Nan Xiang in Rockville- Report
Three Chowhounds gathered for an impormptu lunch at this new place which is theoretically an oupost of a taiwanese chain, famed for their dumplings. It has no new signage, just the old sign for Bob's 66. It's at 305 N. Washington Ave in Rockville.
First caveat: No matter how much you love dumplings, wait at least a month to go here as the chefs (from the NY Branch) are not here yet. They are not yet serving crab or crab/pork mixture, they are not serving tang bao (large soup dumplings) , nor are they serving shengjian bao (soup and pork, fried on the bottom).
What we were served was above average. In the case of the xiao long bao, the broth inside was far more delicious than what I am accustomed to here. But four of the twelve we ordered had lost their soup before we opened the baskets, they are too large to be xiao (little) long bao, and the wrapper is nothing special.
The only xlb in the area which are 'correct' are at A & J, though the broth is not as good and their wrapper breaks too easily when you try to pick them up.
We had two other dumplings: fish dumplings and chef's special pan fried dumplings. Both above average, but still not worth a special trip.
A bowl of beef noodles with long pepper was supposed to be dry-fried, but came half-submerged in liquid and seem bolied. None of the noodles on the menu are handmade, and they are only ok. Flavor of this dish was weak.
We also had a plate of mustard greens with beans and tofu, served icebox cold, which was ok.
I'll go back when they are serving the full menu like at the Queens branch.
I'm not a xiao long bao expert, but I can say that when I went to Bob's Shanghai last night, the xiao long bao were delicious. They had two types: pork and crab yolk. The dumplings were intact when they arrived at the table, but my only gripe is that the soup inside was warm, not hot.
Some of the other dishes we ordered were also delicious: snow pea leaves, tea smoked duck and the chef's special dumpling (leeks and egg). The duck was intensely smokey.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the service. Overall, a great experience!
I knew I forgot to update some mom info. Anyway, she said that they've only been open since 3/29 and have been slammed with customers. Apparently, the dumpling makers are exhausted because how busy they have been. She told this to me last week and she's hoping the restaurant will work its kinks out. With that, my parents have been going to Shanghai Taste for XLBs.
Peace of mind - this place really does exist. Anyway, I think they've only been open for about a minute. Mom says the chef is from Taiwan.
Sad to hear about the burst dumpling skins. That's the worst. Have you tried the XLBs at Shanghai Taste? In December, I found those to be better then the ones at A&J.
I probably won't be able to try these until December. I'll be hitting the NYC branch in the fall. Next DC visit is only to the city proper and my parents and I have two non-Rockville visits planned. But, I'm still looking forward to it.
I haven't been to this new place yet, but I do think the ones at Shanghai Taste are very good. Probably the best I've had in the area so far (though still not as good as any place I've had them in NYC). Burma Road also used to make good XLB on weekends. Not sure if that's still the case...