So you want Chinese food? So you want good Chinese food? So you want authentic Chinese food? If you have answered yes to any of these questions and are willing to venture away from your favorite American Chinese takeaway menu that sits in your top drawer under the phone read on.
Recently my neighbor declared that she wanted dumplings and noodles, she wanted cheap dumplings and noodles, she wanted mouthwatering dumplings and noodles, and she wanted oodles of dumplings and noodles. After some research around DC’s Chinatown’s restaurant scene, which proved surprisingly harder than expected, we found our ideal noodle and dumpling shop; ChinaTown Express.
Okay, the name is not inspiring but if the large bay window with a chef making fresh noodles, filling dumplings, hanging ducks, and frosted letters claiming “Fresh Noodle Made On the Spot” doesn’t excite you then I don’t know what will. We shared an order of pork and leek gyoza style dumplings (pot stickers) and steamed pork dumplings that took on the style of soup dumplings. The fried gyoza were crispy and delicious. The wrappers were thin with the delicious filling neatly packed in. I found that the dumplings were impeccable on their own, which is a rarity when one is used to dishes soaked in soy sauce, vinegar, or any other greasy sauce. The steamed version were equally as delicious and did not have the slimy texture that overtakes incorrectly made or prepackaged dough.
Continuing our theme of mixing and matching we got one order of fried noodles with chicken and a duck noodle soup. The fried noodles were a bit closer to your traditional take-out Lo Mein but they tasted fresher and were lighter on the sauce. The duck noodle soup was very flavorful and the duck was crispy and moist. The bowl of noodle soup hit the spot and was exactly what we were craving. The bok choy also added a good textural bite to go along with the soft noodles and crispy duck.
Next time you are thinking about doing boring take out, try hitting up Chinatown Express instead. You’ll get the same comfort dishes that you desire and that price tag that you love but the food will be fresher, made to order, less greasy and overall of a higher caliber.