Friday, July 22, 2011

Mala Tang

Rating: Good
Genre: Chinese, Sichuan Hot Pot
Neighborhood: Arlington

So a new hot pot competitor is town, but its trendier than your typical hole-in-the-wall found in a crowded, smelly, Asian shopping center. Mala Tang is a new, hip hot pot joint in the heart of Arlington, close by the Clarendon metro stop. Now I'm pretty sure that this place was opened up by the same owner of Uncle Liu's Hot Pot, that being Chef Liu, who is from the motherland of Sichuan hot pot, Chengdu. The first thing you notice when you walk into Mala Tang, is the upscale Asian themed decor; it looks like one of those fancy Asian furniture stores. What's neat about Mala Tang, that's not typical at your usual hot pot joint, is each seat gets their own mini burner for your hot pot so you can get what broth you want and not worry about mixing up your food with your friends'. Although personally, I like having one big hot pot in the center of the table because it creates a more social set up.

I bought two of the Open Table vouchers that included four Prix Fix dinners for $80. We had a table of nine so I was kind of nervous they wouldn't let us use two vouchers because most restaurants only allow one voucher per table. The manager was nice enough to not only let us use both, but applied the discount for the Prix Fixed menu to our ninth person! I thought that was very nice of them. Our waitress was named Natasha who was very sweet and patient with us. She took her time explaining how the menu worked. The Prix Fix menu included three courses; the first course is the Xiao Chi (means small dish in Chinese- kind of like a mid-day snack). You got your choice of mushroom salad, spicy cold noodles, spicy cucumber salad, and Zhong dumplings (typical street food dishes). Seeing that we had nine people at our table, we got a couple of each. The spicy cucumber salad was different from the garlic cucumber salad I'm use to eating. It's got a heavy peppercorn flavor marinated to its core; an excellent and refreshing dish! The mushroom salad was seasoned great as well and the mushroom's texture was chewy and soft- another recommended dish! My favorite however has got to be the spicy cold noodles. I've had a lot of variations of spicy cold noodles before, but this one's got to be one of the top three I've tried. Chewy egg noodles, spicy chili and peppercorn dressing, and just the right amount of heat! Dumplings were good too but I've had better.

For the second course, you start off by choosing your broth for your hot pot. You first pick whether you want it mala or mild. Mala means a type of spicy-ness characterized by the counter acting flavors of spicy chili peppers and numbing peppercorns. Then you pick either the traditional broth or the vegetable broth. None of us knew what vegetable broth meant so we all got traditional. Then you select your protein from a list of chicken, flounder, sirloin, pork, shrimp or tofu, then two vegetables, either enoki mushrooms, napa cabbage, bean sprouts, potatoes, bamboo shoots, white mushrooms, celery and broccoli. Personally, I chose pork, enoki mushrooms, and potatose with mala broth. First thing you'll notice when they bring out the food, is the enormous mound of meat and vegetables! Don't worry, they actually hide cabbage under your meat so it looks to be more than there actually is. As for the vegetables, yeah there's really that much. I'd like to say it's enough to feed two people, but I ate my entire dish.

The meal came with a few pre-made sauces which kind of tasted like sesame oil with some garlic, salt, and a bit of sa-cha (Chinese BBQ sauce). We asked for more of the sa-cha cause we're use to eating hot pot with a TON of that stuff. The sauce part was kind of disappointing cause I'm use to being able to make my own sauce when eating hot pot. The mala broth was good, but I wish it was more spicy! I couldn't get enough of the chili and peppercorn flavors coming through my ingredients. The pork was good, sliced in finely thin pieces. Good for fast cooking. The enoki mushrooms were good too like they always are and cooked in a mere ten seconds. I did run into a bit of a problem with the potatoes however. I got potatoes cause I was disappointed they didn't have taro in the Prix Fix menu, so got potatoes as a hopeful replacement. The potatoes took forever to cook and couldn't soak in flavor nearly as efficiently as taro. I got too impatient to wait on the potatoes so eventually just started eating them crunchy. Other ingrediants I tried off of my friends were the flounder, sirloin, and tofu, which were all good choices as well.

And finally for the last course, dessert, you could choose either sesame balls or some cake (I forgot what kind but I remember it being really none-Chinese sounding like Carrot Cake or something). We all went with the sesame balls. The sesame balls came out fresh and hot! The inside is filled with black sesame instead of red bean which I like a lot better! I'm also glad the dessert wasn't too big because we were all stuffed at that point!

