Cheng’s Asian House
For: Not Asian
4090 Airline Parkway, Chantilly
The server stood at the edge of our booth. And waited. I couldn’t let the request out of my mouth: I was about to order flounder au gratin at an Asian restaurant. I’m glad I did. The steamed, then baked, fish arrives in a silver fish-shaped platter and is utterly tender. It combines heavy cream and cheddar with Maggi Seasoning (like soy) and cilantro, mixing Continental cooking with Eastern flavors. It’s a dish that owner Louis Cheng, 69, has kept on the menu at his various restaurants for the last 10 years after learning it from a Filipino employee.
We also admired heavily salt-and-peppered fried calamari, although the wasabi aioli didn’t bring the heat. The fresh pancake wrappers, made by Chen’s wife, were the highlight of the standard moo shu pork. Dinner ended with fried pumpkin sticky rice that is like a gelatinous spin on funnel cake, and even better with coconut-cinnamon sauce.-Stefanie Gans
Cheng’s Asian House, 703-657-3383