With dishes ranging from about $6 to $14, the opening menu will focus on Chinese and Southeast Asian fare then expand into a more pan-Asian approach, Ma said. Expect such dishes as bao, satay, dumplings and rice and noodle bowls, ordered dim-sum-style off a checklist. The idea is for diners to have a drink and a few shareable plates, the chef said. His day-to-day work will primarily remain with Kyirisan in Shaw, though he'll be in charge of the kitchen at Ten Tigers, with help from his chef de cuisine, Nyi Nyi Myint.
By day, Ten Tigers will operate as a coffee and tea house, with pastries and baked goods spearheaded by Ma's pastry chef, Mollie Bird. Ian Hilton said the team is still working out the details of the coffee program as to whether it will be managed by people who set up shop inside the space or serve as consultants instead.
Hilton said Herman, a former general manager at U Street Music Hall, had been thinking about an Asian-inspired lounge for years and was looking at various properties in the Hiltons' portfolio. The space vacated by Chez Billy seemed like a perfect fit. (Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown remains open)
Unlike Chez Billy, which was considered more of a special-occasion place, Ten Tigers is a spot for customers to gather on a more regular basis, Hilton said.
"Petworth is still in an upward trend," Hilton said.