Some good things I liked about Mala Tang was their beautiful ambiance and excellent service. Bus boys were very good at refilling your pot with broth and refilling your waters. Something I'm not use to at Chinese restaurants! Our waitress was very attentive and helpful. She came back frequently to make sure we had everything we needed. The Xiao Chi were some of the best Sichuan style dishes I've had and I want to go back and try more of them, especially their Mung Bean Noodles which look awesome! Their hot pot was pretty good too. Ingredients were all very fresh and it came in huge portions.

However, I'm use to a very different set of menu items when it comes to Sichuan hot pot. I like to be able to order a variety of ingredients with no limitation. You could do that here too, but the cost of doing that will nip you in the butt. Because the portions are so big, there is only so much you can order. I'd prefer it if the a la cart choices were smaller so you could get many and share it. I also wish they had choices I'm more accustom to like taro, fish cakes, eggs, dumplings, rice cakes, and noodles. I also like being able to make my own sauce! I think mala tang may be better for the trendy American (which is probably the target they were going for). Chef Liu figured he could have his cheap hole-in-the-wall for the more adventurous eaters at Uncle Liu's and his hip, trendy restaurant located in Arlington for the more luxurious eaters at Mala Tang. I'm sure he will probably have no problem capturing both markets. As for me, I'll stick with cheap hole-in-the-wall for the most part, but occasionally head over to Mala Tang if I feel like having a meal in luxury. Check out their cool promotional video below!

3434 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hai Duong

Rating: Great!

Genre: Vietnamese

Neighborhood: Seven Corners (Eden Center)

Seeing that I live about two miles from Eden Center, it was about time I explored the restaurants in that area. I use to go to Eden all the time as a kid for Cho Chu Saigon, until my mom forbade our family to go there anymore because of all those Asian gangs that hung out there ready to cut innocent bystanders just trying to get food. Well since moving to Falls Church, I've been having fun explore all the culinary delights in the area and it was time I delved into Eden. Holy Merlin's Beard! This place is nothing like how I remembered it as a kid! Lots of new development and new restaurants, shops, and bakeries! I heard about Hai Duong from a friend of mine, and when passing by, it looked like one of the busiest restaurants in the shopping center so I knew it had to be good.

I'm a total slut for Banh Xeo so I immediately knew what I was getting! If you don't know what Banh Xeo is, it is also referred to as the Vietnamese Crepe; this is because it's made in a similar fashion to French Crepes (which I also love- and the best place to get them is Crepes Amour in Georgetown) except it's a lot crispier! It is stuffed with herbs, bean sprouts, and some kind of meat (at Hai Duong it comes with shrimp) then folded over like an omelet. The dish comes with herbs, vegetables (usually carrots, radishes, and cucumbers), lettuce wraps, and fish sauce. At Hai Duong, these give you a mountain of herbs and I didn't know what 90% of them were. I think there may have been basil and mint in there but there were sure a lot of other tasty leaves that I didn't recognize. To eat Banh Xeo, you cut off a slice, then place it in a leaf of lettuce, add what herbs and veggies you want to it, then wrap it up, dip it in the fish sauce and enjoy! The Banh Xeo at Hai Duong is quite good- its crispy and the shrimp is delicious inside of it. I only wish they could put more shrimp in it.
As for my next visit, I decided to try the mi noodles with shrimp and pork. I saw a ton of people eating this dish at my first visit so I decided it must be another must-try. I didn't want a noodle dish with soup so this ended up being perfect. I dumped my fish sauce on top, scooped in three spoonfuls of hot sauce and mixed it up like Korean Bi Bim Bap! Wholesomely satisfying! I love, love eating noodles with fish sauce! And it comes with a spring roll! I also ordered the Vietnamese coffee like how I always do when going to Vietnamese restaurants. Vietnamese coffee is my favorite way of preparing coffee next to French press and the coffee at Hai Duong is deliciously strong- just like how I like it!
Another dish I've had here is pork with rice vermicelli. I love the flavorful way Vietnamese pork is prepared! I typically choose pork whenever I get a choice of meat. This dish came rice vermicelli, which is kind of a net of soft thin noodles, lettuce, herbs, vegetables and fish sauce. Like the Banh Xeo, you take the pork and noodles and wrap it in the lettuce and add you choice of herbs and veggies. The portion is gigantic so you can make about five well-stuffed wraps.
Overall, I found all my visits here incredibly satisfying! I love how Vietnamese food is light and not oily so I'm not disgusted with myself after wards. I love the amount of herbs given to you with every dish and they don't flake out on portions at all. The price is good too! About $8 a dish. This place is located at the left hand most entrance of Eden, but be careful! As with any Asian shopping center, no one here knows how to drive! It's not quite as bad as Chinese shopping centers, but the drivers here are more aggressive and you really got to fight to get a parking spot. I'm excited to try some of the other restaurants in Eden. I noticed a Thai Hot Pot joint right across from Hai Duong so I'll be trying that next!!!

