Can you believe opening a restaurant can win coins and ribbons even more than a general? The Peking Gourmet Inn, opened in 1978, is famous for its Peking Duck and traditional Chinese food. Since it is located right outside of DC area in Falls Church, VA, it is known for walls of celebrity visitors’ pictures including two of the United States presidents Mr. George H. W. Bush and Mr. George W. Bush. (Guests Gallery)
This place would be the perfect example for not appealing from the outside but surprises you as soon as you walk in.
This is the look of restaurant from the outside.
And this is the interior of the restaurant once you walk in. Full of pictures and Chinese lanterns.
And of course, you must stop by its display cabinet of coins and ribbons.
These eye-catching galleries and coins definitely drags my attention of this Peking Duck place in the first place. When I read more into the history of this restaurant, it became more intriguing for the fact that they built their own 133-acre Grass Roots Farm in Purcellville just to supply the freshly grown garlic sprouts, spring onions, leeks, and Napa cabbage for the restaurant. Also, the founder created his own recipe for his hoisin sauce and hand crafting each pancake served with the Peking Duck. (Source: http://www.pekinggourmet.com/about-uss/)
Maybe because of all these shiny photos and stories raised my expectation so high, I was slightly disappointed from the food (which is also the most important part I care about.)
Overall, the food was not bad, but I had better before. After all, this is in the US, not in Asia. The dishes are authentic enough (for a foreigner.) 🙂 Therefore, if you would like to try something exotic or in the mood for some real Chinese food, this place would be a great choice.
Remember to make a reservation or come early if you plan on visiting during the weekend. I reserved a group for 10 the day I visited at 5pm on a Saturday. When we finished and walked outside, the whole restaurant was completely packed up with super long waiting line. So be prepared and plan ahead~
The Peking Duck ($42) Served with 12 of homemade pancakes, hoisin sauce, and spring onions.
★★★☆ The signature dish, must order to at least try when you visit the Peking Gourmet Inn
When the duck is ready, the waitress will serve right beside your table to slice the meat and the skin in front of you. The size of this duck seems a little tiny in regards to $42 per duck though.
Overall, the duck is above average and it’s worth a try. However, it was unfortunate that the taste of the Peking Duck was just a little off on all aspects. It was good, but has not reached the great/ awesome stage yet.
The skin could be a little more crispier, the duck meat could be a little more tender and juicier… (Am I just being spoiled and picky??)
The pancake is a drawback. It was dry and tough. Also, it was a lot thicker than what I had before. This pancake was a total minus….
Duck Bone Soup (for four $12.50)
This soup performs even better than the duck itself. 😛 You can taste the essence of roasted duck bones in the broth. Plus the sweetness from slow cooked napa cabbage and tofu. YUM!!
Garlic Sprouts Stir Fried Pork ($20)
This stir fried vegetable and shredded pork tastes really good and authentic. The shredded pork is really tender and flavorful.
Steak Northern Style ($23)
The beef chunks are really tender and the sweet and salty savory sauce taste great. However, it was a little greasy.
Jeo-Yen Shrimp ($29)
★ Do NOT recommend… 😦
While you think Jeo-Yen Shrimp (Salt and Pepper Shrimp) should be one of the safest dishes in most of Chinese restaurants, there comes the big disappointment.
I’m not sure if they purposely use shell-less, head-less shrimps to better suit American customers’ tastes or they just try really hard to make the dish fancier? I prefer my traditional deep fried shrimps with head and shells on and with almost zero coating. This Jeo-Yen shrimps are heavily coated which ruins the texture and all you can taste was the flour-based breading than the real shrimp meat. On top of that, the shrimp was not really fresh and had a weird sanitizer scent. 😦
Next time (if there’s one,) I would just have the duck and soup with maybe one stir fried dish. Other dishes could just pass. Or the crave can wait till I go back to Taiwan next time. 🙂
Restaurant: Peking Gourmet Inn
Dinner Menu: http://www.pekinggourmet.com/dinner-menu/
Address: Culmore Shopping Center, 6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: (703) 671-8088
Price: $25-35/ person