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Northern CHinese Breakfast--Oriental Regency, Peking Village, or A&J

Who does Northern Chinese Breakfast the best?

DH, DD, and I will be heading to one of these places Sunday after Mass. It will be our first time trying NCB in the DC area.

Recommendations on what to order appreciated.

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  1. I haven't been to Oriental Regency or Peking Village for breakfast but do like A&J's. You do have to be smart about what to order. I've read good lists on this board but personally I like their cucumber salad, noodles (I think they're made in house) in soup, especially the one w/ the fried pork chops and mustard greens on the side, 1000 layer pancakes, scallion pancakes, off the top of my head. Hot sweet soymilk is good, the crueller that goes in it is fair. There was a wood ear mushroom dish that was excellent. Bubble teas are okay. Did not like the 5 spice ribs, dumplings, scallion buns, rice wrapped around dried pork/relish. If you're going after Mass on Sunday, be prepared for a wait. Don't be rushed ordering. Make sure you get a good assortment of food--the first time I went, I just picked a lot of dishes I like and ended up with a starch fest...not that anything's wrong with that. :-) FWIW, I like Bob's Noodles in Maryland far more. I'd make the trip just for their oyster pancakes.

    1. A&J is definitely better than Oriental Regency. I've actually not had the chance to have the breakfast at Peking Village, but I've enjoyed their other authentic dishes, so I'm going to guess that it's ok to pretty good. But since you've been exploring the cuisine recently, I think you'd probably do best at A&J because of the small plates format.

      9 Replies
      1. re: FoodieGrrl

        Thank you both. I've been to A&J's just not for the breakfast. We LOVE the cucumber salad. We've had the scallion pancake, 1000 layer pancake, pork dumplings, 5 spice ribs(not a fan of these), and several bean curd salads.

        Could either of you tell me if A&J has a separate menu for weekend breakfasts?

        1. re: nissenpa

          There's a supplemental menu for weekend breakfasts. There are the fried bread crullers, hot soy milk, sweet or savory sticky rice rolls (Sweet is around a cruller, savory is around shredded dried pork), several pastries, and a dish that is mostly like a folder omlette with scallions. I'm sure I'm missing a few, but it is about 8 items.

          1. re: PollyG

            That's what I was looking for!!! Thanks.

            Have you been to either Oriental Regency or Peking Village?

            1. re: nissenpa

              Nope, just A&J. The chowpup has a serious addiction to their pan-fried pork dumplings and the smoked chicken. They are great for math skills, though. 3 people, 8 dumplings. . .

              1. re: PollyG

                My DH has an addiction to the pork dumplings as well.

                Good thing I have a degree in mathematics!

            2. re: PollyG

              Actually, the sweet and savory sticky rice rolls are both around the crullers. One has sugar and the other dried pork. They do a fabulous job with both.

              If you haven't tried the savory hot soy milk, and you do like savory things, I'd go for it. I prefer it to the sweet stuff, but in general, I don't care for sweets.

              There are also breakfast-type "breads" on that menu. They're ok, but that may just be my bias, since I always preferred steamed dumplings with my traditional Chinese breakfast.

              1. re: FoodieGrrl

                It must depend on when you go because the sticky rice roll around the cruller w/ the dried pork was hard when I got it. I left most of it.

                1. re: chowser

                  Oh yuk! I hate when that happens - which is mostly when I try to make that myself. Likely it was made, then left to cool and then reheated. Hopefully, if you decide to give it another shot, it will be better!

                  1. re: FoodieGrrl

                    I think that's exactly what happened. I've had that same experience with the plain crullers, too. Thanks for the recommendation--I'll definitely try it there again, then. It's such comfort food for me. Surprisingly, I've had it a few times at the Great Wall cafe and it was really good--warm and soft.

        2. What's in the Northern Chinese Breakfast? I'm assuming it's what's served in places like Beijing. Soymilk? Fried dough?

          2 Replies
          1. re: tombradyqb

            I've only had it once (in CA) and we had hot sweet soymilk and fried cruellers. We also had a beef noodle soup and tender beef rolled in scallion pancakes.

            1. re: nissenpa

              It's usually soymilk - hot or cold, sweet or savory. Fried crullers - not sweet. A flat bread (it's not a flatbread - more like a bread that's been flattened), usually with sesame seeds. Most breakfasts would include the option of steamed or fried dumplings. Anything beyond that tends to be particular to the chef/restaurant, e.g., sticky rice rolled around crullers, eggs sandwiched in the flat bread, noodles, etc. I've been to several restaurants and private homes around the country for a traditional Chinese breakfast and the soymilk, crullers, and bread seem to be the only true constants.