Da Hong Pao (Washington, D.C.)

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What. The. Hell. Is. Dim Sum?  That’s me, asking my 18 year old self that question because I didn’t know s*** about food.  I know more then I knew now,  of course, but I still can’t properly use than and then in a sentence.  Trust me, spell check doesn’t always correct sentences, just helps you seem less “stupid”.  (If it doesn’t apply, let it fly)  I was able to hook up with another foodie @nerdwithanapkin who reached out to me because he seen that I was looking for a “different” kind of food to explore.  He picked the perfect place as this Cantonese restaurant had all the flavors one could imagine.  This restaurant is a bigger “mom and pop” shop, but it has an interesting take on it.


Have you ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse?  Maybe Fogo De Chao or Texas De Brazil?  You know how they walk the meat around on a huge stick and slice you off a piece when you ask them what you want?  It’s kind of the same concept at this restaurant.  Instead of the huge sticks with meat coming to each table, there are carts that the waiters and waitresses push around to offer your meals during “Dim Sum” hours.  You’ll have choices such as Beef Balls, Short Ribs, Shrimp Dumplings, and even Duck.  I thought this concept was pretty cool.  You’re able to visualize what you’re going to eat, instead of looking at yelp pictures.  This restaurant doesn’t have a website, so your best bet is to go to yelp to get an idea of what is offered.


Several dishes were ordered ranging from Beef Balls to Chicken Feet.  When the cart pulled up, it was suggested that I were to try some of the items that were offered.  At the time there were Beef Balls, Shrimp Dumplings, Vegetable Dumplings, Pork ShuMai, Chicken Feet, Short Ribs, House Noodles, and Sweet and Sour Chicken.  If any of you don’t know what Dim Sum is, it’s like a Steamed Bun in the form of a dumpling.  The Beef Balls, Shrimp, Vegetable, and Pork ShuMai were all in the form of DimSum.  The Beef Balls were my favorite as the beef was steamed and packed full of flavor.  They had the right sauces which added flavor. It wasn’t greasy like I thought it maybe, but it was soft and meaty when you opened each dumpling.  The Shrimp Dumplings were cooked perfectly as well.  The shrimp dumplings have transparent outside, fresh, and pink inside.  The flavors were similar to a  “poached shrimp”.  The Vegetable Dumpling taste like an egg roll but rapped inside a soft bun.  If you’re a vegetarian than this is the perfect dish for you.  It’s kind of challenging to describe a vegetable dumpling, but if you had a Chinese Egg Roll than that description is perfect.  If you haven’t had a Chinese Egg Roll than go to your nearest Chinese Restaurant and order it.  Or… You could just go to the restaurant.  The last dumpling that was ordered was the Pork ShuMai.  This was my least favorite but still good.  It had a salty flavor to it, but still composed of different flavors.  The dish was good, but it wasn’t as good as the others in my opinion.

(Top Left Clockwise : Vegetable Dumpling, Pork ShuMai, Beef Balls, Shrimp)
(Top Left Clockwise : Vegetable Dumpling, Pork ShuMai, Beef Balls, Shrimp)
(Clockwise : Shrimp Dumpling, Vegetable Dumpling, Pork ShuMai, Beef Balls)
Beef Balls
Pork ShuMai

The other dishes that were ordered were the Chicken Feet, Short Ribs, House Noodles, and Orange Chicken.  We can start with the Chicken Feet.  Yuck, pew, uhn uhn, nope, n/a, and an acquired taste. I tried it, but it was a little too fatty for me.  Maybe it was the thought of me eating a chicken foot, and the fact that it was steamed, but I will try it again at another restaurant.  Have you all had chicken feet?  How was it?  The short ribs were next up and they were spectacular!  The Ribs fell off the bone with each bite and the meat was packed with flavor.  I didn’t think it would be that flavorful because it was steamed, but I was wrong.  They were salted and peppered perfectly but if you decide to order these make sure you order another dish as well.  It’s not a dish to eat by itself.  The final dish that was ordered was Orange Chicken and House Noodles.  I didn’t want to come to a Chinese Inspired Restaurant and not order something as traditional as Orange Chicken and Noodles.  I’m very pleased with the decision to order the Orange Chicken as the chicken was very meaty and the orange sauce was sweet.  I was definitely full off of this specific meal and if you wanted to play it “safe” at this restaurant then I’ll give you the okay to order this dish.

Chicken Feet
Short Ribs
Orange Chicken


Overall, this restaurant is a must go to.  It’s not hard to find as it’s about a mile down from the Columbia Heights metro.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience that I had at this restaurant and if I didn’t have this silly rule of not going to the same restaurant twice, then I’d go.


1 comments on “Da Hong Pao (Washington, D.C.)”

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