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Feb 24, 2010 01:39 PM

Sichuan Chengdu Hot Pot -- Sichuan Village, Chantilly

After checking some circa 2004 posts, I called SV and tried their Hot Pot. It was pretty good (and I've had it in Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong). My question: can anyone recommend other places in the Wash Metro area? Many thanks.

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  1. Other Sichuan options in DC include

    - Hong Kong Palace in the Seven Corners Shopping Center in Falls Church. This is my favorite of the local Sichuan restaurants. (The name is misleading -- the owners just didn't bother to change it when they bought it from the previoius owners.) My foreign service friend who's been in Sichuan says this one tastes like the real thing. Consistently in the Washingtonian's Top 100 Cheap Eats list.

    - China Star in Fairfax City (9600 Main Street). Also very good.

    - TemptAsian in Alexandria (6259 Little River Turnpke) - I haven't eaten here, actually, but my son says it's in the ballpark with Hong Kong Palace and China Star.

    - Sichuan Pavilion - downtown DC (1814 K Street NW) - A notch below Hong Kong Palace, but still delicious and authentically spicy (at least if you ask them to make it authentic).

    - Great Wall Szechuan House (1527 14th Street NW) - A small but authentic "ma la" section on the last page of the menu. This is a formica tables storefront and I have had some excellent meals here, but you have to insist that you want it spicy and even then you sometimes get very bland meals with no discernible "ma."

    - There are several Sichuan restaurants in the Maryland suburbs that I haven't eaten at -- China Jade (a sister to Hong Kong Palace), Sichuan Pavilion in Rockville, Joe's Noodle House (Rockville), China Canteen (Rockville). Joe's Noodle House is on the Washington Cheap Eats list too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mississippi Snopes

      What have you ordered at the downtown DC Sichuan Pavilion that you recommend?

      1. re: Mississippi Snopes

        Having eaten at all of these places in the last year, I can say that Sichuan Pavilion in Rockville is probably putting out the best cooking of all of them at this moment.

        1. re: Mississippi Snopes

          OK, what am I missing about Sichuan Palace in DC? I've tried it, and to me it is no where near the suburban places, and magnitudes below the Rockville resturant of the same name. Is there a standout dish I am missing?

        2. Thanks for the replies, but I should have been clearer. I was looking for other restaurants which serve sichuan hot pot (chengdu/chongqing or any other sub-variety) rather than general sichuanese food. I will call the restaurants mentioned to check whether they serve hot pot, as not all do. But thanks anyways.

          7 Replies
          1. re: nitinkibe

            There's a new hotpot restaurant called South East Asia Corner (老牛火锅) nearby the Great Wall supermarket. It's owned by the same people as Hong Kong Palace, and like that restaurant it has yet to change it's name from the previous owners. They serve Sichuan food and hotpot. The address is: 2972 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA 22042. Telephone: 703-560-6868.

            Hong Kong Palace
            6387 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22044

            South East Asia Corner
            2972 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA

            1. re: dcanon81

              Visited the hotpot restaurant and was pleasantly surprised. Having lived in China and eaten many a hotpot myself, I found their version fairly authentic. However, since they're new, one should some kinks - most notable being the current absence of a liquor license. I was assured that this flaw (hotpot and beer go hand in hand) would be corrected later this week. I will definitely return.

              1. re: dcanon81

                Finally went there today, and it gets a thumbs up. It looks like they've changed the name, but not the signage; the menus all say "Uncle Liu's Hot Pot". They have a carryout menu that's basically the same as HKP, an $8.25 AYCE buffet that (for a buffet) looked pretty good (and appeared to have the Sichuan versions of mapo tofu and gong bao chicken), as well as sichuan hot pot. I did the half-spicy, half-plain hot pot, with spicy beef plus napa cabbage; both broths were very good, as were the ingredients, and the total came to ~$20 (which would have been much more reasonable had I been sharing it with someone, which would have been more than possible). My only real complaint was that they didn't want to give me any of the interesting ingredients like blood or cuttlefish; I didn't feel like spending a lot of time trying to convince them, but I'm hoping that after a visit or two they'll be less leery.

                1. re: sweth

                  Uncle Liu's gave us the cow throat and cuttlefish without any problem. What would happen to blood in the hot pot? I don't think I noticed that among the options.

                  Cow throat, by the way, was surprisingly white, crunchy, and tasteless.

                  1. re: Mississippi Snopes

                    The blood comes solidified, and stays like that in the broth. It's really like hard pudding.

                    1. re: Mississippi Snopes

                      I once had a 'buche' taco that was like rubber valves and gaskets. Looked and tasted like car parts with salsa verde on them.

                      However, maybe the idea is that it imparts flavor to the hot pot, a bit like how squid that iis rubbery can still give off flavor cooked in something else.

                  2. re: dcanon81

                    Was in the shopping center so stopped in Uncle Liu's to check out the buffet and decided to try it. Besides the typical americanized items, I was pleasantly surprised with some chinese dishes, beef tendon with daikon, congee (yummy creamy), chicken soup with chinese herbs (similar to Mom's), clams, some dim sum. Got there a little late in the day so some items weren't replenished so this would probably be better earlier in the day, but will definitely go back, also for hot pot too.