6795 Wilson Blvd

Falls Church
, VA 22044

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Uncle Liu's Hot Pot

Rating: Good
Genre: Chinese, Sichuan, Hotpot
Neighborhood: Falls Church

If you love do-it-yourself type dinners, then you'll LOVE hotpot! I was unaware that the term "hotpot" was actually unknown to quite a few people until I got blank stares when suggesting it to a few friends of mine. The only way I could think of explaining it was comparing it to the concept at Melting Pot except that it's much better, cheaper, and has a greater variety of foods to cook! So basically, your table shares a boiling pot of hot soup on top of a mini gas stove and you order an assortment of raw foods to cook in it such as meats, vegetables, and noodles. Hotpot is also referred to as Shabu Shabu but that's usually referring to the Korean style of hotpot. My favorite type of hotpot is Chinese Sichuan style hotpot because I love the spicy burn of chili oils and peppercorns that comes in the soup you cook your foods in.

In recent times, the only place I've had hotpot (besides the ones we prepare at home) is in Taiwan, so you can imagine it's hard for anywhere around here to compare to that. My cuz discovered a place called Uncle Liu's Hot Pot over on Gallows Road in Falls Church, in the same shopping center as Great Wall. At first I moaned at the thought of having to delve into that shopping center because (and anyone who's driven there can vouch for me) none of these Chinese people in the parking lot know how to friggin drive!! Seriously! Be on guard when you go cause you will get run over by a Chinese person if you're not super careful! Usually when I go to Uncle Liu's now, I just park faaaaaar away to prevent any sort of blunders, so I recommend you do that same.

When walking into Uncle Liu's you'll notice the bright yellow walls and the underwhelming decor. There's a buffet bar to the left, but you'll see that most people are here for the hotpot. The diners here is made up of a lot of older folks and families, so don't except a Honey Pig type atmosphere just because the concept is similar (no Jay-Z and K-Pop! As a matter of fact, I noticed this place play Christmas music all year round). You'll be asked by your waitress if you're here for hotpot or buffet (and of course answer hotpot) then you'll receive your hotpot menu. You'll then be asked if you want spicy, mild, or half and half. The half and half is a pot with a split down the middle so some people can enjoy the spicy soup and some people can enjoy the mild. I like the spicy and that's what I recommend you getting (don't worry, it's not very spicy). From the menu, I typically order the tender beef, chicken, taro, enoki mushrooms, tofu, rice cakes, pork dumplings, and some type of noodles and an egg.

After you order, get up and head over to the make-your-own-sauce bar. They got plenty of choices of ingredients to toss in your sauce, but I've always made mine the same way for as long as I remember. The majority of my sauce is made up of Chinese BBQ sauce (Sa-Cha), then I toss in garlic, peanut sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, scallions, and ma-la hot sauce. Will you be able to remember all that? Be careful when making your sauce, cause if you don't know what you're doing, it could turn out really bad!

When you get our food, I usually throw in all the rice cakes and taro first cause they can take awhile to cook. The thing I love about these two is they soak in the soup really well so you get that spicy, peppercorn flavor coming through. I'll also toss in a good amount of the dumplings because they can take a bit to cook as well. The mushrooms take only a few seconds to cook and come out chewy and slathered in flavor. The meats only take a few minutes to cook as well. Some people freak out when eating the chicken because it's consistency is still really soft even after cooking it, so they think it's still raw. Don't worry, they marinate the chicken that way so it keeps its soft consistency even after being boiled. As for preparing the egg, you gotta have someone hold up one of those fishing spoons above the soup, then crack the egg into the soup, and gently lower it to bottom and wait a few minutes.

