolleyes: The food that I ordered wasn't great but they weren't bad. Chicken feet - good. Spare ribs - good. Turnip cake- good. Spring rolls - overstuffed with weird filling. Chives dumpling - again, weird stuffing (there were big chunks of shitake mushrooms and what appears to be chicken in there in addition to shrimp paste and chives). The bill was $17 with tax. Unfortunately there is no "go to" place for dim sum in NOVA and my conclusion is just go to the one closest to you but do avoid Fortune.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know if they make thier dim sum in house? I've heard contradictory reports. Agree that Mark's is not the best dim sum you will ever find, but it is servicable and they have a good variety. Best to be their NLT 11 to avoid the masses and a long wait. If you have a large enough group and you commit to be there precisely on time, you may wrangle a reservation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Best to be their NLT 11 to avoid the masses and a long wait.
I haven't been to Mark's for lunch (at a table, that is; carryout is another matter) in several years, but when I worked in the area I often used to go there around 1 pm weekdays, and almost always got a table with no problem. This doesn't apply to weekends, but they do dim sum every day. Not that dim sum is what they're best for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Took a friend from high school to Mark's today for dim sum. We arrived at 10:30 and there was already a line even though several larger tables remained empty. My friend commented it can't be very good because there weren't many Chinese in there. The food was in fact pretty good but not much variety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Mark,

When I ordered Shredded Pork with Szechuan Turnips ($10.95) for my early carryout lunch today, I guess I wasn't expecting to be rudely surprised by completely Americanized, Scoville-deprived, violently oversalted pork with green peppers and onions, in a generic brown sauce, and not a single turnip to be found.

Following my unbelievably disappointing dinner last night at Sakulthai, it occurs to me that I have not had a single good bite of food since Tuesday.

Thanks a lot.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Mark,

When I ordered Shredded Pork with Szechuan Turnips ($10.95) for my early carryout lunch today, I guess I wasn't expecting to be rudely surprised by completely Americanized, Scoville-deprived, violently oversalted pork with green peppers and onions, in a generic brown sauce, and not a single turnip to be found.

Following my unbelievably disappointing dinner last night at Sakulthai, it occurs to me that I have not had a single good bite of food since Tuesday.

Thanks a lot.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Dear Don,

We're Cantonese, not Szechuan. Order more wisely next time.

-mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Don,

We're Cantonese, not Szechuan. Order more wisely next time.

-mark

While today was obviously a communication breakdown, I actually did try their Ma Po Tofu once, and it just ... lacked something.

(I know, I know, but I've eaten there thirty times (so has every other oenophile in town cool.gif), and wanted something different.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ma Po Tofu is Sichuan as well.

I've never thought MDH all that great, but you're still pointing to the wrong part of the menu...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ma Po Tofu is Sichuan as well.

No shit, Sherlock.

(My point was that I tried one of their Szechuan dishes before, and it wasn't all that Szechuan-y.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cantonese, szchwanese, if you can't do it right why have it on the menu, I used to be a regular at mark's but something happened about two years ago and things seem to have declined. I am really busted up that lucky 3 dim sum is gone, that place rocked for getting all u can eat dim sum , really a fraction of the price compared to marks. Any options on that? all u can eat dim sum that is ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MDH is not all that great no matter how you slice it. However, I still have to go there to get my dim sum fix. Unfortunately, they are the best of the bunch in NOVA. Hollywood East where are you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am really busted up that lucky 3 dim sum is gone, that place rocked for getting all u can eat dim sum , really a fraction of the price compared to marks. Any options on that? all u can eat dim sum that is ....

IIRC, Lucky 3 was owned by the same people who own New Fortune in Gaithersburg, and the two were almost identical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cantonese, szchwanese, if you can't do it right why have it on the menu,

FOr Chinese restaruants, they can make a lot of money selling glop to folk who not only don't know better, but are happy to not know better. The economics of the restaurant business being what theya re, I cannot think of a single great chinese restaurant in the DC area that doesn't ahve a laundry list of dishes that do not fit in their regional style. Hunan taste has the least, but their menu is rife with sichuan style dises and pan china dishes. Sichuan Pavillion and Grace Garden have "Americanized" menus, Joe's and Hollywood East ahve their items mixed in etc etc etc. You need to carry some knowledge with you to enjoy these restaurants fully by staying away from the Americanized or "misplaced" dishes.

Every time I have been at Grace Garden, they have taken in more money selling Special Plate #4 with fried rice and egg role than they did selling me {and my companions for one glorious feast} the real deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...