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88 China Restaurant Report

MikeR, in regards to the increased prices, I don't think I'm describing typical inflationary increases. Instead of seeing a range of different dishes exhibiting various increases, it seems a price point floor has been established with the authentic Chinese menu not having a single entree under $13.95. I'd say it's still worth it though since the food is fantastic and, if living in western Fairfax you don't want to deal with the hassle of driving further east.

We visited again this last weekend, and ordered the Lion Head in Hot Pot (Meatball), Snow Pea Leaves with Garlic, and Spicy Beef Shank appetizer. All were excellent (especially the Lion Head and beef shank), but as I indicated before had a touch more MSG than really needed.

Mar 31, 2014
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88 China Restaurant Report

As reported by Tyler Cowen (https://tylercowensethnicdiningguide....), the former owners of China Star in Fairfax have opened a new restaurant in Chantilly. I used to go to China Star often and loved it, but stopped going when I had heard that it was under new management and the initial reviews were disappointing.

Upon hearing that the former owners have opened 88 China Restaurant in Chantilly with pretty much the same menu as when they were running China Star, I had to give it a try. We ordered the Scallion Fried Fish and Shredded Chicken with "Leek" (flowering chives). The dishes were excellent, and pretty much tasted like how China Star had made them. I thought the shredded chicken with leeks was actually better than before. The scallion fried fish was less spicy then I remembered, but still excellent. I also thought that they used a touch more MSG than before, but overall the experience was a faithful recreation of their former restaurant, including the complementary soy bean appetizer.

The place was packed on Friday night, and I suspect will give nearby Sichuan Village stiff competition. The only down side was that all the dishes were a couple dollars more expensive than what they had been at China Star (at least as of a couple years ago). Still, we had an excellent meal, and I look forward to returning and trying old favorites like Lion's Head Meatball, Steamed Flounder, Fish with Bean Curd, and other dishes. If you go just remember to order from the authentic Chinese menu and not the Chinese-American section.

Mar 28, 2014
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Lotus Garden, Vienna, Va - 12/12 report

It's funny how 加麻 (jia ma) gets translated as "Canadian hemp" in Google Translate. I thought you might be trying to play a practical joke on me. ;-)

I should have translated each character separately, where I see that it means add/increase numb.

Aug 16, 2013
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Lotus Garden, Vienna, Va - 12/12 report

I've been to several places that add roasted sichuan peppercorn to the dipping salt, but only up in the NYC/Philadelphia area.

Sichuan Village in Chantilly used to heap a lot of ground sichuan peppercorn on their Salt and Pepper Pork Chops which was awesome and very numbing, but they dialed it down these days, presumably to be more accessible to the general public. Still good though.

Aug 14, 2013
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Lotus Garden, Vienna, Va - 12/12 report

Chinese style fried chicken is actually supposed to be served to taste salty. I did not find the special garlic chicken to be any saltier than what is typical for that style of dish. Restaurants will typically serve a small dish of roasted salt along with the chicken for dipping, which is a common way of eating fried chicken. I would actually prefer it if Lotus Garden (and Hong Kong Pearl) served a dipping plate of roasted salt (with fried garlic) on the side so that one could control the amount if saltiness (in my case I prefer more saltiness).

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

Aug 13, 2013
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Lotus Garden, Vienna, Va - 12/12 report

Sounds like someone made a mistake in the kitchen. I had the special garlic chicken just this last Saturday for lunch, and it was fine with a delicious garlic flavor, but not overly salty. The only comment I would have is that I think the dish would be better with more fried garlic and a little less cilantro in the topping.

Aug 12, 2013
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Duck Bulgogi at Annangol in Annadale

The key to eating grilled duck is to eat it plain. As soon as you dip it in a sauce, the distinctive duck flavor becomes hidden and the meat becomes very similar to the taste and texture of pork belly. Don't pay the extra cost for duck if you're going to marinate or dip in a sauce. Just eat it plain or go with the cheaper pork belly.

Since Korean BBQ is best when dipping meat in a sesame oil or fermented bean sauce, I don't think the price premium for duck is worth it (unless you don't eat pork).

However, if you really like duck, a good alternative is to grill it at home, which is a lot cheaper than what the restaurants charge. Wow Fresh Meat in Centreville sells thinly sliced frozen duck breast identical to what you'll find in a restaurant. Their sliced frozen beef brisket is also quite good.

Jul 30, 2013
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Water Spinach

I believe so (at least according to Wikipedia).

May 06, 2013
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Water Spinach

Does anyone know where I can buy fresh water spinach (i.e. tongxincai, ong choy, kangkong, Chinese spinach/watercress, rau muong) in Northern Virginia? I've recently looked for it at Great Wall in Merrifield, H Mart in Centreville, and Lotte in Chantilly and couldn't find it there. I've been really enjoying the Chinese Watercress Malaysian Style (Kangkong Belacan) at Taste @ Hong Kong, and now I want to try making it at home.

Apr 25, 2013
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Korean BBQ with Charcoal?

Preferably in NOVA, DC, or MontCo.

