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XO Taste

"Better than HK...." nice...

Yes, the only gripe really that I have about XO Taste is that they don't help you control your urge to over order.

I once ordered steamed oysters with black bean sauce....just like that....and they brought 6 of those out.

Doesn't sound like a big deal except for the fact that all 6 of them were the size of split chicken breasts.

I could only eat one.

After the fact, the waiter told me that I could have ordered 2 or 4 or single....It just would have been a tad more expensive per.

Total cost for 6 was about $24 though, so not a big deal.

The only place that really "ripped me off" was when I ordered Geoduck from Mui Kee. After I placed the order, I was a big taken back by how alerted the wait staff was. They served the geoduck up two ways....the head fried with pepper salt, and the tube stir fried.

Bill for that geoduck was $84.

Nov 22, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Your Favorite Restaurant Serving Seafood Near West Fall's Church / Vienna Area?

No, this is not cafeteria style. I usually put down money on the table and wait for the staff to pick it up.

I don't think you stiffed him, but if you put down a $10, maybe he was hoping you'd just get up and leave and he'd get the $3.

Maybe next time when he looks at you, you grab your money/bill and waive it at him.

Nov 21, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Your Favorite Restaurant Serving Seafood Near West Fall's Church / Vienna Area?

If you're going to be in the general area of Sea Pearl, you're better off going to its sister restaurant called "Four Sisters."

Nov 20, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Who Needs Mark's Duck House?

Nov 19, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Annandale Korean tonight with two toddlers

The OP said they're looking for BBQ tho.

Nov 17, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Annandale Korean tonight with two toddlers

Hmm, maybe it's the prominent grills and exhaust fans in each and every korean joint that gives the impression that BBQ is the signature offering of most korean joints. Could it be?

If people want to go to a korean joint and pig out on tofu stew....more power to them. Most others go for the grilled meats.

Nov 17, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Annandale Korean tonight with two toddlers

How are the grilled meats? That's the first thing to judge a Korean restaurant by, not the mushroom soup.

Nov 17, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Annandale Korean tonight with two toddlers

I like the seafood pancake at Honey Pig, but nothing else that much.

The BBQ items are advertised as low priced, but also low are the portions.

I wouldn't call it a family restaurant...more like a dive.

Nov 13, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

For the most part, anything you find in one authentic chinese/cantonese restaurant you can find in another.

Nov 12, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

I ate here about two weekends ago and had a great meal and great customer service. There was no wait, but most if the tables were occupied and most were occupied by Asian families.

One thing about this place is that they will let you order as much as you want to order without holding you back to say "that's too much food."

Nov 09, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

Looks like Sietsema finally discovered it, and liked it.

Nov 08, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Chinese New Year/Valentine's Day

Not the best grub, but Mr. K's in downtown DC (closed now) was very nice and upscale.

Oct 25, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

Maybe they just reheated stale rice...what time of the day did you eat there?

Oct 23, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

How do you like your white rice? Most chinese/cantonese like it light/dry/rough, not wet, soggy, or mushy.

Oct 22, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

So...Is it worth waiting in a long line for a "Georgetown Cupcake"?

Are these cupcakes baked to order? C'mon...

How long does it take to process an order? This slow turnover time just adds to the unnecessary hype.

Oct 11, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sunday Lunch or Brunch Near Goddard?

This brunch place is about 10 miles (12 min drive according to Google) from Goddard. You can take the beltway.

http://www.mrsks.com/

Oct 10, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Your Favorite Restaurant Serving Seafood Near West Fall's Church / Vienna Area?

Mark's Duck House is a standby, but don't expect excellence. It has gone downhill with new ownership.

Give XO Taste across the street a try. Much better customer service and decor, along with great cantonese fare.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/x-o-taste-seafood-restaurant-falls-church

If you're looking for a snazzy place, consider this in Falls Church.

http://www.2941.com/about.php

Oct 06, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Who Needs Mark's Duck House?

Actually, they do accept charge cards.

They are decent, and cheaper, but with all shops that have low volume, compared to MDH, you have to hit it when it's fresh from the ovens.

Sep 09, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

Tapioca in cantonese chinese is "sai mai."

A very nice version of the sweet tapioca soup is when they put a little bit of peanut butter in it. I've only had this version in NYC though.

Sep 08, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

Next time you have left over roast pig, I recommend you stir fry it on a wok with some soy sauce and garlic. It's good.

Sep 08, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

Looks to me like you got the good part...the pork belly. This is always fat. You can eat the lean cuts because they will be dry.

Crackling was not crunchy possibly from soaking up the oil from the fat.

I also know that XO Taste offers hoisin sauce with the pork, which is the right condiment.

Mark's only offers the drippings from the roast duck that doesn't go as well with the roast pig.

