The wait is almost over. Han Palace, the all-day dim sum restaurant slated to open in Tysons Corner, arrives this Thursday, September 17. The soft opening will last through September 30.
Owner Chris Zhu says that she’s particularly proud to be able to offer a full bar with her dim sum and other Cantonese fare. There are nine beers on tap, as well as bottles. Whiskeys come from Japan, Ireland and the US, including 12-year-old Yamazaki and Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey. The bottles of bubbly even include Veuve Clicquot and Krug. But she’s especially focused on the nine signature cocktails.
The Asian-inflected drinks include the Beijing Bellini, which replaces peaches with lychee; a frozen Mai Tai with homemade mix; and the Cucumberita, which is precisely what it sounds like, with a hint of orange. We’re betting the biggest hit will be the Hope Diamond Martini, which combines Grey Goose vodka with elderflower liqueur, lemon and a butterfly pea flower tea ice cube.
But ultimately, Han Palace will be made or broken by its food. There are more than 30 options on the dim sum menu, including eight desserts. All the classics, from shrimp dumplings to sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves are present, but many are upgraded, like steamed pork dumplings, here crowned with crab roe for extra flair. Desserts are where chef Kenny Lei really gets to show off his creativity. Besides the Purple Gold Yolk Bun we discussed in our last news piece about Han Palace, the almond ball with a custard yolk heart is also sure to be a hit.
But another reason to be elated about Han Palace’s arrival is its menu of authentic Cantonese fare that’s hard to find in NoVA. There’s Cantonese barbecue meat, including duck, pork and cha siu. A full 15 different congees range from basics like fish filet or shredded pork to fancier chicken with abalone or lobster.
But many of the most interesting dishes are listed under Chef’s Recommendations. There are double Maine lobsters, served one of three ways, Cantonese-style, golden egg roasted or with ginger and scallions. Zhu says that Han Style Stuffed Duck, which must be ordered 48 hours in advance, is deboned, then stuffed with sticky rice, dry scallop, sausage and chestnuts. It’s steamed for two hours, then fried crisp.
But for those whose tastes lean toward General Tso’s and lo mein, there are rewards, too. For $15, lunchtime diners can get a favorite Chinese-American dish along with soup and a dessert. // 7900 Westpark Drive, McLean
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