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Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant?

HELP! My parents have to entertain some Asian diplomats or politicians this week. They have been eating at Woo Lae Oak all week and apparently prefer Asian cuisines. We're thinking a nicer-than-normal Chinese restaurant would suffice. Friend suggested Peking Gourmet Inn?

Atmosphere and food quality are both important. I'm open to suggestions. THANKS!

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  1. Most of the good Chinese restaurants I know are not what you would call "fine dining". What about other Asian cuisines? Minh's in Clarendon is a good Vietnamese place that looks fancy but is fairly cheap. Yechon in Annandale is delicious for Korean and the decor is decent, from what I recall (only been there late night after the bar though, so my memory maybe "fuzzy"!). Also, Penang in Farragut North (or is it West...) is good for Malaysian with Chinese influences and is very nice inside.

    2 Replies
    1. re: elaineathon

      I was thinking the same thing. Wondered about Bangkok 54 for Thai, Hee Been for Korean. Temptasian is not fine dining (not sure the others count as that, either) but it's clean and nice - though my caveat is that I haven't been in a while.

      In Wheaton you have Good Fortune and Hollywood East. Both would represent well enough, I'd think (though again "fine dining" is a qualifier that makes me question every rec).

      1. re: elaineathon

        We like the Hunan Lion in Tyson's area (Gallows Rd & 123) for a nice dining in experience.

      2. Whenever we host Chinese guests at my office (which is fairly often), we hold a banquet at Peking Gourmet Inn, and it has always been excellent. They will wall off your own area for you using dividers (if you request it) and you can call in advance to work with the manager(s) to set up a custom banquet menu. The front area of the restaurant has a "George Bush" room (a section walled off using dividers, featuring tons of photos of George Bush (senior) and his family), as it is apparently his favorite Chinese restaurant. While this may not do much for some people, foreign guests seem to think it is fun.

        3 Replies
        1. re: julialimei

          The front window is bulletproof at Peking Gourmet Inn, too. ;)

          Hunan Lion is one of the prettiest "party" Chinese restaurants around, but I like the food at Peking Gourmet Inn better.

          1. re: MikeR

            "The front window is bulletproof at Peking Gourment Inn, too."

            And how exactly did you find out about this? Trial and error? ;)

            Throw in my vote for the PG Inn as well.

            1. re: Wangus

              When George Sr. was president, every couple of years, usually shortly after he had a meal there, the Washington Post would carry an article about the restaurant. Apparently he discovered the place before the bulletproof window went in, and when he decided he want to go back, the Secret Service got the window installed (probably at taxpayer's expense).

        2. This is probably the best in DC:

          Mr K's
          (202) 331-8868
          2121 K St Nw, Washington, DC 20037

          2 Replies
            1. re: cheesepowder

              Good riddance! In latter years, the place was an absolute disgrace.

          1. Crystal Thai on Rte 50 in Arlington always had a lovely dining room and good food. I haven't been for a year, though, so more recent opinions can chime in.

            Oh, and upstairs at Duangrat's. On Saturday nights, they sometimes have traditional thai dance as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: weezycom


              We love Duangrats, but schedules have made it hard for me to make the drive, hence I'm looking for another Thai for when we can't make it to Duang's. On food and service, compared to Duangrats how is Crystal, or Thai Luang?


            2. Since you're asking about Chinese restaurants, and not Korean or Vietnamese or Malay...I will skip those cuisines.

              I recently attended a quite elegant wedding banquet at Far East Restaurant on Nicholson Lane in Rockville. The setting was quite pretty - the kind that's good for special occasions with linen tablecloths, fountains, etc. It was an elaborate formal multi-course feast, so I never saw a regular menu. I would guess it would be standard Chinese-American fare (wonton soup, egg rolls, kung pao chicken, etc.) Very good service and a nicely stocked full bar.

