A taste of Uncle Paul’s Kitchen for lunch at Water & Wall

When Water & Wall introduces daily lunch service today, the aromas from the kitchen will be thousands of miles from the Arlington restaurant's typical melange of Southern- and French-accented American fare. Follow your nose and you'll find yourself in Eastern China by way of Uncle Paul's Kitchen.

That's the name Water & Wall chef Tim Ma has given the restaurant's pop-up lunch menu. It's a tribute to his uncle, Paul Ma, a master of Shandong-style Chinese cooking since his years of running a small grocery and restaurant in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

(Rey Lopez)
Kung pao pork belly at Water & Wall's lunch pop-up. (Rey Lopez)

Shandong cooking favors fish and pork, stir-fried at extremely high temperatures. The resulting dishes are light and crispy, rather than bathed in oily sauces. At Water & Wall, Ma puts his own spin on Uncle Paul's Shandong classics, with dishes such as kung pao pork belly (pictured) with scallions and celery; lobster Rangoon with cream cheese and in a wonton wrapper; and a beef and broccoli dish prepared from cuts of brisket. Dishes are $6-$10 each.

The pop-up menu is available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Aug. 30. The full menu is available here.

Water & Wall, 3811 Fairfax Drive, Suite 105, Arlington. 703-294-4949. 

Alex Baldinger is editor of the Going Out Guide blog, which covers food, drink, arts, music, events and other curiosities in the D.C. area. He is forever in search of a great sandwich.
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Alex Baldinger | July 14