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Peking Village on Gallows Road in Merrifield - Closed


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Peking Village used to be my standard go-to Chinese restaurant in the NoVA area. It's on Gallows Rd, between Arlington Blvd and Lee Hwy in the shopping center with the Golds Gym and the soon-to-be-open Great Wall Supermarket. I learned of this place from a friend of mine at the State Dept, who assured me that her Chinese embassy friends recommended it (so we joke that we should talk into the salt cellar if there is something wrong with the service or the food).

ANYWAY, this is not a place that you go to for the ambience, which is decidedly downmarket, with simple wallpaper and dingy flooring and nothing exciting. However, the chef is a multiply-awarded specialist in Sichuan dishes (despite the name of the restaurant) and their menu is very broad. This another of the many area Chinese restaurants with a separate cognoscenti menu--if you don't get this (it's a yellow laminated sheet) ask for it, since the foreigner menu is awful.

Among their star dishes are: boiled beef (shui zhu niu rou), mapo tofu, ants climbing trees (mayi shang shu), and spicy chile chicken (la zi ji). When I was last here, on Monday, we ordered off the Chinese language specials notices on the wall, going for "crispy bean tofu" (dou su dou fu) and pork with pickled mustard. None of us knew what the tofu would be like, but it turned out to be great--thick slices of tofu apparently steamed with a topping of a crisp-cooked meat mixture with loads of spices in it (somewhat similar to the Chen Cang beef at China Star). Also, the pork with pickled mustard had loads of flavor, and great textural combinations. They also delivered a dish we had not meant to order, simply prepared Shanghai bok choy with garlic, which was also excellent.

Prices here are very low; these three dishes, plus beers all around, added up to $30.

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This is a very timely report for me. Thank you for posting it!

My place of employment moved in June from Springfield (near Dragon Sea Buffet) to Arlington Boulevard 2 blocks east of Gallows Road--right around the corner from Peking Village. I've ordered carry out for lunch a few times from them.

I have to confess that, while I appreciate the depth and nuance of well-seasoned food, my body does not tolerate seasonings in the higher Scoville ranges. Some dishes, however, are so good that I can't stop eating them even though I know I should. :P

I'm glad to know there's an alternative to the standard menu. I'd heard that they have very good salty chicken wings, so I ordered those on my first try, along with their cold sesame noodles--neither marked on the menu as hot. Both were rather pronouncedly so, but they were both so good that I ate them anyway. I later tried the wings without the 30 or so diced peppers and they were still very good. The lunch specials on their standard menu are, well, standard, though the ingredients have been noticeably fresh and not overcooked. The soups on the standard menu have been disappointing to me.

Next week I'll try to stop in and ask for the yellow menu, and order from that for lunch. And I'll be sure to report back. :wub:

ScotteeM

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So many questions to answer... My current standard go-to restaurant is China Star, which has yet to disappoint me. TemptAsian is too far, and ventures too far from Sichuan for me, and Sichuan Village has disappointed me on occasion (though not lately).

As for dishes to recommend at Myanmar (yes, that's the name), I like the tea salad, but I am afraid I cannot remember the names of other dishes I have had there. BE warned that the service is glacial, so make sure you go on a day when the boss is out.

And Great Wall must have JUST opened, since it was not open on Monday, though it was getting close. Did you actually see the store functioning, or did you simply see the doors open? I ask because the doors have been functioning in recent weeks, presumably for the convenience of the stockers, but it was not yet doing business.

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I went to Myanmar today with a friend. Service was as described. I had the ginger salad and LOVED it! So many flavors working together, just the right amount of each, and a variety of textures, too. I then had the squid with ham and shrimp, and although I asked for it to be "medium" spicy (at the server's prompting), it was a bit much for me.

My friend had the squash fritters, which we both loved, and a shrimp dish that I can't remember right now (notes have disappeared from my purse), and she enjoyed it.

We cruised past the Great Wall: door closed and plastered with building permits--doesn't seem quite open yet.

I'm probably returning to Myanmar tomorrow, because I'm meeting another friend who is a vegetarian, and their menu seems pretty vege-friendly.

I'll have to save Peking Village's Chinese menu for another week, but coworkers are intrigued by the idea.

ScotteeM

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:lol: OK FOLKS, STEP AWAY FROM THE BUFFET!

