Restaurateur Chris Zhu’s secret to delicious dim sum is straightforward: “fresh and hot,” she says. After opening two huge dim sum destinations in the suburbs—Rockville’s China Garden and Han Palace in Tysons—she’s expanding to the District. Zhu will debut two new Han Palace locations in Woodley Park and Barracks Row this fall. Like the original, the kitchen will focus on made-to-order dim sum and Cantonese dishes versus roving carts.
The new locations will be smaller than the massive, gilded dining rooms at the Tysons flagship. The Woodley Park restaurant, which is slated to open first in November, will offer around 70 seats indoors, plus a 15-seat patio. The Barracks Row opening, scheduled for December, will bring 60-odd seats to Capitol Hill between indoors and out.
Both restaurants will serve the most popular items from Han Palace’s all-day dim sum menu, such as scallop, shrimp, or pork-and-crab dumplings, rice rolls, and barbecue pork buns. The kitchens will also recreate Cantonese specialties like lobster sticky rice, Han-style filet mignon, and Peking duck. New to the lineup: delicate homemade soup dumplings, a popular yet not widely available dish in the District. Due to the small size of the new kitchens, Zhu says Han Palace’s most intricate items like stuffed whole duck—which must be ordered 48 hours in advance—will remain a specialty in Virginia.
Han Palace will open at Barracks Row (522 8th St., SE) and Woodley Park (2649 Connecticut Ave., NW).