This place isn't like Honey Pig where the waitresses will come and cook all your food, let you known when it's ready to be eaten, then pick it out into your plate for you. You are doing all the cooking yourself in this case and you've got to keep an eye on the stuff you toss in there and remember what you've tossed in there. Sometimes people will throw in a piece of beef and the thing will be forgotten and cook for 20 minutes until someone fishes it out by accident. If you can't multi task, then maybe this isn't the place for you unless someone else at your table is willing to do all your cooking for you. But it is fun and unique from most dining experiences so I recommend you try it once.

As for you folks out there who are use to eating hotpot, I'll admit that this place isn't the best I've had. Now that doesn't mean its bad. It still satisfies my cravings when I really want me some spicy hotpot. I wish that the soup were spicier. I like to have my tongue seared off then go numb from all the chilies and peppercorns. I also like having a greater variety to choose from when ordering. More seafood, fish cakes, and other things like that. Again, don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of things to order and I always over order, then over stuff myself every time I come here.

With that, I can say, even though I order enough food for four people when I come here with just one other person, the price has always been decent. I typically spend about $15 here and that's when I stuff myself up to a disgusting amount. I also will warn a lot of my friends that I bring here about the potential "aftermath" from eating the spicy side of the hotpot. If your stomach isn't use to gargling spicy chili oil, you might have some, ahem, digestive issues the next day. I've had my friends complain to me about this, but I guess my stomach is just use to it. Also, I don't recommend trying to drink the spicy soup cause you'll most likely just get a big spoonful of that layer of chili oil at the top. All-in-all, its still a delicious and fun experience and I definitely recommend you trying it; especially if you want something new and different.

2972 Gallows Rd
Falls Church, VA 22042

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Malyasia Kopitiam

Rating: Great!
Genre: Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese
Neighborhood: Dupont

Working in the downtown business district of D.C., I figured there must be good places to eat in order to satisfy all those hungry business men for lunch. Turns out there's a lot more than just places to eat to satisfy business men in the area. I noticed a posh "Gentleman's Club" around the corner of my office one day and couldn't help but walk closer towards it. Can't see much through the windows, but as I was walking away, I saw a sign with images of some real delicious looking Southeast Asian food on it. Right next to the "Gentleman's Club" there is a set of stairs that goes down into what looks like could be the basement of the club. What the stairs actually leads to is a Malaysian restaurant called Malaysia Kopitiam.

I quickly set up a date to not long after this discovery to try it out. Walking inside, the lighting is dim and there's a strange musky smell in the air. The place is decorate with lots of Southeast Asian knick knacks like Buddahs and you receive a picture menu when seated! The picture menu is definitely very helpful if you don't know what the stuff on the menu is. Personally, when I got to a Southeast Asian/Malaysian restaurant, I immediately pick the Laksa, so of course, I picked the Laksa. The menu had a couple of different types of Laksa, and I was having trouble picking between the Curry Laksa and the Assam Laksa. I decided to go with the Assam Laksa dish. For appetizer, I ordered the Roti Canai and the Stuffed Rice Crepes.
The appetizers were delicious! The roti canai tasted like the usual; crispy chewy pancakes with a nice curry dipping. The stuffed rice crepes were a lot like the Chinese stuffed crepes, except the stuffing was jicama (a kind of root that tastes like radishes) and topped with dried shrimp. Again, delicious, but may be slightly strange to someone who's never eaten jicama or dried shrimp before. The Laksa came out piping hot and looking delicious! The Laksa soup was a prefect blend of sweet and sourness. The noodles also comes with plenty of tuna, chicken, fish cakes, bean sprouts, onions, cucumbers, basil and scallions. They don't shy away at all with the portion. Great Laksa I must say!

The second time I went to Malaysia Kopitiam, I decided to try another one of the spicy noodle soups. This time I got the Penang Prawn Mee Soup. There's not as much stuffing to this noodle soup. Its only got shrimp, Chinese spinach, and bean sprouts in it, but you get a TON of shrimp. It's pretty good but the Assam Laksa I found to be way superior. My friend decided to get the Raja Chicken- a boneless chicken in a spicy sauce and served with dried vermicelli noodles. Very good dish as well!
There menu is extensive and I definitely want to go back again to try more! The menu had some great images that really stick in your mind and makes you want to order everything. Looks like they have some sweet shaved ice desserts and great appetizers. I think next time I may just order three appetizers as my entire meal and two desserts! The price is also not bad. Each entree is about $10. If you've never had Malaysian food, I recommend starting with the Laksa which is probably the most typical Malaysian dish. Seriously, when you want Malaysian food, skip Penang, go to Malaysia Kopitiam!