Well, I didn't follow Pandahugga's advice to try the Chinese menu. Instead, I followed a coworker's advice to try the buffet. "You'll like it," she said. "They have those wings and the noodles that you liked."

I didn't get sick.

Yes, as I was told, the salty chicken wings were on the buffet, and while I loved them as take-away, they did not survive being kept warm on the buffet. They were tough, dry, stringy, and tired. A dish that I suspect was beef w/ broccoli had odd-textured, off-tasting meat, and OK broccoli. About the only thing that worked in that setting, among the things I tried, were the cold sesame noodles, which were cold and spicy.

The staff seemed bored and sullen, perhaps because there were fewer than half a dozen patrons in the place, none of whom seemed very happy either.

It's hard for me to make the leap of faith from the mediocre offerings on the Chinese-American menu (except for above chicken wings & sesame noodles, when freshly made), to higher expectations for the Chinese menu. Are there different chefs for the two menus? And is the Chinese menu available for delivery?

I'm despairing of finding sources for decent and varied lunch options in Merrifield.

ScotteeM

Hungry Grouper in Merrifield

Edited by ScotteeM
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Wow, three years since the last post.

Our office hosted an event for a primarily Chinese-American audience, and I wanted to serve food that was reasonably authentic. The Chinese menu (which does have English translations) is definitely still the way to go. We ordered the Taiwan Double Cooked Pork, Spicy Beef and Napa Casserole, Mapo Tofu, and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce. They definitely did not hold back on the spiciness, and in fact it may have even been a little too spicy for many folks who attended!

I may start trying to convince co-workers to go here. It's really not that far from Tysons.

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I have to get a copy of that Chinese Menu! I used to live pretty close to Peking Village and it's still not a heinous drive. I used to patronize it before I discovered the joy of China Star and HK Palace. But I was naive then, (in that particular cuisine) and still getting Kung Pao. :lol:

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Probably my next adventure -- the Chinese lady who draws my blood for an annual physical highly recommends this place. She barely speaks any English at all, but I coaxed it out of her. Will report accordingly.

You think it's a Chinese lady drawing your blood; it's really Michael Landrum in a Halloween costume.

Mwah-hah-hah. Mwah-hah-hah. Mwah-hahhahhahhahhahhahhahhah.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYBODY!

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I was there for brunch last weekend. I always order more food than I can possibly eat and they always wonder why I order so much (because I'm a glutton and I don't mind eating leftovers).

While on the premise, I ate a bowl of sichuan beef noodle soup, a fried cruller, and a few bites of numbing and spicy intestines. What I brought home were scallion pancakes, potstickers, pan fried buns (filled with ground pork), and the remainder of the intestines.

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I was there tonight for an early dinner. Overall, its decent and hits the spot if you are craving for some spicy Sichuan food. We ordered pan fried dumplings, stired fried pea sprouts, spicy chili chicken, and water cooked beef. The space was bigger than Hong Kong Palace, but the decor was just as cheesy and outdated.

Pro: The waitress was friendly and knowledgeable. The stir fried pea sprouts was tender and fresh, better than Hong Kong Palace's. For some reason, Hong Kong Palace always do a poor job on just plain stir fried greens (usually ends up being too watery, as if the wok wasn't hot enough). The portions are huge. My order of spicy chili chicken had almost twice as much chicken as the same dish from Hong Kong Palace. The same with the water cooked beef, the bowl was filled to the brim with tender slices of beef. We only finished half of the food we ordered.

Con: The spicy and numbing level had being toned way down. I didn't drink any water during my meal except for some hot tea. China Star and Tempt had the spicest dishes, with Hong Kong Palace being more toned down, and Peking village even milder than Hong Kong Palace. Sichuan cuisine is not just about lip burning spiciness. Overall, Hong Kong Palace has the best balance between heat, flavor, and texture.

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Doesn't look like they're making it to 16 years. Papered windows, "closed for renovation", Chinese restaurant rumor mill said it was sold to Middle Eastern folks so it may not be a Chinese restaurant when it reopens.

That sucks. First it was the little eatery inside Great Wall, not it's Peking Village. Now where am I gonna eat when I need to shop at Great Wall?

ETA: There's an Asian buffet next door to Great Wall, it's not expensive but it's not really good. Their buffet does include pho, some cantonese dim sum (chicken feet, turnip cake, siu mai, etc.), among other stuff. More quantity than quality. I do not recommend eating there.

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