Thanks to Washingtonian: Cheap Eats, we both picked out China Bistro. This place is rated to have the best dumplings in the DC area, but is located in Rockville, MD (Hungerford Drive). Since it was a gloomy day and we wasted most of it by being lazy. It sounded like a great quick fix before I headed to PA for family time.
Taking someone who does not eat anything green or earth grown (except sometimes green beans, broccoli and corn) can be difficult. This was one of those times. Since the dumplings are rated as the best, it was obvious
we I had to get them. Since they are not just filled with meat, he wasn’t eating them. It was up to me. An order comes with twelve dumplings, a perfect shared item… or in my case, a meal. I have not had too many dumplings in my lifetime. So… these were the best dumplings I have ever had. I ordered the Pork napa (pork and cabbage). The dough is light and soft. It is perfectly wrapped around a generous ball of filling. When you bite into it, you are not just getting dough. The filling was moist. The pork had good flavor and was not over taken by the cabbage. It was all ground up very fine. The dumplings are a good size and more like 2-bite size. It was hard to keep together after the first bite. As I said, these were delicious, but I would have liked to share them with someone. As a whole meal with twelve, I started to get bored. ($9)
I also ordered a small bowl of wonton soup (I was hungry and didn’t realize how filling the dumplings were going to be, plus I was cold). This was by far the best wonton soup I have had. The wontons were made with same dough as the dumplings and also neatly wrapped. The simple beef broth was warm and wholesome with a few scallions. It hit the sweet spot of my taste buds perfectly, while warming my insides. ($2.50)
When it comes to Chinese food, he is a beef broccoli man. He obviously likes beef and tolerates a few pieces of broccoli. (Hint: always check to make sure you have your leftover container when you leave the house) He was trying to be different and go outside his primordial dish. He ordered the beef cumin. It is exactly as it sounds…. beef seasoned with cumin in strips. The cumin was very prominent. The sauce was sweet and different than that of the cumin. It was also not heavy or over bearing. This dish came with sauteed onions and green onions with a side of white rice. ($12.50)
Diner tip: Know what you want before you go. We had two different ladies come to our table multiply times to ask if we were ready… and we were not even there that long. It took us a while to figure out what we were going to get and if I was just eating the dumplings. The ordering process felt very rushed. For a Saturday, late lunch it was moderately busy.