Thursday, May 26, 2011
Genre: Taiwanese, fried chicken, street food
Neighborhood: Rockville, MD
I often like to tell my fellow Northern Virginians that Rockville is to Chinese food is like what Annandale is to Korean food. It's not that Rockville is the only spot to get good Chinese food in the DC metro area, but it certainly has a greater proportion of spot-on Chinese restaurants, and you won't find any of that shitty Americanized Chinese food around. You can attribute this to the enormous amount of Chinese people that live in this area; this really is the authentic Chinatown of D.C.
One of the things I can't seem to find anywhere in NoVa would be good bubble tea. I've only had bubble tea once in D.C., and its scared me to ever try another from the city. I can't recall the name of the joint, but it was the one in Georgetown (and I'm warning you all now...its BAD). Maryland on the other hand knows how to handle bubble tea. Some of my favorite bubble tea is from the famous Ten Ren. You can find one of their stores located in a shopping center in Rockville , but if you want more than just tea, walk a few doors down and head into Jumbo Jumbo (also labeled Bubble Express). Besides bubble tea, Jumbo Jumbo serves up cheap, delicious Taiwanese street food fare. If you're a slut for small, cheap, authentic hole-in-the-walls like me, this is a must try.
My favorite thing to snack off the streets when visiting Taiwan was their fried chicken. Never will I have fried chicken as good as the shit off the streets of Tai-zhong. It's not really a common item for restaurants to serve, so if you ever get a chance to try, do it! Jumbo Jumbo is the only place I know of that serves it around here so that's all I ever order when I come here. Now the chicken in Taiwan is served as one big cutlet of the thigh meat. At Jumbo Jumbo, you can order it like that or in these small nugget pieces. At Jumbo Jumbo, I actually prefer the nugget pieces, but both versions are good. Of course it's not as good as the real deal, but its still delicious!
The dishes here are a great deal! The fried chicken dishes are $7ish and it comes with a Lu Dan (these marinated boiled eggs - another street favorite), rice with ground beef, cabbage, and sliced broccoli steams (another favorite of mine you can't find served anywhere). Though I never order anything else besides the chicken, I can tell you from sneaking off the plates of my friends, they can also make some pretty good noodle and tofu dishes.
Now I'm sure your wondering about their bubble tea. Their bubble tea menu is just about as extensive as their food menu. As for tea, you can pick either green tea or black tea and the type of flavoring with it. Some of the best flavors are passion fruit, peach, mango, and lychee. They also have the milky teas such as milk black tea (standard) and some of my favorites, taro and almond. And you can get the smoothie versions though I've never tried ordering one of these before. In the tea, you can pick the usual bubbles, jellies, aloe, and grass jelly. Their bubbles are sweet, warm, and soft. They are very generous with the amount of bubbles and any other goodies you ask for in the tea so it might be a bit overwhelming to order all four of them. All in all, their bubble tea is spot on along with their food.
765 E Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852