Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jan 4, 2007 06:26 PM

Miu Kee Noodle Soup - a revelation to me!

First visit to Miu Kee lunchtime today - took everybody's advice and had the Shrimp Dumpling Soup (don't miss the dumpling soups, their specialty - they're not in the menu presented to you, they're listed in a table tent card) just $5.75.

Where have I been? So involved in "ultimate spicy" lately that I almost missed this delicate treat! Wonderful depth of flavor in a nice-sized bowl of broth, plus 8 large wontons full of shrimp that actually taste like shrimp (how DO they get them that full?)

Gotta say, in interest of full disclosure, that the live fish in the storefront task are headed for the Great Fishy Beyond ... someone needs to get on that. Nonetheless, at last it's a "houndish" Chinese place I can actually take my spice-fearing spouse to!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Miu Kee has always been a decent alternative to the overpacked Mark's Duck House. It has the distinguished honor of the entree that hit my wallet the hardest. $85 for geoduck clam cooked two ways.

    1. That's my favorite place for soup and dumplings. My in-laws do take out all the time.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I've found their grub to be much less greasy than Mark's. Miu Kee is strictly a noodle/entree house, and does not do dim sum. They also have a limited seletion of roast meats. Last I recall, they only offered duck and roast pork. Mark's a bit low class in that you can spend x amount of dollars there for dinner, but they don't offer free oranges, just the check. No tax if you pay cash option offered to asians. Also, their portions are small, but their strength is roast meats and noodle soups, not dim sum. Their entrees are pretty good, but again, small.

        1. re: Chownut

          I've never been to Mark's for dinner, only dimsum because my in laws take us. We have been to Miu Kee for dinner. The dumplings (and soup and noodles) and the jook are my favorites. For the most part, I've really liked everything I've gotten there. It's far for us but near my in laws so we only go when they're treating. I had a misunderstanding when I tried to order take out, tried to get pea sprouts and ended up with bean sprouts. No wonder the take out person gave me such an odd look when I said I wanted plain pea sprouts.

      2. Glad you tried it. This is the essence of Cantonese food - just let the ingredients speak for themselves, and not to cover the taste with lots of spices. Don't get me wrong, I love Szechuan cooking when the need arises, but variety is still the spice of life.

        18 Replies
        1. re: dpan

          Have you ever tried the Vinh Kee down the road from Miu Kee. I heard it wasn't good.

          1. re: Chownut

            In case people are wondering where this place is, it's in the same strip as Banh Mi/DC Sandwich, at the SE corner of Route 50 and Graham Road. Right across Graham Road from Loehmann's Plaza, which includes the very chowish Punjab Dhaba.

            1. re: Bob W

              I'm getting lost here. Is it Vinh Kee (that Chownut heard wasn't very good so who cares?) that's at Graham Rd?

              And is the Miu Kee of the dumpling soup the one that's at Annandale Rd and Rt. 50? There was some discussion of that place a while back, of which the only thing I remember was that someone reported piles of dirty dishes out in the open in the dining room.

              Are there dumplngs other than shrimp? It makes me itch.

              1. re: MikeR

                Vinh Kee is near the fire house, across the street. Miu Kee is near the IHOP.

                Oh, isn't it Mui Kee? I always called it Miu Kee but thought the menu said Mui Kee. Open Table has it under Mui Kee.

                1. re: chowser

                  The sign out front says Miu Kee, as does the menu. I couldn't find it listed on Open Table under either spelling.

                  1. re: MikeR

                    I didn't check the store but I had a menu a few years back that I'm pretty sure said Mui Kee. I wonder if it was a typo and they went with it rather than replace it. You get responses when you google both. Sorry, it wasn't open table but it was that came up.

                2. re: MikeR

                  Yes, someone reported here awhile ago that they got disgusted by Miu Kee because of the pile of dirty dishes clogging up the hallway to the restrooms. I only asked about Vinh Kee to make sure I won't consider it ever.

                  1. re: Chownut

                    Miu kee is a very nice place. Even though the clientele is 80% Asian, this is one of the few places around where the Chinese-American food is on par with the more authentic selections. If you have a non-Chowhound spouse and want to please the both of you, this is a good place to know.

                    1. re: Steve

                      The real source of my joy is that the Mrs. will actually enjoy the authentic Chinese noodle soup - won't have to go "I'll take the Chinese menu and she needs the regular one."

                  2. re: MikeR

                    I was the one who made the observation about the dirty dishes during my one and only visit to Miu Kee so far. The food was okay as far as I was concerned. My personal preference is Mark's Duck House for my Cantonese comfort food cravings.

                    1. re: dpan

                      I stopped in for lunch today, rainy days always being good for soup. As I feared, all the dumplings (shrimp, obviously, and the Hong Kong style wonton) contained shrimp and, sometimes being allergic, I didn't want to take a chance on them.

                      Since I often order the roast pork noodle soup at Full Kee, I tried it at Miu Kee. The pork was more flavorful than that at Full Kee, but the broth was more salty, possibly because of the port marinade. Noodles were about the same, tea was kind of feeble. A decent lunch, though.

