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Vinh Kee, Hong Kong-Style Cantonese Seafood Specialists (with Dim Sum) on Route 50 and Graham Road, Falls Church


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The Hersch said:
Have you tried Miu Kee, on Rt. 50 next to the IHOP? I wouldn't say it's better than Full Kee, but they serve up some very good food (but be sure to avoid the American-Chinese stuff--it's all on the same menu).

Today, after discovering that Myanmar was locked and dark (I'm 0 for 2 on my lunch attempts this week), I remembered this post and set out to find Miu Kee. I ended up at Vinh Kee, on Route 50 at Graham Rd. (same shopping center as Pho 75, but facing 50). We started with steamed dumplings, and although the dough was kind of tough, the dumplings were tasty. I had shrimp with Chinese broccoli and my husband had shrimp with spicy salt. Both were so good my husband is already talking about going back.

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I used to go here about once a week when I worked days. Always got the same thing, shrimp dumpling noodle soup with pig (not roast pork that is a different option) and roast duck. Personal nickname the barnyard special , as some times that what it smelled like, not sure maybe its the chinese 5 spice :rolleyes: . You can also customize the soup with extra noodles, and probably whatever else you would like. I cannot remember the exact price but believe soup is $6 and extras $2. I like Vinh Kee as it seems to be a family run operation and the service is always great, I cannot say that about other places like Miu Kee, Full Kee, Marks Duck House, anyplace in Eden Center, were the service can vary from overbearing to well I am not sure what to classify the other extreme.

The portion is a little larger (bigger bowl) than the other kees and places that serve this soup. Other places that will add duck etc, to soup do not have the variety of toppings avail that Vinh Kee has. Sometimes there can be someone smoking up front but if you sit far back in the big dining room it will not bother you. Place is kid friendly, except for the smoke.

A funny side note , one time we walked in and could see into the kitchen, a cook noticed, he quickly ran up and slid a little door shut. Not sure what that means and probably would rather not think about it. Overall recommend this kee if you are in the mood for the some chinese. There is a jumbo shrimp with chinese vegetable dish that is great also (may not be on the menu)

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Could this be the chili crab that I really want to try and can't find anywhere within driving distance?

Assuming you are referring to crab chopped into pieces and stir-fried in chili sauce (the way they do it on Old Kelang Rd in KL) -- I certainly hope it is and will go tonight to ascertain. Will advise.

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Assuming you are referring to crab chopped into pieces and stir-fried in chili sauce (the way they do it on Old Kelang Rd in KL) -- I certainly hope it is and will go tonight to ascertain. Will advise.

I went by for lunch today and tried their special - cuttlefish with chives flowers in Malaysian sauce. Of course I don't know if this is the sauce for the chili crab since I've never been to KL or Singapore but it's a tasty sauce (closest comparison for me would be to sate or XO sauce). I also had a plate of veggie pan-fried noodles. This restaurant is beat-up but the cooking today is pretty good. I didn't want to spend the money on an entire crab not knowing if it was any good. Let me know how it goes.

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Went last night -- no crabs. So, instead we ordered some of the pea shoots with the promised Malaysian style sauce. Close but not red enough (meaning not primarily chili sauce -- but still had some kick) and also not sweet. For the pea shoots the lack of sweetness was appropriate, but for crabs or other seafood would want to see some mo' sugar. I pointed out to the owner that in Malaysia the crabs are basically the Pacific version of our blue claw -- not big dungeness crabs. She said that her customers complained that the blue claws -- being smaller and requiring more dismantling to get to their meat -- were too messy. I said, the whole point of eating crabs was to be messy :(

Good idea to call ahead and see what's available.

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Went last night -- no crabs. So, instead we ordered some of the pea shoots with the promised Malaysian style sauce. Close but not red enough (meaning not primarily chili sauce -- but still had some kick) and also not sweet. For the pea shoots the lack of sweetness was appropriate, but for crabs or other seafood would want to see some mo' sugar. I pointed out to the owner that in Malaysia the crabs are basically the Pacific version of our blue claw -- not big dungeness crabs. She said that her customers complained that the blue claws -- being smaller and requiring more dismantling to get to their meat -- were too messy. I said, the whole point of eating crabs was to be messy :(

Good idea to call ahead and see what's available.

