Best dim sum photo
(Jonathan Ernst/FTWP )

Best dim sum

Winyan Soo Hoo  |  Updated 09/20/2011

Translating as 'heart's delight,' these appetizer-size Chinese dishes traditionally are delivered via carts.

 

A&J Restaurant

Rockville, MD

Expect minimal frills but good-quality, well-seasoned dishes at this northern-Chinese-style dim sum cafe: Asian soul food at its finest. Hallmarks that differentiate the fare from its better-known southern counterpart: breadier, thicker dumplings and buns. Sample the dense thousand-layer pancake, succulent pot stickers and spicy beef noodle soup. Also in Annandale.

 

China Garden

Rosslyn, VA

This softly chic, Metro-accessible Rosslyn location will impress the fussiest of guests. The popular banquet spot offers tender baby clams sauteed in a black bean sauce and juicy diced spareribs. Finish off the meal with a crumbly pineapple bun for dessert. Arrive by early afternoon, or the dishes could get cold.

 

Fortune Chinese Seafood Restaurant

Falls Church, VA

The skin of the shrimp-and-shark-fin dumpling sublimely marries chewy and soft for a flavorful treat. Other standouts include the pan-fried turnip cakes and steamed pork dumplings (shu mai). Augment the already myriad salty-sweet flavors with a swath of hot chili-pepper oil. This Seven Corners spot has a dining hall that can accommodate larger groups, the best way to sample the extensive list of dishes.

 

Oriental East

Silver Spring, MD

The boisterous, sunlit atmosphere complements the mouth-watering array of dishes at this renowned establishment. Start with fresh steamers of crystal-skinned shrimp dumplings (ha gao) and silky noodle crepes stuffed with sliced roast pork. Top off the meal with the ever-popular flaky egg custard tarts (dan tat) and cups of chrysanthemum tea. The line snakes around the block at prime time (noon to 1 p.m.), but the wait is well worth it.

 

Ping Pong Dim Sum

Washington, DC

Sleek aesthetics and a swanky drink menu add a cosmopolitan and lounge-y feel to this London import. The fare tastes rather safe: Dim Sum 101 for the less adventurous, albeit with a diverse list of steamed and griddled dumplings, baked savories and plenty of vegetarian options.

 

Silver Fountain

Silver Spring, MD

The sweet rice in lotus leaves (lo mai gai) opens to reveal a bed of tender pork, beef and salted egg. Another crowd-pleaser is the steamed pork bun (cha siu bao) with sweetly marinated pork and a spongy white bread. Their phoenix claws, or steamed chicken feet, remain an acquired, but well-rewarded, taste.

 

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