                      And, yes, there was a cart of dishes in the hallway leading to the kitchen, right opposite the door of the ladies' room. Other than making the hallway a little harder to navigate, it didn't seem to be a problem. If the health inspector doesn't complain, I won't.

                      1. re: MikeR

                        They may have more complaints with the fire inspector also. In any regard, dumplings using have shrimp, whereas wontons sometimes don't. You may want to check into that. Another alternative may be potstickers, which sometimes don't have shrimp also.

                        1. re: Chownut

                          On the soup menu, the only "dumpling" ingredients were "shrimp dumplings" and "wonton." I asked the waitress what was in the wontons in the Hong King Style Wonton Noodle Soup and she looked at me kind of funny like I didn't know what a wonton was. So I told her that I couldn't eat shrimp and asked if the wontons had shrimp, and said they did. Pot stickers could have been an option, but I was in a soup mood.

                          Once (without asking, because it THOUGHT I know what wnotons were, I ordered the Hong Kong Style Wonton Noodle Soup at Full Kee and those contained shrimp, so I believed the waitress at Miu Kee.

                          When I get wonton soup as an apetizer in a "normal" (whatever that means) Chinese restaurant, the wontons contain pork or occasionally chicken rather than shrimp. I suspect that "Hong Kong Style" is the tipoff here. The real name may have a more complex translation.

                          1. re: MikeR

                            In general, wontons don't contain shrimp, but some places add it because using pork only has less taste and texture. Also, consider that sometimes, they use the shrimp shells to make the soup stock.

                3. re: Chownut

                  We went once and only for a banquet. It was bad. I can't even remember what we had, probably the regular jelly fish, pig feet, lobster, lo mein, etc. It was bad like take a portion and only have one bite.

                  1. re: chowser

                    You went to Vinh Kee for a banquet? I thought this place was a noodle shop, not a full fledged restaurant. It must have been embarrasing if the food was bad, for the couple.

                    The last time I went to a poor wedding banquet, they served some gross stuff, way below par for a wedding banquet. Some hot and sourish type of soup, taro over duck, etc. Can't remember the name..peking, it's been replaced by Fortune Star Buffet in Rockville.

                    1. re: Chownut

                      Not a wedding banquet but a congratulatory one. My FIL called it and, ironically, though he's the pickiest chowhound I've ever met (basically won't eat out unless he's forced to because he can cook it better at home himself and, having been in the restaurant business, has his idea of how everything should be run), was the only one to enjoy it, we're all guessing because he paid for it.

                4. re: dpan

                  Exactly--it's plain, simple food but delicious.

                5. Soup (with shrimp dumplings or roast meat) with rice noodle pretty good. I find it a bit cleaner then Mark's. I however think their best dish is the eggplant and chicken casserole. Good place.

                  I honestly can't distinguish quality difference in the shrimp dumplings from Mui Kee, Full Kee, Mark's Duck House and other places I've had them. They are all pretty good.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Soup

                    I think Full Kee's (DC) broth is probably more peppery than the other joints. Also, Full Kee doesn't offer duck, the last I recall.

                    1. re: Chownut

                      I only know the Full Kee at Bailey's Crossroads. I always assumed that it was the same as the DC restaurant of the same name. They have duck there, hanging in a case just outside the kitchen. That case was broken (and removed for repair) a while back so you may have been in there when it was missing, but it's back now. I tried the noodle soup with duck once and thought it was tasty but too fatty (as duck often is). There's also a soyed chicken noodle soup that's tasty, but a lot of trouble to eat because of hacked bones in the chicken.

                      I guess I'm just a pork kind of guy.

                      1. re: MikeR

                        I was referring to the Full Kee in DC. I don't think they offer duck, only roast pork, but I could be wrong. Isn't the location in Bailey's called "Full Key" instead of "Full Kee?" I know the one in Bailey's does not offer roast pig like Mark's does, as the one in DC does not offer it either.

                        Whenever I eat duck, it's a bit of a chore. I for sure do not eat the fat, but remove the skin and place it on a napkin to squeeze out the oil. Or, I remove and discard the skin totally.

                        1. re: Chownut

                          I thought it was Kee, but I'll have to try to remember to write it down next time I pass it or eat there. I have a pretty short memory. I had to write down "Miu Kee" to be sure I'd remember it by the time I got back to the computer. <g>

                          1. re: MikeR

                            Definitely Full Kee. I was just there yesterday.

                  2. I went over to Miu Kee today and got the Soup with Shrimp Dumplings and Noodles. For $5.75, just the ticket on a cold day.

                    Has anyone tried the Triple Delight on the Chef's Recommendations page? It's pan-fried & stuffed tofu, green pepper, and eggplant. Looks interesting. Last time I was there I got, off the same page, the fried tofu stuffed with shrimp, which was very nice.

                    PS The fish tanks were very clean, as was the place in general. Perhaps someone over there reads Chowhound?