Thanks for giving that a try. Were the greens more in the style of kankong belancan, stir-fried with the funky shrimp paste and hot chilis?

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Tim Carman had Vinh Kee at #9 on his list of top 10 bargain joints in the burbs.

I had their dim sum when they first started but it wasn't anything special so I was skeptical.  But a few weeks ago we went and validated the actual goodness of their dim sum.

This is the best dim sum joint in NoVa to my knowledge, in terms of quality and variety.  The star was the XO turnip cake.

The turnip cake was cut into cubes, deep fried, and then topped with minced meat in XO sauce.  It came out really hot...so wait awhile for it to cool down.  It was a substantial portion...we ate some before snapping the photo.

IMG_2281.JPG

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35 minutes ago, Bob Wells said:

Damn those turnip cakes look good. We got dim sum at HKP a few days ago with some NYC relatives and the big flop of the meal was the turnip cakes. These look like another creature entirely.

I went to Vinh Kee over the weekend and they are indeed very good! 

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1 hour ago, peepers said:

Noooo. This was our old reliable dim sum place.  It wasn't particularly good in the last few years (I actually wrote a bad review on yelp after one really bad experience with cold food etc.) but somehow we found ourselves going back every so often for a couple specific dishes.  We live in Mclean- where do you recommend for dim sum physically close to Fortune?

Vinh Kee. Easier to get to from McLean.

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2 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Vinh Kee. Easier to get to from McLean.

Just discovered Vinh Kee.  (Oddly, I had ignored it, even though it's right there in plain sight by the old Loehman's Plaza.)  Good selection of Dim Sum's Great Hits (and if you don't see what you want, just ask--as we did and got some excellent green beans).  Even on a Sunday the place is relaxed and you can actually hear your dining companions.  Recommend highly.

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17 minutes ago, naxos said:

Anyone know if dim sum is available all day and in the evening?

I want to say yes if you go in the afternoon as I think their dim sum picture menu says something like "11-3". You order off the menu during the week, as the carts are only on the weekends. I'm not sure about in the evening.

Now I want to get some of their XO Turnip Cakes. So good, and when fresh out of the kitchen, hotter than lava.

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On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 10:52 AM, TheMatt said:

I think their dim sum picture menu says something like "11-3". You order off the menu during the week, as the carts are only on the weekends.

Here's a scan of their Dim Sum picture menu. Their website seems to be still under construction with its Dim Sum section not yet started. Vinh Kee was larger inside than I'd imagined. There are several 4-tops, but remarkably 12 lazy-Susan equipped tables split between 8-tops and 12-tops. My late lunch today was relaxing with plates of BBQ Pork Buns and Snowpea/Shrimp dumplings. VinhKee_DimSumMAR2019.pdf

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3 minutes ago, Genevieve said:

We're going there this weeked - @Lydia R thanks so much for posting the menu!

How is parking there? Only thing I could find is a yelp review saying parking is tight.

It depends on the time. If you get there near opening (11:30 or so) you are usually fine, but if Vinh Kee, Pho 75, and Banh Mi DC are all hopping, the parking lot can get full fast!

Oh, and I too might be there Sunday for some dim sum. :)

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4 minutes ago, Genevieve said:

We're going there this weeked - @Lydia R thanks so much for posting the menu!

How is parking there? Only thing I could find is a yelp review saying parking is tight.

Between Vinh Kee, Banh Mi DC Sandwich, and Pho 75, I've probably parked here 25-50 times, and not once have I ever been unable to find a space - there's ample parking both in front, and on the side, of the lot (just don't park in the gas station).

