Food

Ten Tigers Parlour Opens in Petworth with Soup Dumplings, Cheap Cocktails

Ten Tigers Parlour opens in Petworth with an all-day menu from Kyrisan chef Tim Ma and wallet-friendly drinks. Photography by Evy Mages

Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown may be a favorite of Michelle Obama, but the original location in Petworth didn’t draw the same affection from its neighbors.

“I blame myself for the fact that what we put together in Petworth was a special occasion joint,” says co-owner Ian Hilton. “What I wanted was something the neighborhood would embrace—something really approachable.”

Ian and brother Eric Hilton, who’re also behind U Street spots like the Brixton and El Rey, closed the restaurant in August to make way for a new concept: Ten Tigers Parlour, which opens on Saturday at 3813 Georgia Avenue, Northwest.

Daytime brings tea house offerings like specialty coffees and bubble teas, plus free wifi.
Daytime brings tea house offerings like specialty coffees and bubble teas, plus free wifi.

The Hiltons teamed up with chef Tim Ma (Kiyrisan, Water & Wall, Chase the Submarine) for the Asian bar/lounge, as well as Scott Herman, a former manager at U Street Music Hall. Together, the crew transformed the bi-level bistro into a kind of Victorian-era Chinese parlor. Though the vibe is “reminiscent of a late 19th century opium den,” according to a press release, the place is meant to be accessible—complete with free wi-fi and plugins for laptops.

Soup dumplings are filled with pork broth, ground pork, and chives.
Mornings wil eventually bring Chinese pastries like egg tarts and sesame balls from Kyrisan chef Mollie Bird.
Mornings wil eventually bring Chinese pastries like egg tarts and sesame balls from Kyrisan chef Mollie Bird.

Daytime patrons will find tea house-style drinks, including Vietnamese and French press coffees, bubble teas, and Thai iced teas starting at 11 a.m. Eventually Kyrisan pastry chef Mollie Bird will roll out Chinese sweets like egg tarts and pineapple breads, but for now there’s an all-day-and-night menu of dumplings, donburi rice bowls, grilled skewers, bao buns, and noodles.

Homemade soup dumplings ($12) are Ma’s specialty, filled with the likes of pork broth, ground pork, chives, and black vinegar. Another chef-recommended dish: the Marco Polo noodles ($11), an East-West recipe from his uncle that stars spaghetti tossed in a spicy broad bean ragu with pickled cucumbers and shiitake mushrooms.

Highlights from the menu include homemade soup dumplings, and "Marco Polo noodles" from Ma's grandfather.
Highlights from the menu include homemade soup dumplings, and “Marco Polo noodles” from Ma’s grandfather.
Drinks are designed to be comparatively cheap, like this Mekhong whiskey Manhattan for $10.
Drinks are designed to be comparatively cheap, like this Mekhong whiskey Manhattan for $10.

Booze and beers are meant to be wallet-friendly, especially during what Ian describes as “an aggressive happy hour” (discounts TBD). No matter the time of day, no-frills cocktails like a gin-and-tonic go for $5 or $6, while specialty cocktails such as a Thai whiskey Manhattan are $10. Eventually, Herman will bring on DJs for nighttime entertainment, and the patio will open in warm weather.

We’re trying to make it flexible for the neighborhood,” says Ian Hilton. “I feel good about the fact that they’ve told me what they want.”

Ten Tigers Parlour. 3813 Georgia Ave., NW. Kitchen open daily at 11 a.m.; food service until 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Bar open 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Thursday, and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

The daytime drink menu includes a variety of bubble teas.
The daytime drink menu includes a variety of bubble teas.

 

Look for "aggressive" happy hour deals on both food and drinks.
Look for “aggressive” happy hour deals on both food and drinks.

 

Ten Tigers will eventually add DJs for weekend entertainment.
Ten Tigers will eventually add DJs for weekend entertainment.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.