Jump to content

Ten Penh - Reopened at 7900 Westpark Drive in Tysons Corner, but Closing Again Nov 22, 2019


Recommended Posts

FYI-- This came in my in-box today:

Quote

TenPenh is offering an Asian Specials cooking class. Taught by Chef de Cuisine Cliff Wharton, this class will be held September 17, 2005, from 11am to 1pm at TenPenh (1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW). Attendees will watch and learn as Chef Wharton demonstrates how to prepare recipes inspired by the cuisines of Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines). Participants will be presented with four course tastings paired with varied spirits, such as beer and sake. The cost is $75 per person.
To register or for more information, please contact Amy Allworth at 202-393-1510 or email amy.allworth@dccoast.com.

Chef Wharton and TenPenh have garnered consistently rave reviews. Cooking dishes familiar to him from his childhood and his Filipino heritage, Wharton builds his meals around fresh vegetables and grains, deftly seasoned with vivid spices.

I had an excellent RW lunch meal there a few weeks ago. The calamari salad was perfectly cooked and tender, and it had a kick to it. I had the kobe beef entree which was phenomenal-- it wasn't quite medium rare (though, I don't know if kobe beef is supposed to be cooked like steak?), but the saucing made up for it. I might have held up the table a bit by cleaning my plate. Dessert-- I don't remember now, but no one at the table was too inspired by any of the choices. Service-- a bit slow, but reasonable given that it was RW. Server was nice and competent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yum. We made a last-minute decision to dine there on a Saturday night a couple of weeks ago -- it was on the early side, so we scored a patio table with no wait.

We split a "Feng Shui" cocktail, big $12 chilled combo of icewine and vodka. Sound weird? It is. Wouldn't really recommend it, although the frozen grape garnish was a nice touch.

Appetized on the short ribs and lumpia spring rolls. The rolls were good vehicles for the delicious sauces -- I must admit that these rolls have gone down in my estimation after I more recently tasted the meatier, less greasy version at Corduroy.

We split the smoked lobster as an entree -- partly a cost saving measure as market price was given as $38. A friend of mine said she had the same dish at DC Coast as part of the RW menu for only a $5 upcharge, so either a) the serving sizes are different, :P she got an insanely good deal, or c) we got screwed. Anyway, delicious as always.

Our two desserts were both recommended by the waiter and were both really, really fantastic. The coconut-dusted donuts are served warm with an ice-cold coconut ice cream (sorbet?) so if you get a bit of each in the same bite it is a temperature experience as well as a taste experience, and really nice. The other thing was a tart reminiscent of Key Lime Pie, both tart and sweet, and not too rich.

In the past I have really enjoyed their coconut chicken soup and the wasabi mashed potatoes. Both are still on the menu, or were, two weeks ago.

Jael

Link to post
Share on other sites
You know it's restaurant week when...

You show up for lunch at Kinkeads at 12:15 and the bar only has two seats left available.

I had lunch at Ten Phen on Wednesday and it was the same thing. We had no reservation, they were booked but said we coud eat in the bar. I went back to the bar and there were maybe 2 scattered spots. We were able to sit on the easy chairs in the lounge area and eat off of the coffee table. Service was good though. The piece of seared tuna I had was unmemorable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

this week (may 21-26) ten penh is celebrating the harvest or "pihayas" festival by having a special filipino 4-course menu ($40):

kinilaw (filipino ceviche)

chicken adobo ravioli

escabeche (fish with sweet and sour sauce on top)

leche flan

politburo went tonight to see if there should be any fuss. the service was a little off (wine being brought out late, 2nd couse brought out while we hadn't even finished the first course, etc), but the food was pretty darn good.

the standout dish was the escabeche. not sure what type of fish it was (grouper or snapper, perhaps), but the fillet was cooked perfectly and served with a sweet and sour sauce accented with julienned ginger, carrots, and red peppers, served atop of white rice. the sauce had the proper amount of heat to it, which i'm not normally accustomed to in this dish, but i was pleasantly surprised.

while the chicken adobo ravioli had much promise, i don't think the dish delivered what the chef(s) possibly intended. the chicken adobo was the variety with the coconut milk, and while the adobo was fantastic, i'm not sure the vehicle for carrying the chicken was proper. the ravioli (basically a small rounded wonton wrapper, which is totally fine), would have been a bit better had it been seared or browned on at least one side, to maintain its texture. while i was eating it tonight, i kept thinking to myself that there was really no point to have the ravioli shell, save for presentation for a second course (and to give me the idea of making chicken adobo lumpia..hehe ;) ), especially because it was also served with a bit of white rice.

