Full Kee, Malaysia Kopitiam, Five Guys and Mehran
- jen kalb
We visited above on a weekend visit to DC - walked by the Taste of DC festival but it was priced all wrong and the lines for tickets were too long, so we headed to Full Kee for a late lunch. Had squid with garlic chives (leek flowers) chinese broccoli in viet sauce and chicken curry (my son) All competent and tasty, we enjoyed our lunch but werent launched into orbit. The squid was lackluster.
2 meals at Mehran restaurant, a pakistani hole in the wall in Foggy bottom, 2138 Pennsylvania Avenue, with a room for prayer and families upstairs. Almost wholly paki patrons, a gentlemanly host and delicious haleem, a longcooked meat and dal mixture with a very unusual consistency. Good bisquik nan, good chickpeas, decent saag paneer, very tasty potato curry with a slightly sour sauce. They have a charcoal grill and that may be a strength tho my Lahore grilled freshwater fish was rather dry, it was nicely charred and seasoned. Prices cheap with a weekday all-you-can-eat buffet from their steam table.
Five Guys in Alexandria for burgers and fries - we liked this a lot, tho the fast food atmosphere - this is not a bar or a place to sit for a long time - needs to be stressed. A really diverse, friendly crowd, the burger was loosely formed, rare as requested and the fries were excellent as folks have said.
Finally, we tried Malaysia Kopitiam on M Street on Sunday night. Modestly priced, mostly asian patronage.
This place was renowned for its noodle soops and we may have selected wrong - on the appetizer plate, I especially liked the otak-otak and the chicken sate - the sate sauce had a light consistency and was neither not too sweet or too peanutty. Lobak was ok (strong 5-spice flavor, not as good as Nyonya in NY), popia fine but not wonderful, and the deep fried tiny rice noodles with a light sweet and sour sauce was enjoyable. Our watercress with foo yee sauce was ok, char kway teo (sp?) was mushy and sort of muddy,not much wok flavor, though highly edible, and my son's Raja chicken (deep fried in a red, tamarind influenced and lightly spicy sauce) was competent but really overpriced at $14. (the other dishes were $7-9; servings were large). Has anyone else checked out any of the other dishes in this place? They seem to be seriously trying.
I hate to say this out loud, but I am afraid that Full Kee is losing its luster. My last two meals there--while not bad--indicated that they seem to be losing their edge.
The Hong Kong Style wonton soup on Wednesday was up to par, but the steamed choy sum seemed listless, the eggplant was overcooked, and the razor clams (they were out of the cherrystones) were overly chewey, although the sauce was still zingy.
If the trend continues, I am going to be a very unhappy chowhound.