Cheap Eats 2011: Batik

A pan-Asian small-plates spot in a shopping mall with a dining room that conjures a tiki bar? It might sound like a case study in ill-conceived ideas. Yet Batik is a pleasant surprise. You can come on a date, swing by for a post-work beer and snack, or catch up with friends over a table of small, artfully presented plates.

The best of these come from the “dumpling bar.” Batik doesn’t roll its own dumpling skins, but the fillings are fresh and imaginative–dive into them and it’s hard to resist over-ordering. The staff also pushes the noodle bowls, but except for a stellar rendition of drunken noodles, your calories are better spent elsewhere–for example, on more dumplings.

Also good: Firecracker Shrimp; Thai Way, Madras Magic, Soul-Full, and Main Street dumpling preparations.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.