the leche flan was just like my mom makes it - strong hints of lime throughout. it was also served with a (almost bland) casava cake (coconut on top), but it was hard to notice the lack of sugar in the casava cake due to the fact that it was sitting in the caramelized sugar juices of the flan.

after talking with our waiter, we were disappointed more people weren't there to sample the special menu. in fact, our waiter said that we were the first to order the special menu, as he hadn't really seen it or know much about it. and, as i looked around the dining room, it was confirmed that people were ordering off the regular menu.

we briefly talked to cliff wharton, and he mentioned this might be something they would do again in the future. hopefully more people will take advantage of it, since filipino food has not yet become the new thai food (not that i'm hoping it does)...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Connecting Cultures through Cuisine:

Smithsonian Folklife Festival and TenPenh Restaurant host a

Cooking Demonstration and Lunch on June 30th

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival and TenPenh restaurant have teamed up in celebration of the 41st Annual Folklife Festival showcasing unique flavors and ingredients of the Mekong Delta. As TenPenh embraces Southeast Asian food and culture, it is the perfect venue to present the rich heritage of the Mekong Delta. Join renowned chefs, Jeff Tunks and Cliff Wharton of TenPenh Restaurant, Washington, DC; Nongkran Daks of Thai Basil, Chantilly, VA; and Southeast Asian food and culture expert David Quang at TenPenh Restaurant at 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW on Saturday, June 30, from noon to 3:00 pm as they demonstrate the traditional cooking techniques and dishes of the differing flavor methods that distinguish the foods of the Mekong River countries.

Drawing from the cuisine, feast on cuisine from the Mekong countries including Pad Thai of Thailand, Vietnamese Summer Rolls of Vietnam, Loatian Grilled Chicken with Green Papaya Salad of the Loas; Cambodian Spicy Stir Fried Beef of Cambodia and Yunnanese Steamed Stuffed Asian Pear with Honey and Dates of Yunnan. Prior to opening TenPenh, Chef Tunks spent three weeks in Thailand and Vietnam extensively researching ingredients and immersing himself in the customary Asian approaches through varied cooking schools and restaurants. “I am honored to be a voice for the festival because of commitment I made in bringing distinctive flavors and authentic presentation from those regions. My mission was to live and learn Southern Asian traditions and bring the best of what I was taught to Washington, D.C. With the festival in our backyard, I will have the opportunity to not only teach what I learned seven years ago, but to explore other traditions and customs new to me.

Vietnam’s fertile Mekong Delta is the large, intensively cultivated region in the southeast of the country where the mighty Mekong River branches out into nine distinct arms in its approach to the South China Sea. The longest river in Southeast Asia, the Mekong [whose name in Vietnamese translates as “the Nine Dragon River”] has its source in the Plateau of Tibet, and travels through six countries, including Thailand and Cambodia, on its way to the sea. The Delta itself is rich with agriculture from shrimp farms to rice paddies. According to legend, during the winter months a dragon appears to many of the region’s people, bringing them good health and wisdom.

The price for the event is $98 per person for Smithsonian resident members and $133 per person for non-members. All proceeds will go directly to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. For reservations and information, please call 202.357.3030 or visit the Smithsonian online at ResidentAssociates.org, CODE: 1B1-520. A two-week celebration, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will run June 27-July 1 and July 4-8.

TenPenh Restaurant

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20004

202.393.4500

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I had visited Ten Penh before Saturday night (mid-October). It was fantastic!

We sat at the bar, after trying to get a group of four a table or at the bar at Central (no!) and then being offered an immediate seat at Ten Penh's lounge or a 45-minute wait for a regular table. I'm so glad we ate at the bar. The service was very friendly, the cocktails were top-notch (I had the Emporer's Geisha and the Beijing Blush, both unusual and beautiful), and the food was excellent.

We started with shredded pork empanadas, which were spicy, almost sweet, and perfectly lightly fried. I had the lamb potstickers, which were juicy and packed a lot of heat. Two of my friends split the whole crispy fish, flounder, which was again expertly fried. The white meat was so flaky and tender. My other friend had the glazed salmon, which I did not sample but which looked very good.

It was a very busy night at the bar, but our bartenders made great suggestions and were a lot of fun. I am sure I will be back to the bar soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hit up Ten Penh for the first time last night for RW with a couple of girlfriends (yes, my second Passion Food restaurant in as many nights after a Ceiba visit on Monday). Both restaurants had identical RW menu offerings (as in 7-8 apps, any entree with only one upcharge and a choice of 3 desserts). I wish there were more dessert choices since none of the 3 really excited me, but the app and entree were fantastic, so it's only a minor complaint.

