Asian Food Tours Rockville Md/Fairfax VA

Is there interest in a food crawl in the Chinatown of NOVA or Rockville. I could do a dumpling crawl in Rockville or a more widespread food tour. Fairfax has great noodle shops etc.

This would be in October 2nd half, on a saturday afternoon. If there is enough interest we can do ‘the loser’ location next.

And just to add more fun, we could do an afternoon at Eden Center.

Let me know to gauge interest.

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I am definitely interested. Whatever you’ve got up your sleeve is fine with me. Although I live in Virginia, I’d prefer this in Maryland for all the varied options. Still whichever you choose I will definitely show up.

Sounds like Oct 22/29 is what you are thinking.

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Sure! I’d happy to come.

22 at 1.30. Meeting spot tbd.

I’d be happy to see you.

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Works for me. I am sure others will be interested as well.

If you focus on dumplings then I had some very serious ones at Mandarin Express, the Yunan place in Rockville. Of course, once you are there then the astonishing fried tofu will be calling…

As is often the case.

I haven’t heard of this place. Sounds like a goid spot to add to the mix.

Thank you for an amazing afternoon in Rockville. Because I finished with an after-tour tour of 99 Ranch, the party continues today.

Thanks for lobbying for the Village Noodles with fish egg. That was the first dish I tried when I went to Yu’s Fairfax {which also has XLB} and I forgot how dang good it was.

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Any chance for a run down of what we had? I usually participate in the ordering, but I left it all in your capable hands. I hope you washed your hands…

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The Rockville Dumpling crawl is history.

East Dumpling House: cold eggplant; smashed cukes; northeast cold dish were our starters. The noodle in the cold dish are house made, the toppings plentiful and the chiles tasty. The cukes was standard but very tasty indeed. The eggplant has a chopped garlic, ginger based topping that was hot. The three dumplings were very good. As is the case in north and East dumplings the doughs were thicker as flour is the main carb of these areas and not rice. My favorite filling was the chicken double mushroom steamed dumplings followed closely by the egg & vermicelli which we had boiled, and third but also quite good was pan fried pork and dill dumpling.

Sichuan Jin River: Baotze w/jicai; zhong’s dumpling; xlb, beef jerky, black fungus w/pickled sichuan pepper. The Boatze has an outstanding filling which they also happen to serve as a stirfry with bao on the side. I would go with that. The Zhong’s were quite tasty but not that spicy. The XLB were quite controversial: the broth and dumpling were full of cinnamon heavy 5 spice powder and a thin soup. The skins were brittle. So as soup dumplings, they were not the best, but alot of us liked them a lot. I thought they were tasty but unbalanced with too thin a soup. Both cold plates were really good.

Bobs Shanghai 66 showed very well. The cold dishes were baby bamboo shoot which were incredible in both texture and flavor that was not briny in chile oil that persisted, and Taiwanese kimchi which was sweet and sour pickled nappa, really refreshing. The pork soup dumplings were incredible, just perfect balance of thin skin and rich juice. The pork and shrimp Shiu Mai were just as good with a very rich flavor. Spicy won tons in oil were very good but gone in a small bite.

Final stop for dumplings was Yu’s Noodles. Excellent hot noodle with fish egg, 1/4 duck, pan fried pork bun, chicken double mushrooms dumplings. The duck was frozen in the center and warm at the edge which I did not know of it was intentional or just sloppy microwave skills. In any case, the duck was amazing.The hot noodle was sharp and pungent, an excellent dish especially shared. The pan fried buns were outstanding dough and a good filling. If you took Sichuan Jin River’s filling in Yu’s skins, you would have the ideal bun. The chicken and mushroom dumpling, which they generously gave us 11 in an order of 10 so everyone could have an individual dumpling, was quite good but not as distinct a filling as at East Dumpling House.

After that, people started peeling off and some wanted dessert so we went tot eh Thai Ice Cream spot next to Yu’s: 52o. They have an anti griddle and do the rolled ice cream thing. I am not a fan but this was good for the genre with a smoother texture than most I have had.

So it wound up $45 per person including a lot of tipping at each stop. All 4 spots were superb but we were misusing Sichuan Jin River as it is a place to show off cooking skills in stir frys and braised dishes. Bob’s was as good as it has ever been. Yu’s really was spot on and I would definitely think of it for a revisit.


The worst part was the places we didn’t go to. Xian Gourmet looked like it had potential. What Rockville seems to have lost was some of its coffee shops. I would have preferred to finish with a serious cup of coffee - something that used to be common in the neighborhood, but no longer is.

Thanks so much for the rundown. It was a great a parade of flavors and textures, and I very much appreciated that it was not all dumplings!

Sichuan Jin River was my favorite stop because I like the 5 spice flavor of the dumplings, which was worth an exclamation point or two. The baozi (these are with steamed bread) were large and had a hefty filling of diced pork, so also quite a bit different than what I normally expect.

Bob’s 66 is still the champ for xlb, no doubt.

I loved the cold dishes at East Dumpling House. Super high quality, I would go back just to explore that part of the menu. Smashed cucumber was a cut above the the eggplant with a thick spicy sauce was refreshing, tasty, and unique.

And finally the duck at Yu Noodes was also a superb choice to get us eating something rich and meaty. Very well done indeed.

Another thing I’d like to point out: one can hit all these places (and more) on foot, no need to get back in the car. There is no Virginia equivalent unless you go to Annandale for Korean or Eden Center for Vietnamese.

I had a blast. Dean, you are a great team leader!

Part two coming soon. This one will be a noodle and dish progressive meal. I too want to dive into Sichuan Jin River and more at Yu’s.

Steve, both Annandale and Eden Center are worthwhile destinations in my opinion. And let’s not forget the Latin American and even African possibilities.

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Sounds fantastic. Thanks for the write-up @Dean!

Unfortunately, no more pork with crispy bread at Sichuan Jin River. Sad face. Some things progress is not good for! But they still feature their minced chicken yacai which is a dead ringer for a great dish Peter Change used to have at China Star. Before he became an empire, alas.

There are definitely quite a few shopping centers which feature mostly restaurants that could make for a great food crawl, especially if you are interested in hopping from one cuisine to another. Builders Square, Brookfield Plaza, and Herndon Centre are three in Virginia that come immediately to mind.

I would definitely see a few crawls in the near future:
Eden Center
Annandale one can be Korean/Chinese, one could be Middle Eastern and other cuisines.
Rockville main dishes/cold plates
Ellicot city/Catonsville Korean+

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