HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


South China (formerly Chef Chen's) on South Pickett Street



This place used to be a generic American-Chinese eatery, but has since been taken over by the owners of Tempt Asian Cafe who have improved the food a lot. A number of spicy (but not tongue-numbing) Szechuan hotpot dishes, Nanjing salty duck, deepfried eel, fried "squirrel fish." Reasonably priced (most dishes in the $10-25 range) considering the quality of the ingredients, preparation, and flavor. They have a standard American-Chinese carryout menu, but the real Chinese menu (with the somewhat ambiguous English translation) is what you want.  Not to be confused with the OTHER "South China" restaurant in Del Ray.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Is this in the same shopping center as Viet Flare? I am actually moving back to this area in 2 weeks, and am excited to try new things in the neighborhood (and get decent delivery options for once!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: tommyskitchen

      Close. That mall is the one with Satay Sarinah in it. South China is south of that, off South Pickett. It's the mall with the Jerry's Subs in it. The carryout menu is all American-Chinese. If you want the good stuff, you'll either have to go there and order it or know exactly what you want.

    2. Thanks for the heads up!

      1. Wish I knew this a couple of weeks ago. Nonetheless I think I'll be down there again in two weeks time.

        1. Sounds interesting... I've never gotten to Tempt Asian though, since there's such a huge surfeit of good Chinese in the DC-Baltimore area.

          1. Too closely related (Sichuan - places not discussed often - yet). Anyone been to Panda?


            1. Thanks! I can't wait to try it! I don't live too far away.

              1. They now have paper take-out copies of the Authentic menu - Attached is a photo. Last night we had the Wasabi Cucumbers, Salty Duck (Delicious!), Beef w/Black pepper and the Mapo Tofu - The latter was about as good as the Great Wall on 14th street, but my favorite was the Salty Duck - The non-crispy skin turned off my dining partner, but I thought the whole thing was superb.

                2 Replies
                1. re: tommyskitchen

                  Awesome. Always on the lookout for really good ma po tofu.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    It doesn't have as much "Numbing" as many - But I found it much more flavorful.