Open everyday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Major credit cards accpted. Streep parking. Galley Placesubway stop one block away. Accessible to the handicpped.
Everybody has a Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood. But if your family as ready for more than egg roll and chicken chow mein in then dinner at the Golden Palace is worth the trip to Washington's Chinatown.
Our family has been to the restaurant on 7th St. NW, between G and H, a number of times and we've always gone away well satisfied with plans to return.
The specialty at the Golden Palace is dim sum, a sort of Chinese hot hors d'oeuvres. We sampled only two of the 19 varieties on a recent trip but those were delicious and cost $1 per order. First we had shrimp toast, the least exotic of the offerings. There were two pieces and each was loaded with minced shrimp, lightly battered and deep fried without being oily. Our second dim sum was assorted meat dumplings. Three good sized dumplings arrived, each with a thin pasta-like covering over a mild but well seasoned meatball.
Two of the more unusual dim sum are duck feet stuffed with crabmeat and deep fried taro root dough. Four items are sweet desserts. Until recently the Golden Palace had only a dim sum menu written in Chinese and presented only on request, but now it has English translations and is available every day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Our children, Susan, 3 1/2, and her brother, Dan, 1 1/2, were not interested in the dim sum but busied themselves with glasses of oranged juice at 80 cents, and a bowl of dry noodles. We ordered a bowl of won ton soup for Sue for a $1.25. She liked it, but left the shredded greens in the bottom of the bowl. We sampled one of the won tons and thought it was much better than we'd had at other places. The meat filling was tasty, and the dough light. The broth had a strong taste without being too salty.
The dinner menu is extensive. We ordered chicken fried rice, at $3.90, for the children to share and, since we had had dim sum, just an a la carte entree for ourselves.
My husband selected the beef with brocoli, $5.25, and I ordered scallops with mixed vegetables, $6.00. Both dishes were so good and so ample we ate our fill and took the rest home for lunch the next day. The beef had a wonderful ginger flavored gravy and the broccoli was crisp, green and delicious. My scallops were a treat, large and firm with a good seafood taste. The plate also included bamboo shoots, green onions, water chestnuts, pea pods and mushrooms. We enjoyed the dish highly seasoned with ginger although it might be too strong for a child's taste.
Our children ate some of their fried rice, which was also better than that served at most places, with good sized pieces of egg, chicken and some vegetables. They were unwilling to try any of our dishes and I think an older child of perhaps 8 or 10 would have enjoyed this restaurant more than our youngsters. The Golden Palace no longer provides high chairs or booster seats since its redecoration and expansion, which can present problems for families with young children.
The menu goes on for four pages with the most expensive items being Peking duck at $17, steamed lobter for $9 and a small bowl of shark fin soup at $7. There is also a good range of soft noodle dishes for about $5, with the menu stating that it costs an extra $2 to share those plates. We were not charged for several extra dishes, cups and utensils. The service was good, although we did have trouble communicating with our waiter who spoke limited English.
On past trips we've had the more standard choices, pepper steak, sweet and sour pork, chow mein and found them all very good.
For this meal our bill came to $21.60, including tax. After lunch we walked around the corner to the National Collection of Fine Arts at 8th and G Streets, where the explorer's room for children gave us all a chance to move around and relax after a good meal.