1827 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pho N' More

Rating: Great!
Genre: Vietnamese Pho, Thai Noodles
Neighborhood: Vienna

(Update 08-13-11) I've gone back to Pho N' More to try some of their summer specials to compare them it to their most delic winter special dish, the volcano. I went with the lemongrass noodles which was basically tom yum soup with seafood and rice noodles. Quite delicious but not as good as the volcano cause it doesn't have the same firery burn as the volcano; but I guess thats why this is a summer special dish and volcano is a winter special dish :P

I'm pretty much a huge purveyor of pho, and I've been a stubborn, loyal customer of Pho 75 for the past 15-ish years. It's my firm belief that no other pho is better than the pho at Pho 75, so refuse to ever go anywhere else. One day I noticed the "Grand Opening" sign of a new pho joint in Vienna by my mom's place and passed it off as another bad pho restaurant. Turns out, I randomly decided to try this place one night because I was really craving pho and Pho 75 had already closed for the night, and this was the only other place that was coming to mind. I wasn't really expecting much out of it, but left with the feeling that they really got something special going on.

The first thing I noticed was the price of a bowl of Pho- $8!? As gruff as I was when seeing the price, I understood why it was priced at that when I saw the size of my portion. The bowl of pho is a lot bigger than your average pho bowl, and you get an extra large spoon just to help you delve into it. There's tons of meat and noodles on top of the broth. The broth was actually pretty decent. Not as good as Pho 75 or anything, but definitely one of the better ones I've had around NoVa. Also, if you love tendons like me, you'll be pleased to know that they serve their tendons in nice, soft, chunks and they don't shy away at all on the portions.

Now that I've explained the Pho, let me explain why I think Pho N More is definitely worth the trip, even if there are better and cheaper Pho places. Notice that the name of the restaurant it Pho N More. The "More" part is referring to array of other noodle soups you can choose from. I believe that this restaurant is owned by both Vietnamese and Thai so you get the best of both worlds (I can order a Thai Iced Tea and Vietnamese Coffee!). The other noodle soups include a Chinese beef broth soup (Earthquake), a pad thai noodle soup (Tornado), a seafood noodle soup in yentafo broth (Typhoon) and some other spicy thai noodle soup (Tsunami). On top of that, you get to pick the type of noodle you want in the broth you choose (this goes for the Pho as well).You have a choice of think rice noodles, wide rice noodles, udon, shirataki, and ba mee. I especially LOVE the Volcano (though I think it was only a special for the cold season). It's a spicy thai noodle soup dish and they don't back down on the spicy aspect one bit! There's also a lot of fresh and good quality seafood they toss in there on top of that.

The interior of the restaurant is clean and the service is great. It is a lot more modern than most Pho places I've been too which is nice for a change. They also serve some Thai dishes in case you're not in the mood for noodles. My sister got their drunken noodles one night and was pleasantly surprised by just how spicy they make it! Be sure to try some of their other noodle soups if you every go. I go here everything I want Pho quickly (because the other option is to fight through Seven Corner's traffic) or whenever I crave a spicy, throat scorching noodle soup dish. Definitely don't skip out on this one, especially if you're a noodle slut like me.

144 Maple Ave W
Vienna, VA 22180

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Oriental East

Rating: Great!
Genre: Cantonese Dim Sum
Neighborhood: Silver Spring

Cantonese Dim Sum is by far my absolute favorite type of food out there, and Oriental East is the place to get it. I travel all the way from Falls Church, VA (where there conveniently are two dim sum venues within 4 miles form me) to Silver Spring to get their Dim Sum. No other dim sum place matches up! Even if you go to the popular dim sum places in NYC where all the crazy Chinese people go and fight each other to get to the carts, it's still not going to be as good as Oriental East.

Dim Sum is served on the weekends, which is the only time I ever come here, so my rating is based on just their Dim Sum. If you're coming here to get Dim Sum, be prewarned that you'll need to wait in line if you want to get into the first round of seating. I recommend being one of these folks because I believe their Dim Sum is while supplies last (and it's fresh). If you come for the second round of seating, you may miss out on some of the good stuff. I don't recommend getting in line any later than 10:45, though I would get there by 10:30.

