14005 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Cuisines: Szechuan, Chinese
Open Sunday through Thursday 10 to 10 PM; Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 11 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Steamed pork shank; Szechuan street dumplings; Green Bean Jelly with black pepper; cumin lamb; ma po tofu; spicy potato noodles; Kung Pao chicken; Chengdu pork; "ants on a stick."
Entrées $6.50 to $21.95, lunch buffet $8, dinner buffet $9, weekend buffet $10.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly
You might have doubts about this Chengdu-inspired gem--the sign out front touts a buffet, and steam tables dominate the main room. But you're here to sample the expert wok work of the five Szechuan-trained cooks.
Their aim? Not merely to scorch your palate but to awaken your senses--the best dishes here brim with complex flavors that invite close consideration, such as a textbook ma po tofu (soft cubes of tofu in a mouth-tingling chili oil), sliced lamb ignited with peppers and toasted cumin, and Chengdu-style Kung Pao chicken.
Note the color coding on the menu. For most people, yellow will be plenty hot; red means the kitchen has seasoned with abandon.
Also good: Dan-dan noodles; Sichuan pickles; Chengdu fish; "ants on a tree," ground pork clinging to house-made potato noodles; Chengdu beef.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.