I started with the Wok Seared Spicy Calamari Salad (Tatsoi, Sriracha, Lime and Toasted Cashews). The dressing was excellently spicy and the calamari were perfectly seared/sauteed. My friends each got the Filipino Lumpia Style Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls with a Trio of Dipping Sauces. This was an enormous serving. The bit I had was a bit greasy, but the dipping sauces were a great addition.

We each had fish entrees Dashi Marinated Chilean Sea Bass (Wakame-Potato Cake, Sambal Beans, Pickled Ginger Sauce), Wonton Glazed Halibut (Nori Somen Noodles, Shiitake Mushrooms, Anticusho Sauce), Nori Glazed Tuna (Pickled Ginger-Cucumber Risotto, Wasabi Pepper Sauce) and a special of Turbo with steamed jasmine rice and a mandarin orange and spinach salad. Each were very large portions and all received raves. Despite my slight aversion to pickled ginger I thoroughly enjoyed my sea bass. The fish was cooked perfectly and the sambal beans were amazing with just a touch of spice. I could only eat about half of the potato cake due to the large serving.

Looking at the online menu makese me wish some of those choices were offered for RW. The German Chocolate brownie with caramom cream cheese icing and coconut panna cotta was decent, but not great. However, the dessert bite brought with the check (some sort of soft brownie type thing with a strong brown sugar taste) was much better and a good note on which to end.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dinned at Ten Penh today for lunch. The service, as always, was fantastic.

Lunch was fine: I started with fine steamed dumplings accompanied by fine dipping sauce. For lunch I had a thin fillet of telapia that was a bit over-cooked, over-oiled, and dry at parts. I really enjoyed the strip of green and brown yumminess that was on my plate. I think the green was cilantro sauce and maybe the brown stuff was related to soy product. There was also a bit of veggie salsa which was perfect. I would have liked that blended into a gazpacho and served in a big bowl (it's that time of the year).

The rice under the fish looked good but was quite dry so I didn't eat it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone been to the TenPenh on the patio? They serve a filipino style roasted pig on the patio with sides for 29 dollars a person. I'm intrigued but I wanted to know if anyone else has tried it.

Cliff Wharton grew up in the Philippines, so at the very least, roast lechon is in his heritage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Meet a friend at Ten Penh for RW lunch...solid to good experience. Like most of the restaurants in the Tunks empire, they allow you to pick your entree off the regular menu and have a seperate smaller menu for apps and dessert.

Menus were served with a small bowl of edamame.

Lumpia springrolls were good, served with a trio of dipping sauces.

Ahi tuna burger was about as good as one can expect for a slab of tuna served between a bun with wasabi mayo

dessert had the banana fosters springroll, I mean, roasted bananas, crunchy deep fried roll, ice cream and a caramel sauce...just really can't go wrong. on the other had the green tea cake was dull and boring.

Little bite size cakes/cookies came with the check.

For $20.11 lunch overall was a good deal (regular menu priced out to $32)

Link to post
Share on other sites

We grabbed a quick bite off the bar menu yesterday evening.

Chicken wraps

Satay

Calamari

Sliders

Shredded duck springrolls

The only dishes I would call good were the calamari and springrolls. The calamari were tender and small and served with a slightly oily sauce that was slightly spice. The springrolls were hot and crisp although the mango chutney tasted more like cheap duck sauce.

The satay themselves were nicely seasoned and cooked (although I think they were griddled, not grilled). The peanut dipping sauce was one-dimentionally salty...a common complaint.

The chicken wraps were terrible. The ground chicken tasted like it had been seasoned with shoyu only and the dipping sauce was saltier yet.

My wife liked the slider but I found the meat to have a slightly odd, squeaky consistency.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only dishes I would call good were the calamari and springrolls. The calamari were tender and small and served with a slightly oily sauce that was slightly spice. The springrolls were hot and crisp although the mango chutney tasted more like cheap duck sauce.

