Nine Chowhounds met for lunch on Thursday at Hong Kong Palace, a Sichuan Restaurant just off of Rte. 7 in the same shopping center as Shoppers Food Warehouse, but in a small strip mall off to the side, where there is a Chevy Chase Bank.
Sichuan food at a place called Hong Kong Palace? It used to be an actual Cantonese restaurant but was purchased by someone from Sichuan, thank goodness, because it is now possible to get good Sichuan food in No. Va. The sign in Chinese says Chengdu House, I wonder if they just didn't feel like changing the sign in English? In any case the food is delicious and very hot. Under the leadership of Steve Siegel we ordered several dishes, I hope I can remember all of them. The dishes, in no particular order, were the cumin lamb, a cold cucumber dish, fried flounder, chicken with garlic sauce (also called yuxiang sauce), Mapo Doufu, Chengdu dumplings, Chengdu noodles and a cold cucmber dish. They were all very good, only one dish while good, the cold chicken touched by hot oil, was a bit too oily (more drowned than touched). We also had fried rice with shrimp and smoked pork (very intersting smoky flavor), twice cooked pork, a a seasonal green/vegetable that I think is called something like ma cai in English, and dan dan noodles. A dish that no one had seen any where else was the fried corn. Individual corn kernels in a batter and fried. Slightly sweet it is almost like a dessert. Only order one dish though, it is a huge amount of corn. The service was fast and very friendly. When we asked about the seasonal green, the waitress went in to the kitchen and brought out a stalk of the leafy green to show us what it would look like in the Asian grocery store. An excellent experience.