Chang Chang in DC - Report

The Peter Chang empire has planted a flag in downtown DC and although it’s a bit pricey, my impression is that the food is worthy.

I tried two dishes from the Happy Hour Menu and two from the Cold Appetizers of the Dinner Menu.

HH:
Pan fried pork dumplings
Char Sui Bao

Dinner:
Ma La Beef Jerky
Cold Lotus Root with Chili Sauce Pour Over

The Happy Hour dishes are not normally served with dinner but you are likely to find them for weekend brunch. Think dim sum. The pork dumplings are mini and there’s nothing particularly good about them. The steamed bread of the bao is so fresh and fluffy and supremely delicious, a true best-in-show. The filling is nothing special though.

The beef jerky is a dish I’ve had many times very happily at Joe’s Noodle House in Rockville and elsewhere. Every place seems to make it quite differently, and Chang Chang is no exception. In this case it doesn’t seem dried at all but like logs of flank steak that are not cut against the grain, hence they are soft yet chewy. There is a thick, clingy sauce that is strongly ma la. The beef tastes wonderful and the sauce is very very rich.

By contrast the lotus root is very fresh and crunchy tasting. You know you’ll pay more when the menu says the sauce is a “pour over.” In this case the sauce is a thin ma la that is relatively gentle. Generous portions.

Both dishes had me sweating, but with pleasure.

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I like that place but have only tried the takeout menu which is similar to the one at Mama Chang.