I really like that calamari. Probably my favorite dish on their menu. I think it is the sauce I like so much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't normally cut and paste press releases, but this one is big:

----

TenPenh Bids a Fond Farewell

TenPenh’s landmark Asian-inspired restaurant closing June 30, 2011

Being unable to finalize a mutually beneficial agreement between the partners of Passion Food Hospitality [Jeff Tunks, Gus DiMillo, David Wizenberg] and the lessor, an amicable resolution has been reached whereby; the jewel-colored silk-upholstered dining room of TenPenh closes its doors at the end of this month. It will leave behind a legacy of sophisticated Asian-inspired cuisine and glittering memories – of delectable lunches, exotic dinner feasts, and festive suckling pig roasts right there on Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks from The White House.

Eleven years ago, following an intensive research trip to Asia, we brought authentic flavors and flair to our Asian inspired establishment. The interior made its mark with brilliant color, silk lanterns, antique Asian statuary, and servers in raw silk jackets. TenPenh’s menu introduced the Washington area to the joys of whole fish, taking the fear out of that dramatic presentation. It also gave a home to executive chef Jeff Tunks’ Chinese Style Smoked Lobster, which became its signature dish. During the tenure of Tunks’ longtime Philippine-born chef de cuisine, Washington learned to embrace upscale Philippine cuisine.

Praised in the press from Bon Appétit to The New York Times [and with a coveted listing in the late great Gourmet Magazine’s Guide to America’s Best Restaurants under its glamorous belt] Not to mention, Esquire Magazine gave it the notable honor of being one of only twenty “Best New Restaurants 2000.” TenPenh’s high style and distinctive cuisine always attracted luminaries. The kitchen was honored by visiting chefs Cristeta Comerford [of The White House] and America’s master of Asian cooking, Susanna Foo. Its dining room was graced by the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Dr. Ruth, Barack Obama and John McCain, U2 and John Travolta.

Although much discussion is whirling around about a possible relocation, we would like to simply focus our energy and time on our independent ongoing ventures and the two new independent endeavors poised to open on Washington Circle this August.

Gus, Jeff and David are indebted and thankful to their loyal supporters, distinguished press, friends and family for their continued commitment to TenPenh. And most importantly, they are sincerely grateful to their dedicated staff for all their efforts and hard work over the past 11 years, many of whom will remain ‘in the family’ of Passion Food Hospitality.

A fond farewell for now! Thank you for the memories.

For more information:

Simone Rathlé - 703.534.8100

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of this group's restaurants are better than others, but I have been to them all and had very positive experiences at each of them, across the board, over the past ten years. I remember the first time that I went to Ten Penh and I got a sake based martini with a pickled baby octopus in it. I will try almost anything, but this was way too big to even consider nibbling on. The drink, however, was very good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Always had good experiences, especially for business lunches. Loved the patio. Good happy hour, too. It's too bad it couldn't workout for everyone.

This is a huge loss for the D. C. area: a home grown group who was very,very good at what they did. I liked Ten Penh as well as their other restaurants. Note that Passion Fish is the best restaurant in Western Fairfax County right now. An absolute shame that they couldn't have remained on Pennsylvania Avenue.

They will be missed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of this group's restaurants are better than others, but I have been to them all and had very positive experiences at each of them, across the board, over the past ten years. I remember the first time that I went to Ten Penh and I got a sake based martini with a pickled baby octopus in it. I will try almost anything, but this was way too big to even consider nibbling on. The drink, however, was very good.

Oh my. Pickled baby octopus? Wow, I'd have loved to try that -- with or without the drink.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bookluvingbabe said:

Has anyone gone?  I loved Ten Pehn and then didn't go for the last 5 years it was open because it was too hard to do anything when BL-4th grader was small. 

(Not that it is easier now--I just drive in different circles...)

But I bet Mr. BLB would love to go check it out. 

Don't forget that Miles Vaden (the opening Chef of Eventide) is the Chef de Cuisine now, and Cliff Wharton, who was Chef at the downtown Ten Penh, seemingly forever, is gone - that is a big difference right there (not necessarily better, or worse; just different). I don't think Cliff was 100% Filipino, but he might have been 50%, and he grew up with Asian cooking in his blood.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why must authentic Chinese food be inexpensive but fusion food can charge a premium?  Here are some examples vs. some of the best  Chinese food in the area.

Peking Gourmet Inn Peking Duck $43.  Ten Penh $60.

Hong Kong Palace Spicy Wontons $6.  TP $10.

Veggie Spring Rolls at TP $9.  $3 at Peter Chang.

Cumin Lamb Chop at Peter Chang $19.  TP $65.

I guess if you really want some bad Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese all at the same time, you's gotta pay a premium.

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Josh said:

I guess that's about as shocking as the difference in the price of a hamburger from Smashburger versus somewhere like Bourbon Steak or something. 