Screenshot 2019-03-14 at 13.27.14.png

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Lunch this week included Beef Rice Crepes and Mayo Shrimp. The Rice Crepe was scored, but not cut through, and hearty with a spiced ground beef patty inside. The Mayo Shrimp had a frilly and crisp outer shell. Inside, it was densely packed with large pieces of shrimp and barely a hint of mayo. It reminded me of entree #78 on their full menu so much that I want to bring chopped walnuts next time to add to the dipping dish of additional mayo (first saw Shrimp Walnut Mayo at Good Fortune in Gaithersburg). I also had a black sesame ball with a rich, inky-black, sweet, and creamy filling (but it isn't photogenic).

I picked up a copy of their quad folded full menu, scanned it, and posted it below the photo. I've always enjoyed seeing menus posted here and on Chowhound. 

MayoShrimp_BeefCrepes.jpg

VinhKeeFullMenu_MAR2019.pdf

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On 3/14/2019 at 1:28 PM, TheMatt said:

It depends on the time. If you get there near opening (11:30 or so) you are usually fine, but if Vinh Kee, Pho 75, and Banh Mi DC are all hopping, the parking lot can get full fast!

Oh, and I too might be there Sunday for some dim sum. :)

 I’m here now (11:25 am Sunday) and the place is only 1/3 full and there’s plenty of parking.    Just an FYI. 

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We went on Sunday at noon and all found parking without trouble (though the lot was moderately full near the restaurant, there were spaces, and there was plenty of room elsewhere in the lot). It's our new favorite dim sum place. More details later.

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Say hi next time!

I posted something in the Tony Cheng's thread about this place not being much different than any other dim sum place, but I have to amend that comment.  Many of the dishes were similar to Fortune (RIP) or Hong Kong Pearl of Sampan Café.  I'm talking about things like shrimp dumplings/har gow or shu mai or crepes.  Those dishes were fine here, but equal to other places.  They did have a couple interesting, and new-to-me dishes that I really liked and would return for. 

One was a shrimp and scallop dumpling, which had some nice flavors and textures that were interesting and elevated it.  The other was this "breaded" shrimp thing (see pic).  There was some sort of sauce or other component inside the crusty breading that really made the dish more interesting and flavorful than just shrimp in a crunchy shell.

The one down side about the place is that half the dishes come out on the typical steamer cart, in the little metal tins, but the other half of the dishes are just on plates on cart so they don't hold their heat well at all.  The order of crepes we had was barely warmer than room temperature.

 

 

VK-dumplings.jpg

VK-shrimp.jpg

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We went again last month with our big group (four families) and everyone agreed that their dim sum is very strong and one of the best places we've been locally.  (I also recommended it to my mom who went with a group of her friends earlier this year and they all liked it.)

Really liked the shrimp and scallop dumpling mentioned above.  Regular turnip cakes very good, and special turnip cakes cut into cubes with XO sauce were great.  Excellent variety, the carts kept coming and coming.  We had the usual har gow, shrimp in rice crepe, steamed buns (pork ones, chicken ones, and another I can't remember), chive dumplings, and Chinese broccoli.  We had other things I can't recall but we were very happy with everything. Finished with pineapple buns, regular sesame balls, and black sesame balls which I haven't had elsewhere and which were terrific. (Did not get the 2 pandan desserts which we had gotten last time and others weren't big fans of - not a quality issue, just weren't as fond of the flavors as of the other desserts.)

Definitely will be going back!

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Went with a group. First comment: their portion sizes are large so some plates the three or 4 pieecs ewre more than enough for 7 to finish. This is the kind of Dim Sum where going with just 2 people is really limiting. Second, the food is hearty, much less delicate than that at China Garden Han Gong, but I would say equally satisfying. And priced better. I think we ate more for $23 vs $30.

