Friday, June 8, 2007

Why would I go?

For me, every restaurant is a destination – what separates restaurants is what makes that particular establishment a destination. Is it the food or the décor? Is it a view of a city or the piano player that entertains guests on Friday nights? In the case of Yenching Palace in Cleveland Park, the draw isn’t any of the above; it’s what’s happened there, and who has eaten there.

The post below has a couple good articles that explain that history, but I want to tell you about the dining experience, which was fairly standard at best.

I started out with two spring rolls, which for a little over three dollars which were a fair deal. A good spring roll is a dime a dozen, but these were particularly good – not overly greasy, and filled with all kinds of veggie and meat goodness inside.

I decided to go for broke and get the seafood hotpot for my entrée. For a mere eleven dollars it was a lot of food for a great price. A very light broth filled with cabbage, mushrooms (which I picked out), calamari, shrimp and scallops it was surprisingly light for the amount of food delivered.

The service was, well…horrible. The poor woman was trying, but failing on all accounts.

When it comes down to it, none of that matters. Yengching will close its doors officially this Sunday, and will evidently have a party on Monday for customers, friends and family.

It was a destination for many people for many reasons over the past decades – and it will be missed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ya , it was fun place. I remember having dinner there with, ted koppel, the premeire of china, james bellushi, numorous senators and diplomats from all over, and the one the only...

Van Lung ( Founder 1955) partner was shaw, his wife took over when he died.

there were 4 yenchings altogether
Washington, DC.
Alexandria, VA. (his favorite)
and 2 in Boston, copley sq. harvard sq.

He was one of the greatest people I have ever met in my entire life.

I never see one post concerning Van and how he built that place. Those people were not just walk-ins, they were Vans personal friends.

Evenmore, His father was warlord in china during ww2, and govenor of Yunnan. theres an 1941 article about him in time magazine.

Nice article, sorry the service was bad for you, I know Van would have flipped if he heard that you were unhappy, you would have had the meal, entire meal--for free, and most likly get a discount the next time you went in there. thats the kind of guy he was.

Van's Buddy