The dim sum cart may be one of the casualties of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dim sum. Han Palace, an all-day destination for dumplings, noodles, and other Cantonese specialties, opens on September 17 in Tysons Corner.
The restaurant comes from China Garden owner Chris Zhu, whose Rockville location ditched carts for carryout and a checklist eat-in menu during the pandemic. (Aside from potential health issues, Zhu notes that the push carts only work in a very busy environment where dishes are doled out quickly before getting cold or dried out. Lately, though, the dining room has been relatively quiet.) At Han Palace, however, she’d always intended for orders to come hot and fresh from the kitchen. She also didn’t want the noise of carts to detract from the “classy” vibe.
Executive chef Wei Liu, who trained in China, and dim sum chef Kenny Lei, who comes to DC from New York, oversee Han Palace’s sprawling menu of more than 100 dishes. Expect classics like steamed shrimp dumplings, chicken feet, fried crab balls, spare ribs, and pork buns as well as several options for rice crepes, chow fun, and pan-fried noodles. There’s also a long list of congee, topped with everything from shredded pork to abalone. For something sweet, try deep fried durian cake or a purple yam bun oozing with egg custard.
Another specialty unique to this location: a whole duck, which is deboned then stuffed with sticky rice, salted egg yolk, scallop, sausage, and chestnuts. The dish, which must be ordered 48 hours in advance, was made for emperors during the Han Dynasty, Zhu says. “Our chef is the only chef that can make this dish in this metropolitan area. It takes a lot of time.”
Beer, wine, and Japanese whiskey will be available, alongside cocktails such as a frozen mai tai and a “Hope Diamond Martini” with vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon, and butterfly pea flower tea.
Even with limited capacity, Han Palace will seat 170, including 26 patio seats. The menu will also be available for pick-up and delivery.
Han Palace. 7900 Westpark Drive, McLean, Va. 571-378-0168.