              1 Reply
              1. re: crackers

                was great in the 1970's but unfortunately stayed in the 1970's

              2. Like elaineathon says, often when it comes to Chinese restaurants, the best food is found in the humblest of places. In addition to Hollywood East in Wheaton, you could also think about China Garden in Rosslyn, both being Cantonese cuisine.

                China Garden regularly does banquets for groups, from one big table to the whole place for wedding banquets for many Chinese and Vietnamese families. See the website for photos and menus, including banquet menus. Authentic, but also "prettied" up... which is a little hard to find in this area.


                1. Although it's been awhile, I have had very good banquets at Seven Seas in Rockville. They have private rooms available.

                  My experience is a bit dated, however.

                  1. How about Grace's Fortune in Bowie?

                    1. The Meiwah location is pretty nice in Friendship Heights. I don't know if you would call it "fine dining" though. Charlie Chang's near GW might fit the bill too.

                        1. re: mechzoro

                          nice decor, yes. pretty good food and value, too. (and i'm picky about my pad kee mao). but....obviously not chinese. and, i'm very late to the thread! ;-)

                        2. I've been reading this thread and one restaurant finally popped into my head. Jasmine Garden at 8106 Arlington Blvd. It's nicely decorated, kinda hip like a Thai restaurant and they offer authentic Chinese food.

                          Meiwah in Dupont is also nice (haven't been to the Friendship Heights location). There are better food at other restaurants but as for authentic Chinese with nice decor, these two comes to mind.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ericandblueboy

                            I've never been to Jasmine Garden, but I'm not certain I would characterize Meiwah as authentic Chinese. I would say that it is the best American Chinese restaurant in town - it's my favorite American Chinese place, in fact.

                            But it's possible that they could work with you to come up with a more "authentic" menu, if you're going to do a banquet.

                            Otherwise, PG Inn is a pretty good choice - just not DC proper.

                          2. Lots of good suggestions here. It's rare to find the fine dining perfect trifecta of good food, nice ambiance, and excellent service in a DC area Asian restaurant. Perhaps try taking the Asian guests to some of the nicer than normal Asian-inspired restaurants, such as Tenh Penh or Cafe Mozu in the Mandarin.

                            1. Peking Gourmet is Henry Kissinger banquet style Mandarin circa 1975--pretty good, especially the duck. Hunan Lion is a nice place. Tony Cheng's also rates.

                              1. Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro is an upscaled high end pan asian (the asean stands for association of southeast asian nations) restaurant in Columbia. There is a piano player on weekends, a full bar, a wine cart, and the restaurant is nice, not like a chinese restaurant. The food can be very good, especially the specials. Hollywood East is nice and the food is great at Paul Kee Duck House in Wheaton.

                                1. I'd suggest Wolfgang Puck's restaurant at the Newseum, The Source, for Asian inspired fine dining. In terms of food quality and ambiance you can't really go wrong there.

                                  1. As a Chinese person, I prefer China Garden in Rosslyn ( http://www.chinagardenva.com/ ) which consists of fine banquet style dining and dim sum in the afternoons. Another local favorite (hole in the wall type but with great food) is Miu Kee (6653 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). They serve porridge/congee and authentic Chinese food.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: cw1483

                                      Hole-in-the-wall with great food is more my style as well. Quite often, the attention to food goes down as the attention to decor goes up. There are a few exceptions like Hunan Lion and Peking Gourmet (although PK has grown more comfortably threadbare over time). Still, I prefer the homestyle flavors of the good holes-in-the-wall to the grand banquet style of cooking in the upscale joints.

                                      1. re: cw1483

                                        Welcome to Chowhound!
                                        Have you been to Miu Kee recently? On my last vist, they no longer had the table cards or the items listed. And the menu seemed to have changed as well. The food we ordered, which included some fresh fish, was quite disappointing compared to previous visits. I was wondering if that was an off-day or the beginning of a trend.....

                                        My next question is, what could you recommend at China Garden, aside from the dim sum?