Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tiger Fork

Tiger Fork, located n Blagden Alley, brings Hong Kong's gritty, badass culinary culture to the streets of DC. Tiger Fork melds old school Hong Kong culinary tradition with pops of global influence, pulling regional, Asian, European and Islamic flavors to their crafted menu. Executive Chef Irvin Van Oordt has created a menu that combines Hong Kong cool with flavor-packed global influence in Hong Kong classics like dim sum, Chinese BBQ, fresh tofu and chili crab. Designed by Edit lab at streetsense, Tiger Fork's 2,600 square foot space is outfitted with a 21 seat bar and an 8 seat chef's counter overlooking the open kitchen. The dining room includes 56 seats, 18 of which that flank either side of a long communal table designed to showcase Tiger Fork's family style plates and dim-sum menu.  Closest Metro is Convention Center.

Tiger Fork does not accept reservations, so be prepared to leave your name and number at the hostess stand and head to one of the nearby bars to wait until they call you with an available table.  We did just that on this rainy Saturday and were seated about 45 minutes later.  Keith loves Chinese food and chose this trendy new spot for his birthday dinner.  To start, he ordered one of the Asian-style craft beers - the Iwate Kura "Sansho" peppercorn ale from Japan.  It was very herbaceous and went with the classic Chinese seasonings.

To start, we shared the Humble Plate of Chili Wontons made with chicken and shrimp and swimming in a chili oil and ginger sauce.  Served with a pickled slaw, I really enjoyed these tender wontons.  They were a great starter to the night.

Keith really wanted the Beef Chow Foon that had very traditional flavors but was elevated with the use of brisket tossed with bok choy and thick rice noodles.  The large portion is better suited to be shared, but since I do not eat  beef he took his time devouring the whole plate.

Next, we shared the Soya Chicken Plate that comes with white rice, ginger scallion sauce, and pickled vegetables.  The chicken is served skin-on keeping the solid white meat tender and juicy.  The soy flavor reminded me so much of Hawaiian-style shoyu chicken.  I also really liked the vibrant green ginger scallion sauce.  It added an extra fresh kick to each bite of chicken.

We ordered a side of Broccolini that was dressed in garlic and housemade oyster sauce covered with chopped peanuts.  This side was also quite large and too much for us to finish, yet the vegetable was fresh and crispy and tasted great.

Lastly, since it was Keith's birthday, I had to order the Bubble Waffle.  This celebratory dessert is made with the trendy bubble or ball-shaped waffles that can be found on the streets of Hong Kong.  Topped with a scoop of coconut-pandan and Chinese five spice ice cream and a bunch of fun stuff - tonight included caramel cream, lychee, chocolate covered mushroom cookies, Pocky, and rainbow sprinkles.  This dessert was super fun and childlike and actually tasted really good.

We had a great meal at Tiger Fork, but the food was nothing different from the classic fare you can get at the restaurants in nearby Chinatown, except slightly higher priced.  We also would have preferred for the dishes to come out at the same time, as opposed to the "when each plate is ready" concept, since Chinese food is typically eaten all together in the shared family style. So, it was odd to eat each dish solo instead of together.  Nonetheless, the atmosphere is fun and I appreciated the nod to sitting on the busy Asian streets, complete with uncomfortable chairs.

September 2019: Michelin Guide named this restaurant to its list of Bib Gourmand in DC - those restaurants that offer "excellent food at a reasonable price."

Total Rating: 3.8
Food: 4, Price: 3, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4

Tiger Fork Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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