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Dim Sum in Washington?

astrobri Jun 29, 2010 11:24 AM

I've read heated debates on Chowhound in the past to get recommendations for Dim Sum in Montreal and New York, but I couldn't see a thread for Washington, so here is my appeal!

Where do I go for Dim Sum? Having scoped out Chinatown, I'm guessing my options are pretty limited. (I did notice that there is a Ping Pong here, but as a former Londoner I've come to associate the chain with the same problems of usual dim sum [inconsistency, lack of fresshness] at twice the usual price).

I'll go anywhere in DC I can get to by car or bus, and I'll go on a Sunday so we don't have to worry about weekday menus. I'll take carts or a menu. I'd just like hot, fresh, and tasty Dim Sum.

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  1. d
    dpan RE: astrobri Jun 29, 2010 12:10 PM

    The dim sum threads have been quiet lately. There isn't much dim sum action in DC, but there are a few spots that will suffice for authenticity. The closeset to DC is China Garden restaurant in Rosslyn in the big office tower (I think it's Northrop Grumman now? Used to be the USA Today bldg.). In Silver Spring you have Oriental East, and in Gaithersburg you have Fortune. This is Cantonese dim sum, not any other variety like northern Chinese. For that, you can go to A&J in Rockville or Annandale.

    Oriental East
    1312 E West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910

    7 Replies
    1. re: dpan
      chowser RE: dpan Jun 29, 2010 12:22 PM

      Why is good dim sum so hard to get here? Our demographics aren't that different from other big cities, LA, SF, Boston, NYC, Montreal, etc. But, this is by far one of the worst large city for it.

      1. re: chowser
        dpan RE: chowser Jun 29, 2010 12:37 PM

        I think this is due to the demographics of the Chinese community in DC. We are not typical in that most Chinese in DC are highly educated and have other career choices than running a restaurant. In places like LA, SF and NYC, many of the recent arrivals have to work menial jobs to get by, and running a restaurant is something many who don't have advanced education can do to get ahead. That's why I think there's such a dearth of quality Chinese restaurants here.

        1. re: dpan
          chowser RE: dpan Jun 29, 2010 02:37 PM

          Interesting thought. I was thinking it was more in terms of the demand rather than supply but that's a good thought. I wonder if there is a market for a good dim sum restaurant in northern Virginia, if someone would open one. It's been a long time.

        2. re: chowser
          dinwiddie RE: chowser Jun 30, 2010 11:23 AM

          It is easy to get good dim sum here, just not in the city. The vast majority of the huge Chinese population in the DC area lives in the suburbs. One very good place to try is Hollywood East in the Westfield Shopping Center in Wheaton. It is a couple of blocks from the Wheaton Metro stop. There are a couple of other places in Wheaton that also serve dim sum, but Hollywood East is probably the best. Good Fortune serves dim sum and is close to the METRO, but is not nearly as good. Unfortunately most of the good places to get dim sum will require a car.

          Hollywood East Cafe
          11160 Veirs Mill Rd., Wheaton, MD 20902

          Good Fortune
          2875 W Lanvale St, Baltimore, MD 21216

          1. re: dinwiddie
            chowser RE: dinwiddie Jun 30, 2010 11:51 AM

            Not easy, but possible. You can't get good dim sum in NoVa, just at two or three places in Montgomery County. For an entire metropolitan area, that's not many and, as a result, there are huge crowds on weekends. Well, there are huge crowds at most good dim sum places in any city but especially around here. I have to drive close to an hour to get to Hollywood East.

            Hollywood East Cafe
            11160 Veirs Mill Rd., Wheaton, MD 20902

            1. re: dinwiddie
              dinwiddie RE: dinwiddie May 15, 2014 01:47 PM

              To update recommendations, Hollywood East has gone downhill. I won't return after two trips where the food was average at best. Good Fortune on University Blvd in Wheaton is pretty good these days. Silver Fountain in Aspen Hill is not bad either. New Fortune in Gaithersburg is also pretty good and has a large selection on Sundays. (imho, the best day to go for dim sum)

              I love Mark's Duck House in Seven Corners VA, but that is because we tend to gather there for dim sum and lots and lots of wine from our cellars.

              1. re: dinwiddie
                chowser RE: dinwiddie May 15, 2014 02:19 PM

                I haven't been to Hollywood East in years now. How did you find Mark's? I stopped going there, too. We tend to go to Hong Kong Pearl these days. It's been nice since they've increased the size so the wait isn't so long.

        3. chaofun RE: astrobri Jun 30, 2010 05:16 AM

          Dim Sum Guide for the DC Metro


          1. m
            mondovino RE: astrobri Jun 30, 2010 07:45 AM

            I would highly recommend DIm Sum at New Fortune restaurant at 16515 South Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg MD. You must go on a Saturday or Sunday, and the busier they are the better the Dim Sum will be, although you might have to wait for a table. It is a large hall restaurant, and a table near the kitchen door is a great advantage. As far a I am concerned, it is the best Dim Sum in this area.
            Oriental East in Silver Spring is decent but too small in my opinion. If you don't get a table in the first seating, you will have to wait 2 hours, and depending where your table is, the carts can be mostly empty before they get to your table.

            Oriental East
            1312 E West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910

            New Fortune
            16515 S Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

            4 Replies
            1. re: mondovino
              chowsearch RE: mondovino Jun 30, 2010 07:50 AM

              The owners and staff at Oriental East are mean.

              Oriental East
              1312 E West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910

              1. re: chowsearch
                SaraAuDust RE: chowsearch Jun 30, 2010 07:56 AM

                A sure sign of good dim sum!

                I kid, but this has actually been my experience. The best dim sum in Boston and Sacramento both involved putting up with some less-than-lovely service, especially for non-Chinese folks.

                1. re: chowsearch
                  Pesel RE: chowsearch May 13, 2014 03:07 PM

                  Yes, they ARE, especially the manager's wife. I'm glad you think so as I thought it was me..........

                  1. re: Pesel
                    monkeyrotica RE: Pesel May 16, 2014 09:20 AM

                    I've never encountered a problem with the owners, but the last time I went in, everyone waiting in line was inside, surrounding the diners, staring at them while they ate. I found it unnerving. I felt like I was eating in an aquarium.

              2. psychofan RE: astrobri Jul 6, 2010 01:08 PM

                A short list of dim sum places:


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