As of today there are only a handful of restaurants in Washington DC that can be considered good authentic Chinese cuisine restaurants. Many of them are “Americanized” Chinese food. You would have to venture to the suburbs like Rockville MD or Fairfax VA to find more authentic options.Panda Gourmet is one of those very few.hey brought their chef from China because no one else in the area specialize Shaanxi cuisine. I was blown away by the flavorful spicy dishes I tried at Panda Gourmet.
Panda Gourmet (not to be mistaken with the restaurant chain, Panda Express) owners bought the business two years ago and invested resources to improve its Sichuan and Shaanxi menu. Sichuan is more common in the US but what about Shaanxi cuisine? Shaanxi cuisine also referred to as Shaan or Qin cuisine and is an important regional cuisine in China. Though not listed as one of the eight main Chinese cuisines, it has a unique style and very strong local characteristics of Shaanxi, a province with Xi’an, which an ancient capital and a historic city famous for the terra cotta warrior statues. Shaanxi cuisine consists of imperial dishes, official dishes, merchant dishes, temple dishes, folk dishes, and ethnic dishes. It can also be divided by location, such as central Shaanxi dishes, southern Shaanxi dishes, and northern Shaanxi dishes.
Beef Tendon & Tripe in Spicy Sauce $9.95
This beef tendon & Tripe is very memorably spicy and hot. It has a distinct Sichuan numbing hot taste but also aromatic with rich garlic and cilantro taste. We enjoyed it a lot.
Pickled Cabbage and Fish Soup $6.95 A must try for those who enjoys pickle. The soup makes a good appetizer. The sourness from the pickle seemed to have woke my taste buds to more tasty Chinese food.
Lamb with Cumin $14.95 I normally don’t like lamb because they tend to be too gamey for me but the generous portion of cumin and other spices combined well with the meat in this dish and subdued the gamey taste. It reminds me the wonderful taste of the Hunan Spicy Ribs I had in Shanghai.
Noodle with Hot Chili and Beef $7.95 I love this noodle. The texture was tender and perfect combination with the spicy beef. Every bite was delicious!
I highly recommend this place for authentic good Chinese food and will definitely come back for more. Don’t be deceived by the unassuming store front and location of Panda Gourmet. I think you’ll also agree this is a gem.
2700 New York Ave. NE
Washington DC 20002