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Incredible

Pineapple Bun: best version I have ever had. light, airy bun, custard creamy and warm, not as sweet as some are.

turnip cake cubes deep fried w/xo sauce: I think this is their hallmark dish and it is WAAAAYYYYY better when split 7 ways than 2. It is a dense, richly flavored dish. The XO is a rumble of finely crumbled dried shrimp & other dried seafood, black bean, red pepper, soy and more but it really isn't a sauce as much as a crumble topping. Someone at the table could't stop spooning up the last of the XO!

special: shrimp & scallop w/fish roe really good! whole shrimp {or big chunks} with a half a scallop on top topped w/fish roe. Sweet, briney at once.  

special: shrimp on fish maw: really good shrimpball on top and a very soft fish maw that absorbed a lot of sauce.

fried taro cake: a center of essentially shrimp burger wrapped in taro shoestrings and deep fried. 

leek & shrimp dumpling: outstanding! The skin was a crepe-like but thick, The Chinese leek flavor was pronounced and gave a nice earthy balance to the sweetness of the shrimp

black sesame balls: the balls were white and coated outside with mostly white sesame with a proinkling of black seeds. The filling was a moist black sesame paste filling! Superb

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Really good things:

rice crepe w/shrimp: standard and really good, I thought the crepe could have been thinner

rice crepe w/BBQ pork: not as good, the BBQ pork flavor was muted

har gao: very nice, good pieces of shrimp inside

sticky rice in lotus leaf: again an outstanding rendition of a standard dish. 

shark's fin gao

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Good, not great:

sausage roll
char Siu bao
Both of these were a tiny bit doughy and out of balance, needed more meat to dough ratio
some shrimp thing w/kewpie mayo
shui mai

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Someone ordered egg custard tarts but I was too full to try it. Looked very good and she took the last one home with her.

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18 hours ago, deangold said:

Someone ordered egg custard tarts but I was too full to try it. Looked very good and she took the last one home with her.

It was good, nice flaky crust, not overly sweet, but... the this is a sad but true statement- KFC egg tarts in China are really a hard standard to beat they might be a tiny bit more egg custardy and a little less eggy than these.  I know, I hate me for saying that, too, but I stand by my statement.  

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On 2/9/2020 at 5:05 PM, deangold said:

turnip cake cubes deep fried w/xo sauce: I think this is their hallmark dish and it is WAAAAYYYYY better when split 7 ways than 2. It is a dense, richly flavored dish. The XO is a rumble of finely crumbled dried shrimp & other dried seafood, black bean, red pepper, soy and more but it really isn't a sauce as much as a crumble topping. Someone at the table could't stop spooning up the last of the XO!

I think these are best when split 0 ways and I eat an entire order myself. :D

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I agree with all of your "incredibles" save two: fried taro cake and leek & shrimp dumpling, both of which I think are inferior to their counterparts at China Garden (Rockville) and New Fortune (Gaithersburg), my regular haunts.

Everything else was pretty spot-on.

I think it falls a sliver short in quality next to China Garden, for about 25% less money. But CG is 10 minutes from my house, and VK is 30, so I'm unlikely to return to VK unless I'm in that hood, or Dean calls again and says he's ready to go check out the things we missed (BBQ, fry cart, chicken feet, tripe ...)

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Thanks for the update Ericandblueboy. Vihn See was one of the last places we actually ate as a family before the quarantine and have been missing dim sum and dumplings. We actually tried making shumai at one point but of course it was very uneven.

Looking forward to visiting them again soon.

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With indoor dining returning, Marianne and I were thinking of taking friends for lunch at Vinh-Kee. When I checked online, I noticed a lot of negative reviews on Yelp ( I know, I know) about poor service over the last month.

Anyone have information on how our favorite Dim Sum resturants are faring as they bring normal operations up to speed?

TSchaad

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I've been to Vinh Kee several times recently.  As a regular, maybe I get special treatment, but I doubt it.  Dim sum quality has been the same since before the pandemic.  I read those negative yelp reviews - sounds like they're mostly bitching about price.  Dim sum costs more here than in NYC or Philly but Vinh Kee isn't more expensive than Mark's Duck House or Hong Kong Pearl. 

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