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Mar 3, 2011 05:38 PM

New Sichuan place from Hong Kong Palace people - metro accessible!

Great news, and interesting new food news source:

A new Sichuan hot pot place coming, metro accessible near Clarendon/Virginia Square!!

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

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  1. I was eating lunch at Hong Kong Palace on Monday when they were taking those pictures. Too bad I didn't come in an hour later or I could have helped eat all of that food. I asked if the photos were for a new menu, and I learned of the new upcoming restaurant. I was going to leak it but figured then someone would expect me to know more about it and what's on the web site above pretty much says all I learned. The concept is more along the line of "small plates" than Uncle Lui's, which is full meal sized hot pots.

    Mr. Liu was in the kitchen preparing the dishes for the photo shoot, and the young American guy I was talking to was the General Manager, possibly the subject of the recent rumor of a new owner of Hong Kong Palace.

    One thing that didn't register with me until I was walking home, but he said that the new place was Mr. Liu's 4th restaurant in the area. So there's Hong Kong Palace and Uncle Lui's Hot Pot and the new Mala Tang. What's the 4th of his restaurants?

    3 Replies
      1. re: Guy Incognito

        Thanks. Not much talk about China Jade here - I guess there's better in Rockville, and I don't go out there at meal times much anyway.

        1. re: MikeR

          China Jade suffers from the fact that better Sichuan is available just a few miles away at Joe's Noodle House and Sichuan Pavilion.

          But it's a very good restaurant, and if I didn't have to drive past SP and JNH to get there, I'd go more often. Friends of mine who live around the corner from CJ are there every week.

          Joe's Noodle House
          1488 Rockville Pike Ste C, Rockville, MD 20852

          China Jade Restaurant
          16805 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville, MD 20855

    1. Thanks hamster -- I really like their website. Informative, attractive, and user-friendly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob W

        Yeah, it looks very promising!

      2. query: if these are the "same owner group," how can this new place's website be very up-to-date tech-wise, but the HKP website be like the "pong"-version of a menu?

        2 Replies
          1. re: alkapal

            B/c they had to get a new site up and in doing so did it better and then they have a restaurant to attend to so left HKP as-is. Potentially whoever did the new one will re-do HKP, but probably only if it's a family member (as they probably won't pay for the update). Gotta keep costs down.

          2. There was an article in the Washington Post saying it's opening next week.

            It says it's more "upscale" than Hong Kong Palace, which I hope does not mean high prices. Individual hot pots?? Prices are not listed on the menu online as far as I can tell.

            The article says the former manager from Mie n Yu was very involved in helping set up this restaurant, which does not make me feel confident at all about the quality of the food. Or the decor. But we'll see.

            5 Replies
            1. re: hamster

              Hah, in the small victories department, that article translated "ma la" as "numbing and spicy" as opposed to the usual mistranslation as merely numbing. I do have to wonder why a savvy diner would go there as opposed to one of the excellent less mainstream options, though, which also offer hot pots as well as a much larger menu overall. Only six hot and six cold options, and missing some of the classics such as pork belly with garlic sauce, fuqi fei pian, and tiny cripsy fish with peanuts.

              1. re: KWagle

                Because it's metro accessible, perhaps?

                1. re: KWagle

                  Or perhaps one has to dig deeper. At Uncle Liu's it wasn't obvious to me that they did anything other than the buffet and hot pot. Upon leaving I inquired and lo and behold they have pretty much the full HKP menu as well.

                  I also half think that the site isn't built properly, and that after clicking "starches" or "Vegetables" you're supposed to be able to scroll through multiple selections.

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    Hmm. I was assuming the starches and vegetables were things that went in the hot pot.

                    1. re: KWagle

                      Looking again you're probably right on those categories, but based on the Uncle Liu's experience, I wonder if they still have a more complete menu upon asking.

              2. It should be "softly" open now. Any bites yet?

                6 Replies
                1. re: MikeR

                  I stopped by today for lunch with a fellow chowhounder. Very unfortunately, it was very bad. We had the Zhong dumplings, dan dan noodles and mala hotpot with lamb, watercress and mushrooms. The dumplings were first too hard and then overcooked, sticky and mushy when they came out a second time; the noodles had minimal flavor and were overcooked and the hotpot was pretty blah. And the hotpot alone cost $20, for what was supposed to be an indivdual serving (it was plenty for us to share). They comped the noodles. Maybe it will get a lot, a lot better over the next few weeks . . . I won't go back unless some of you out there go and love it!

                  1. re: bougouni

                    That's too bad. Hopefully they're just learning how to work the stove and the cooking will improve. It's disappointing that the "individual" hot pot is that expensive. That sort of detracts from what I thought was the original idea of the place.

                    Thanks for taking the plunge. Sorry it didn't work out better. .

                    1. re: MikeR

                      We were very sad. The hot pots really add up because they charge separately for broth, meat etc., noodles and vegetables. We had meat+2 veg, no noodles, tofu, etc.

                      1. re: bougouni

                        The hot pot was fine -- nothing to write home about, and without much ma la sensation. It starts at $3, and a protein and vegetable (which is plenty) can be added for between $10 and $20 total. So it's not a cheap meal. Unfortunately, it seems you're paying as much for the faux-upscale decor as for the food.

                        1. re: Marty L.

                          This is exactly what I feared. Thank you for your review!

                          1. re: Marty L.

                            Hot pot is one of those experiences where (at least for my family) it's much better do to at home. We went to Uncle Liu's once and was not impressed. I could buy the chili oil next door at Great Wall and do my own ma la hot pot for a lot cheaper and with better ingredients.