Dim Sum at Mark’s Duck House

January 27, 2009 at 11:48 am | Posted in Brunch, Travels | 8 Comments

My buddy Becca was in town last weekend before the Inauguration and we ventured to DC for a day and night to celebrate her sister Jes’ birthday! DC was definitely insane and there was a palpable energy in the air everywhere we went.  These ladies are definitely cultured in the realm of Asian dining and could not stop saying how excited they were for Dim Sum on Sunday! I thought to myself -What the heck is Dim Sum??  Well my devoted readers all I need to say is that Dim Sum is AWESOME.

We trekked around the capital beltway to Falls Church and found ourselves in a non-descript shopping center. A Chinese friend of Jessica’s has family in the area and whenever they have large family gatherings they order out from Mark’s Duck House! That was all of the recommendation we needed to seek this place out!

Dim Sum is an assortment of light dishes served from breakfast until noon and always served with tea! So while we waited, which was not long (15 minutes, tops) we got to admire the gorgeous roasted fowl in the window.

Then we got our table and the insanity started! We got home some hot tea and prepared ourselves for the feast! First off was the shrimp and pork dumplings. This place is well known for their vast array of delicious dumplings. They were great- perfectly seasoned meat and the right proportion of noodle to filling!

Here is my favorite dish from the entire meal- the steamed roast pork bun. I have never tasted such an interesting and slightly sweet puffy roll dough as this. It was filled with pork that had the best mildly spicy and very savory sauce mixed with it.

This was the shrimp dumpling and I used a bit of the table hot sauce to flavor it up a bit. This one had a bit more noodle to it, which I am now realizing is not my taste, but the filling was great.

Oh yum, here comes the roast sucking pig with crispy skin! That crispy skin, soooo crispy- there is seriously nothing better! It was served with some pickled carrots and radishes(?). This also tasted great with the table hot sauce.

So in order to stay true to our healthy New Year’s resolutions (ha!) we got the chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. This was incredibly green and fresh tasting. You can never do better than fresh ingredients- they always shine amazingly in simple preparations!

Here was another delicious dumpling- a shrimp and garlic chives variety. I think this was my favorite dumpling because of the extra flavoring that the garlic, etc ingredients added in addition to the fresh shrimp.

Lastly, we had a bit of sweet to top of our awesome meal! This is a fried sesame ball. Chewy and delicately sweet, it was basically a puff ball of light dough filled with something, possibly candied ginger? yummmm…

All in all- this place was perfect. The service was very friendly and constantly attentive and the wait was not too long. But the shining star of course was the fresh and delicious food.

Mark's Duck House on Urbanspoon



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  1. you don’t like eggs?!? and i know, its so dark in my kitchen!! but everything looks kinda washed out when i take it to the dining room table by the windows. sigh… maybe a big halogen light? haha.

    and your dim sum looks SO good, i’ve never had it, but i want some now!

  2. I love dim sum! I just had it in Vegas this past weekend. Did they have the carts? That is truly authentic and reminds me of my time in Hong Kong. Looks delicious!

    ps. I believe the first picture is of shumai, and the third is called hargow (shrimp dumpling in rice noodle wrapper). Love them both. We call the pork bun “white fluffies” in our family!

  3. If only there were any places like this in Baltimore City. Sigh…

  4. thank you for being such a faithful blog commenter, you are like a personal self-esteem booster! love you!

  5. happy new year e.!

    i’ve never had dim sum either – gotta try it now 🙂

  6. Great write up and the photos look great. Man, I wasn’t hungry for cracklins until I saw that picture.

    Its good to learn about more of these places in the DC area.I’ve been wanting to do dim sum brunch for a while. I know China Garden in Rosslyn does a dim sum brunch but honestly the owner is so rude I just can’t bring myself to give them money.

    – Elizabeth @ Capital Spice

  7. OMG, Robby and I love Mark’s Duck House! Evertime we go to VA we must go there.

  8. […] – the pork dumplings. My love affair for pork dumplings started with Becca when we went to Marks Duck House in VA and these were not as good. I think the ratio of filling to dumpling wrapper was a bit off […]

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