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“Xiaolongbao without soup”

Chinatown Express Restaurant
Ranked #959 of 3,716 Restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: US$10 - US$15
Cuisines: Chinese
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Delivery, Takeout
Neighbourhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Reviewed 31 May 2017

One of my good friends recommended this place, so I was there today with my guests - they walked all the way from Union station to Chinatown.
It was truly embarrassing to see all the 16 xiaolongbaos (soup dumplings) in two baskets lying without any soup inside. Dry soup dumplings were all punctured and some of them were almost torn out. In addition, won-tun noodle soup was just bland at best.
All of us were left the place within 20 minutes much disappointed. I will never visit there again.

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Thank HMLeeSeoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 May 2017

How can you not be drawn in by that? They also tout being written up by WP and NYT. This place has the vibe of the "authentic" Chinese places in the Rockville area with the menu duplicated on colored paper on the walls, some only in Chinese and dishes not catered to gringos.

Only had the duck noodle soup. The noodles had a nice snap and the duck was quite good. Unfortunately, maybe the most important part, the broth, was a disaster; almost no flavor, just hot water which couldn't be saved by dumping in the condiments on the table.

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Thank dkberman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2017

We've read so many reviews of the place we had to try it. And while it is definitely not the best chinese I've had, it did live up to par.
The place resembles a thousand other Chinese restaurants all over the big cities in States - very cramped up, very worn down, a little shabby and not too clean. But I guess that's what you should expect from an authentic place like this.
The food was brought to us in bare minutes, with cashew chicken for my boyfriend and their classic fried noodles with pork for me. And noodles was by far a better choice. They do really roll them out by hand, so they will be a little thicker than you'd usually expect but absolutely delicious. I believe it was the first time in my life I ever finished the typical gigantic plate of Chinese.
The chicken was only ok - a little dry and not well seasoned. But the simple sauces sort of solved the problem.
The wating staff was a little too quick on their feet to stick us with the bill and get us going, but I guess it was getting late by the time we finished so they probably were getting ready to close for the night.
The place plays off their Washington Post fame a little too much - I guess they have gotten super-popular in the lase few years. But I definitely would come here again for a quick lunch or dinner.

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Thank 690milaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2017 via mobile

I walked by this little corner restaurant in the morning and was immediately struck by how authentic it seemed. There's a glass window with hanging ducks and a dumpling making counter for pedestrians to observe. There is also a very low key interior which gives the whole place a vibe of a 家常菜房管 which is a typical Chinese "home cooked dishes" restaurant.
So I decided to come and have dinner here.

I guess a authentic look and feel doesn't account for authentic food.

To be fair I am only basing my review on two dishes I had since I was traveling solo.
So I decided to pick two very simple and popular dishes which could be found in most restaurants across China : steamed pork dumplings and garlic fried eggplant.

Never did I expect that such traditional simple dishes could be so badly mishandled. The dumplings were way too thick and dry, they tasted un-fresh and were just extremely unsatisfying.
The eggplant dish was way too oily. For those who are familiar with this dish you know it is an extremely oily dish, however the eggplants should be savory with excellent sweet and sour garlic flavor which melts in your mouth. This dish however just tasted like oil, they even manged to kill the natural flavor of the eggplant.

Service too is on the downside here, staff just seemed to be depressed with a general lack of enthusiasm to do their job.

This unfortunately was not a good dinner experience and I will not recommend it.

Thank sunshine6518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2017

Wandered down to Chinatown,and decided to stop here for lunch after a busy morning,seeing the sights,nice gimmick at the window watching them making the noodles,place was quite busy but got seared straight away,we ate the set lunch noodle menu and it came quick and was very good,the beat bit was the tea that came with it,really nice,and for the price it was great,don't come here if your expecting fine dining this is a no frills place but it hit the spot for us.

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Thank den-rick71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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