You know that little hole in the wall (hitw) Restaurant that you go to and you know it definitely doesn’t get enough kudos? For me that place is Chiantown Express in Chinatown, DC.
I remember the first time I ever saw this place. There was this big old green structure sticking out of a building and I saw a Chinese man in a white chef outfit with these big old white noodles in his hands just stretching and tossing them, making them bigger and bigger. I was probably in high school and it was certainly intimidating but also fascinating. I could have watched him all day. 10 years later, you can still find chefs in the window pounding and stretching out the same hand pulled noodles in the window. And it brings back tons of memories of the old Chinatown, when you could walk to any corner and find delicious authentic Chinese food.
Alright, I’m done being long winded, even today they consistently serve delicious handmade fresh noodles in soup or fried, with a variety of meats. You can also find your traditional American Chinese dishes and some dishes that are traditional Chinese dishes. Just about anything here is delicious.
But the soup will always be my first love and will always be the first thing I think of when I think of DC’s Chinatown.
Today we went to East Pearl Restaurant in Rockville. It was a special occasion because my mother’s birthday is coming soon and she loves Chinese food. This means my sisters and I were paying!
When it first opened it was one of the most exciting delicious new places that all the Chinese people in the area went to. The food is still pretty good, but respectfully, when the Chinese people are slowly being replaced with others…the restaurant tends to go down hill. Or maybe it’s the restaurant going downhill that is bringing in all the non Chinese people?
The food was all delicious. Except for the Sizzling Chicken in Casserole Dish. I never want to put something like that in my mouth again. But, I had to be adventurous and try something I had never tried before. Big Mistake! I will never do that again. This chicken dish was salty, had way too much garlic in it and was just not a tasty dish in the least. Unfortunately, since we didn’t want to take it home, nor leave it on the table, it was eaten until there was only a little left. My poor stomach is still complaining about the taste.
Come here for good Chinese food, but avoid the Sizzling Chicken at all costs.
New Fortune has been around since 1998 and my family has been coming here for almost longer as I can remember. My first memories of dim sum are here and even to this day we still come here. I have seen the food here ebb and flow and unfortunately, this restaurant is in an ebbing mood as of late, but the food is still decent.
Some of the dim sum that we usually get and the staples of any dim sum experience. There’s har gow or crystal shrimp dumplings, siu mai or pork dumplings and beef dumplings. The har gow and siu mai have been my favorites since my first bite of dim sum and it’s not a great dim sum experience without them.
This is called wu tau kau or taro dumpling. It’s not for everyone, but it’s awesome and delicious. I say it’s not for everyone because the main ingredient is taro, and not many people like taro. These are my middle sister’s favorite. She eats one whole order just by herself and if I want any, I have to get another order to share with my family.
This is one of my favorite dishes, ha churn fun or shrimp noodle roll. It is shrimp wrapped in long rice noodles drenched in soy sauce. Delicious!
It’s not the best food, but I certainly love it. If you want good service, go with someone who speaks Chinese. It’s sad but usually true that you get better service if you know the language.