Aug 29, 2008
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Korean BBQ with Charcoal?

It seems that most of the Korean BBQ restaurants in the area use gas grills to cook the meat. Does anyone know if there are any Korean BBQ restaurants in the area that use charcoal instead? I haven't had charcoal cooked Korean food since I lived in Philadelphia a few years ago, and I really miss the extra flavor the charcoal provides.

Aug 29, 2008
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Reston/Herndon/Sterling Chinese?

Is Mama Wok fairly authentic Chinese food? All the other restaurants listed in this thread seem to be Chinese-American style.

Aug 29, 2008
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Mark's Duck House - Major Disappointment

Mark's Duck House has been going down hill recently. The last couple of times I visited there, the quality and preparation were not up to their usual standards.

Aug 29, 2008
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Canton Cafe Springfield

I ate there for the first time last night. I ordered the roast pork wonton noodle soup, the steamed chicken with ginger and scallion in sauce, and choy sum in garlic sauce (not on menu). The choy sum in garlic sauce was fabulous, firm texture with a lot of garlic flavor. The roast pork wonton noodle soup was extremely salty. It was so salty that I could not drink the soup at all. The wontons were a bit below average, and they skimped on the amount of noodles. The roast pork seemed pretty good, but it's hard to tell drenched in the salty soup. The steamed chicken with ginger and scallion in sauce was good, but the sauce was a bit too salty, and they could have used more ginger and scallion. Perhaps they make the sauce from the same salty stock that they use for the wonton soup. The prices for many of the dishes on the menu seemed a bit high compared to Full Kee or other Chinese places in Falls Church. Although their menu is varied and authentic, I think I'll stick to Falls Church Chinese joints.

Mar 15, 2008
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SweetGreen in Gtown

Would you happen to have an address or more a more precise location for Iceberry?

Sep 12, 2007
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Chinese Banquet Near Garden Grove

Thanks again. Unfortunately, I live in Virginia so it's hard to try out the food. But it sounds like a real possibility so I'll check it out the next time I'm in LA.

May 22, 2007
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Chinese Banquet Near Garden Grove

Does anyone have any opinions about King Harbor Seafood Restaurant in Garden Grove? How's the food, and is it authentic? Can it accommodate a party of 25 - 50?

May 21, 2007
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Chinese Banquet Near Garden Grove

Thanks for the tip, arisu. I couldn't find a website for Seafood Place. Is it fairly authentic cuisine? Do you know how it compares with other Chinese banquet spots?

May 21, 2007
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Chinese Banquet Near Garden Grove

I'm planning on getting married at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove this summer, and was wondering if there are any good Chinese banquet restaurants to host 25 - 50 people for the rehearsal dinner. I already know about Prince Seafood in Cerritos, and was wondering if there was anything closer.

May 21, 2007
bitstreamer in Los Angeles Area

Philadelphia Water Ice Factory on H Street NE

Here's a Rita's Water Ice in DC.

2318 Rhode Island Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 636-RITA

Apr 13, 2007
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Private (asian) party recommendations

Hmm... I just called Good Fortune, and they said that they didn't have any private rooms. Perhaps they got rid of them?

Apr 12, 2007
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Private (asian) party recommendations

Thanks for the recommendation. I called them and because their room hosts 50-60 people they couldn't guarantee the whole room for only 20 people on a weekend. Is their cuisine Americanized Chinese food or fairly authentic?

Apr 11, 2007
bitstreamer in Washington DC & Baltimore

Private (asian) party recommendations

I'm going to be planning an engagement party for 14 - 20 people in mid-May, and I was wondering if anyone could recommend a place in the metro DC area with a private room, and of course good food. I have a definite preference for Chinese, Korean, or Japanese.

Apr 11, 2007
bitstreamer in Washington DC & Baltimore

New Fortune Dim Sum

Are people going to get New Fortune dim sum during the weekdays? I've heard that their weekday dim sum is really weak, but that their dim sum on the weekends was much better. I've only gone during the weekends when it's packed, and I've always had a good experience.

Mar 05, 2007
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WOKVILLE - the best of (asian cuisine)

Thanks for the tip, dpan. I'll give it a try.

Jan 04, 2007
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WOKVILLE - the best of (asian cuisine)

Although not as good as Temari, the ramen at Hama Sushi in Herndon is OK for those staying in NoVA.

http://www.hama-sushi.com/

Jan 03, 2007
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HK Palace Report - Seven Corners

I'm slurping on their spicy cold noodles that I got take-out last night. Delicious! The waiter there was also the most friendly and helpful waiter ever!

Dec 27, 2006
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jjajang-myun!

elnora, it sounds like you went to Choong Hwa Woon. The only jjajang halfway edible there is their samsun jjajang.

In my opinion, the best jjajang in this area is at Tae Hwa Won. Of couse it's nothing compared to what you can get in LA, but it's by far the best in this area.

Tae Hwa Won @ Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center
703-266-4785
13814-B Braddock Road
Centreville, VA 20121

Check out this article for more details:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

Dec 27, 2006
bitstreamer in Washington DC & Baltimore