My absolute favs here are the shrimp dumplings, shrimp crepes, salt water dumplings, taro dumplings, radish cakes, bbq pork buns, spare ribs, black bean clams, and oh so much more! Everything is fresh out of the kitchen, steaming hot and ready to melt in your mouth. The steam cart is the most popular so when you get your chance to order from it, get as much as you can! If the cart never comes around to you, you could always order it directly from your waiter, that is if you can get his attention.
The only place I dock my point off is the service. The ladies pushing the carts are very sweet and the male waiters are running around like chickens with their heads cut off in order to serve you. I'm not the most vocal person so I often have trouble getting the attention of a waiter to refill my water (I usually just go out to the pitcher table and fill my own water). I actually don't really mind the chaos, but it can fluster many of my non-chinese friends when I bring them there. If you're not use to the scene, you may get a bit frustrated by the lack of service and the crazy old chinese ladies hogging the attention of all the waiters in the house.

Trust me when I say that the dim sum here is really some of the best. Don't get flustered by the craziness and try not to get a table on the other side of the bar, cause then none of the carts will come your way. I would give this place a "Just like mother's" score, but I still need to take in consideration the service you'll receive. Regardless, I LOVE the food and will always be making the extra long drive here on weekends to get it!!

1312 E West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fu Shing

Rating: Great!
Genre: Chinese-Taiwanese Fushion
Neighborhood: Gaithersburg

Fu Shing Cafe serves up a fushion of a variety of different Chinese and Taiwanese style dishes. There's no specific style of cooking here, but just little bit of every style. Think of those dishes they serve up at a take-out Chinese place, except made really, really well. The restaurant concept is also a bit more simplified. You get your table, you get your menus (with full colored photos!), decide what you want, then go up to the cashier to order. Some of their simpler dishes are served cafeteria style, like their boxed California rolls, and the rest of the stuff is whipped up by the kitchen. Don't worry, they don't make you wait around for a number to pick up your food, waiters do come bring it to you and you receive restaurant full service. The dishes that come out are served family style and they're gi-normous. Bring a large party when you go so you'll be able to order a lot of dishes.

I typically go in a group of eight or more, and we still tend to over order because there's just so many good things to get! For drinks, I like to order their coffee bubble tea because it's so different from any other bubble tea you can find. They only serve two types of bubble tea, that being coffee and other is milk tea. The tapioca pearls are the small ones used in the rice pudding. The tea and coffee is stronger than what I'm use to, which I like. For the smaller dishes to start with, I usually get the spicy wontons, spicy noodles, tendons, fried dumplings, and wonton soup. I highly recommend the spicy wontons and spicy noodles! They're soaked in chili oil and soy sauce, but they're not that spicy.

As for the larger dishes, my usual's are the (and I'm probably getting the names wrong here) peking duck sliders, the shrimp and chicken lettuce wrap, spicy ma-po tofu fish, kung pao chicken, Chinese spinach, tofu balls, shrimp balls, and some other spicy chicken dish. The must gets here are the peking duck sliders, shrimp and chicken lettuce wrap, and the spicy fish. The peking duck sliders are fried slices of duck which you can put inside a mantou with some hoisin sauce and scallions. The shrimp and chicken lettuce wrap is prepared just like your usual lettuce wrap. The filling is a ground chicken and shrimp mixture that you wrap in a lettuce provided. The fish in spicy tofu is a must-get from this place. You get the whole fish boiling served up in a soupy goodness of spicy ma-po tofu over a fire. The fire slowly goes out slowly but the fish is boiling hot the whole time. Watch out for the bones when going at it though. At some point, when you finish on side of the fish, you and someone else at the table are going to have to work together to flip it. How many other places do you know of that gives you the whole fish in one piece??

When you're planning your next big get together, go here. Enjoy a great family style meal served up on a giant-ass lazy susan in the middle of the table. What I love most about this place is you can eat so many different things for one meal. The dishes here are all well made and delicious, and most likely you'll have plenty of leftovers to bring home for lunch the next day. Take-out is also available, so is probably the one time I'm actually going to recommend a Chinese take-out place. It's a fun experience coming here and its a great place for large family/friendly get togethers. Go, spend two hours eating, and enjoy yourself!

576 N Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877