I can understand the difference in pricing when there's a difference in rent/decor/service.  But the fact is people bitch about prices at Hakkasan or other high end Chinese restaurant with high rent, great decor, and great service but think half-ass wonton soup at the Source is worth $16.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I can understand the difference in pricing when there's a difference in rent/decor/service.  But the fact is people bitch about prices at Hakkasan or other high end Chinese restaurant with high rent, great decor, and great service but think half-ass wonton soup at the Source is worth $16.

Eric, you made a strong case for yourself when you favorably compared Thip Khao to Little Serow (though give Little Serow credit for being "inexpensive" and "not crappy"), and you were the only writer in the DC area who was going out on a limb and saying that - I'm not sure if you're right or wrong, but it *is* food for thought.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I can understand the difference in pricing when there's a difference in rent/decor/service.  But the fact is people bitch about prices at Hakkasan or other high end Chinese restaurant with high rent, great decor, and great service but think half-ass wonton soup at the Source is worth $16.

I didn't explain myself as well I should have. I actually prefer the basic, authentic burger of a place like Smashburger, and am constantly confused as to why folks will shell out $$$ for fancified burgers with all manner of pricey accoutrements. That said, I have no problem paying more for better ingredients, or as you said, a more lush setting. 

As for Chinese food specifically, I get the annoyance. One of the refreshing differences I've seen since being in Houston, is that people are much more open to non-European cuisines existing on a continuum of strip mall to fine dining. I celebrated my birthday this week at Hugo's, an upscale Mexican restaurant that is consistently rated among the top 10 in the city.  Likewise, in a town with TONS of Vietnamese joints, Le Colonial, a very luxe new joint has been well-received.  

We don't have a branch of Hakkasan here, though it is somewhat telling that that group is about to open Yauatcha in the Galleria here this year.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

We were really big fans of the original Ten Penh. The whole deep fried fish was our favorite, not only delicious but an unbelievably dramatic presentation. Had lunch at the new Ten Penh today. The two of us shared four appetizers/dim sum and one ramen. The lamb pot stickers, tuna poke, pork wontons and chicken satay were all delicious. The tuna portion was extremely generous! We probably should have stopped eating at that point, but we had already ordered the chicken ramen. A huge portion came out which the two of us could not finish. The broth with the ramen was the most flavorful chicken broth I have ever had in my life! If someone can figure out how they made it I would love to hear from you! By the way, no whole deep fried fish on the lunch menu.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I work in the building across the street, so I got carryout for lunch today. Started with the pita chips with wasabi edamame hummus. I think they gave me wonton skins instead of pita chips, as they were really thin. The hummus reminded me of trader joe's edamame hummus, which is tasty, but nothing special. The wasabi was almost non-existent. Had I been dining in, I would have asked for more to mix in.

I also got the Smoked Korean Brisket Po Boy. It had chili mayo, cucumber and pickled carrots. The french bread it was on was very good and the chili mayo added a muted kick. The meat itself was chopped and flavorful, but I didn't get much smoke. All together it was a decent sandwich, but seems like it should be more than "decent" for $14. I only ate a couple of the potato chips on the side as they were very much in need of salt.

I'll be back because of convenience, and I want to try some of the items like the ramen Finatic mentioned above.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

Don't forget, Ten Penh is in Tysons Corner now, and we could use some reviews of it. ;) Remember that its original chef, Cliff Wharton, is at least 50% Filipino, and Pan-Asian cooking seemed to be in his blood; Miles Vaden is a fine chef, but it probably isn't second nature to him (FWIW).

This Arlington magazine review indicates that Cliff Wharton is back

"Chef Cliff Wharton, who helmed the original D.C. location, recently replaced Miles Vaden in the kitchen."

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ericandblueboy said:

It's Tysons Corner.  The area only supports steak houses and relatively inexpensive restaurants.  I'm surprised Nostos has lasted this long.  

The Tysons demographic may be changing with the high-rise housing coming in and around the Metro, but for the past couple of decades it's been fairly consistent. The Tech industry (mostly) calls for expense account lunches and steak-and-cigar dinners for the executives, with a healthy mix of inexpensive lunches and happy hours for the junior workforce.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Keithstg said:

The location certainly didn't help.

Yes.  The reason behind the "sweetheart deal" or so I was told, was specifically because of location.  With Metro and focused development specifically in the areas where the Metro stops are located the Tyson's areas on the outskirts are "suffering".  WestPark Drive is one of those suffering areas.  "So close and yet so far".

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...