Worse comes to worse, order a section of pork belly unchopped and take it home and heat it up in the toaster oven.

With regard to the fatty part, I never eat the fat part...I just bite and spit it out. I also soak the crackling in a napkin to absorb the fat.

Sep 08, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dim Sum in Rosslyn

Mark's doesn't use a heated griddle for their taro cakes. Also, I doubt seriously that they actually fire up the steam carts for their dumplings.

Oriental East is good in my opinion. It does help if you sit near the kitchen and use that as a starting point as carts tend to move clockwise....if you're near the end of the finish line, all the hot/good stuff may be gone, but I have seen people walk straight to the cart with the bill card in hand and just get stuff there and bring it back to their tables.

Sep 08, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dim Sum in Rosslyn

Mark's egg custard tarts are a huge disappoint because they are tiny and dry.

Sep 08, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dim Sum in Rosslyn

If what you want is not on the dim sum carts at Mark's, they'll glady go to the freezer and microwave it up for you.

Even off hours, they'll seel frozen dim sum for you to take home.

Sep 08, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

Huh?

You got there at 1pm and were the first people there for lunch? I think they open early than that.

My guess, worst case, is that they served you roast pig from Saturday. Reality is that all joints probably do that.

Since they have a BBQ stand right by the register, I would make sure or double check to see if they are hacking off your piece of pig from a whole carcass.

Sep 07, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to buy raw large HEAD-ON, LEGS-ON shrimp in Baltimore

I saw some super large alive shrimp at Great Wall. These were not regular shrimp though...I think they were mantis shrimp....going for 19.99/lb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_s...

Sep 07, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

When you asked for roast pig over rice, the steam from the rice could have softened the crackling.

You can just order the roast pig straight up and/or take out. It should be crispy, and will definitely be that way if you order early in the afternoon. Come dinner time, the pig may not be fresh from the roaster. I would recommend you get the pig around early afternoon time on the weekends.

Lobster is actually easy to eat. With my right hand, I use the chopsticks. On my left hand, I hold the fork. The chopsticks hold the lobster piece in place while the fork is for digging the meat out. Next time, ask for some chinese spicy mustard and dip the lobster meat in that. Really good.

Then, you can use the chop stick to pick up the shell and slurp the gravy off. The head is mostly for presentation. The only drawback from having the lobster stir fried is that the lobster's brains are usually dumped out. That's good eating, but very rich.

I think you are right about the XO sauce. I did taste some dried scallops. Cantonese food in general is not spicy. It's more soy sauce based. There's usually some chili oil on the table for you to spice up to taste.

Yes, Mark's Duck House is a grungy place and they lack severely with customer service. Also, they do not give you free sliced oranges or sweet soup after your meal, no matter how much you spend. It is only included if you order a course meal that includes dessert.

Yes, for your birthday, you should have had long noodles to symbolize long life. Next time, order the Crabmeat or scallion E-Fu noodles, which are typically served on one's birthday.

Mark's duck house is overpriced and has poor service, but they do serve a good roast duck and roast pig.....Roast duck for them usually goes for about $22 whole and roast pig is $12.50/lb for the pork belly and $11/lb for the dry white meat.

In San Francisco, a whole roast duck can be had for about $8, and in NY chinatown, about $11.

Sep 07, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

I don't recall if the food was too salty, but I also recall that I didn't use too much soy sauce.

Sep 07, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

XO Taste

That's a great, detailed review.

Roast pork is marinated in a chinese style bbq sauce before roasting. It comes out red and is usually the meaty cut from the ribs.

Roast pig is lathered with a rub on the inside of the pig before roasting whole. Yes, there is crackling from the roasting process...no need to separate and request for deep fry. The best cut is the pig belly. Mark's duck house charges extra for this cut...which is ridiculous.

The XO sauce is more soy/oyster sauce base..maybe a hint of star anise, but not that much. XO taste has a very delicious shrimp roll with xo sauce. It similar to a fried crab claw.

Lobster can be also ordered stir fried with the black bean sauce. My favorite is the deep fry first and then stir fry with ginger and scallion.

I was at Great Wall one time and saw a waiter from XO Taste there stocking up on lobsters. He must have picked up 50 lobsters.

Yes, casserole is typically served in a clay or metal pot with sauce. I had the brisket casserole and it was good there.

If you like oysters, consider the steamed oysters with black bean sauce. Make sure you only order how many you want, or they will serve you 1/2 dozen. They come out in their shell almost the size of a whole chicken breast....about $4 each, but cheaper if you order 1/2 dozen.

Sep 07, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sea Pearl

Is this place closed?

I drove by today and lights were off. Could be a Labor Day break, but it doesn't seem that common.

Sep 06, 2009
Chownut in Washington DC & Baltimore