It’s time for a feast, and nothing beats going to Tiger Fork restaurant! This restaurant boasts traditional Chinese Cantonese/Hong Kong-style dishes with a touch of modern. We tried the entire menu.
However, before we begin, the first thing that makes this place very special is the adventure of getting there. It’s not overly complicated, but don’t be surprised if you are confused by the GPS’s directions. Indeed, this restaurant is located down a dark and empty-looking alley. This alley leads to an open space with an art gallery, coffee shop, and this great Chinese restaurant. Even our Lyft driver told us that she normally does not go down dark alleys in D.C.!
Well, it’s April 15. You know what it means: the end of tax season! We are partying with accountants of RY CPA, and this is the best place to celebrate. Why with accountants, you ask? They have been working super hard for the past few months, and it’s time to unwind the best way possible — with alcohol and food! Make sure to check out this full-service and outsource accounting firm for D.C., MD, and VA.
Smashed Cucumber Salad (4/5 NOMs)
Veggies can be good for you AND taste amazing. Example A: this starter, the Smashed Cucumber Salad. I won’t deny that we were a bit surprised about the size of it. That size may have to do with the dish’s origins, as this comes from the Dai Pai Dong menu section, which refers to a type of open-air food stall in Hong Kong. There are no crazy toppings or seasonings here — it’s a simple dish containing cucumbers, garlic, chili, and sesame. The combination of drinks and this salad are a great way to start a very nomnom dinner. While small, it’s great for sharing; two guests can easily share one, but we’d suggest ordering a few for a larger group. I guess it’s called smashed because instead of cutting the cucumbers, they are smashed? I wonder with what and how. Maybe we should try smashing at home?
Chairman’s Clams (3/5 NOMs)
While waiting for the main dish and drinking, we enjoyed the Chairman’s Clams with chili jam and basil. This is another Dai Pai Dong starter dish that we nomnomed on while waiting for the main course. While it’s a beautiful dish with many colors, we didn’t enjoy this dish as much. We do have to say that the others in our group enjoyed this dish more. Personally, we felt that it tasted as if the clams were over-seasoned with too much spice that overpowered the clams’ natural flavors.
Beef Chow Fun (5/5 NOMs)
Time to move onto the main course with a good Beef Chow Fun from the rice and noodles section. We are a big fan of wide rice noodles and were super excited to dig into this one. Plus, we were famished at this point. Beef Chow Fun is a staple of Cantonese cuisine originally from Hong Kong, and it’s so common that, at this point, everyone has tried their own take on it. If a restaurant can’t make this right, then you may as well leave. You can tell by our good rating that Tiger Fork did not disappoint. We are big fans of the thick rice noodles, bok choy, and juicy brisket that pulled this dish together. If you’re a fan of Beef Chow Fun and noodles, then this is a perfect dish for you. We enjoyed this dish so much that we left the plate sparkly clean.
Fried Rice Chicken & Chinese Sausage (4/5 NOMs)
When going to a Chinese restaurant, it’s almost obligatory for you to order fried rice, and at Tiger Fork, we are starting with Fried Rice Chicken & Chinese Sausage. We are big fans of Chinese sausage, which you can buy at any H Mart or other Asian markets. Portion-wise, it’s enough to share with a large group. However, while it’s a great dish, we’re not sure that it’s worth $15. Still, it was enjoyable, and it didn’t disappoint.
Fried Rice Fish & Prawn (5/5 NOMs)
This isn’t just any rice—it’s Fried Rice with Fish and Prawn. We actually like this one more than the Chicken & Chinese Sausage version. Portion and price-wise, both fried rice dishes are identical. You can’t go wrong with either one, but we felt that this one was better.
Hong Kong Green Beans (3/5 NOMs)
These are not your mom’s boring green beans; these are Hong Kong Green Beans with peanuts and chili. With many peanuts, it almost looks like there are more of them than the green beans. We won’t complain because that’s a great way to eat your veggies. While not our favorite dish, it was still enjoyable and a whole lot of food for $15. With all of the other dishes consisting of meat, this was good to add some veggie variety.
Humble Plate of Chili Wontons (3/5 NOMs)
It’s always good to be humble, but that’s not us, so we eat humble like a Humble Plate of Chili Wontons. The presentation was fun, with little wonton bites floating in spicy sauce. These wontons are stuffed with shrimp, chicken, and ginger. While a good dish for $10, it was a bit bland flavor-wise. Even the spicy sauce didn’t hit that much-needed spot.
Pork Ribs (5/5 NOMs)
A beautiful presentation and amazing taste made the Pork Ribs our favorite dish of the night. Not much to say here except that these ribs are amazing! Covered in soy, ginger, and Happy Lady seasoning, which is also known as Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp Sauce, these ribs were cooked to perfection with meat that falls off the bone. It is not the cheapest dish with a $17 price tag, but it is so good that you will forget about it. That much sauce does make for one messy dish. Good thing they come with some wipes! However, we all know that you will lick your fingers clean. It’s so good, and you’ll maybe even lick a neighbor’s finger.
BBQ Platter (5/5 NOMs)
It’s the one plate of meat to rule them all — the BBQ Platter, which includes three different kinds of meaty goodness! What’s not to love with its crispy pork belly, char siu (Cantonese roasted pork), and soy chicken? Plus, it’s served with some side sauces, veggies, and rice. Every piece of meat was so good that we just naturally enjoyed it slowly to savor every bite. Our favorite (no surprise) was the crispy pork belly. The rice was also surprisingly good and very sticky and soft. This is their most expensive dish with a large hit of $42, but this dish’s quality makes it worth it. Still, though, it left us wishing for more of this delicious meat!
Stir Fried Rice Cakes (4/5 NOMs)
Did someone say stir-fried cake? While not a dessert, these cakes might win your hungry taste buds over with Stir-Fried Rice Cakes. The rice cakes were stir-fried with sour cabbage and shiitake mushrooms. The fun thing about rice cakes is that they can be made from rice, like rice flour shaped and combined into a single object with some sweetener. They’re very common in China, Cambodia, the Philippines, India, etc., and each country has its own unique take on them. See, eating things can also be very educational. These had a great combination of flavors that any mushroom lover would enjoy.
Sweet & Sour Eggplant (4/5 NOMs)
Look at this beautiful veggie dish — the Sweet & Sour Eggplant! The eggplant does look a bit like meat, so you can see why we were excited. While there’s no meat involved, taste-wise, it did not disappoint. It comes with some super crunchy fried egg noodles and scallions. Ah, what a great combination of flavors and texture! Probably for that visual effect, the sauce is not fully mixed in, so make sure to stir it before eating. Without that, the flavor of the sauce will overpower the dish. Not everyone in our party liked this dish, but unless they are a nomster, what do they know? The only thing that could make this better was more eggplant.
Peruvian Chef Cocktail (3/5 NOMs)
We asked for the sweetest drink from their TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine cocktail menu), so they gave us a Peruvian Chef in a Chinese Kitchen. Let’s quickly talk about TCM, which are drinks inspired by Chinese holistic recipes. There are a whole lot of things going on there, and that’s not even counting the mouthful of a long name. These drinks include Macchu Pisco, Midori, Lime, Orange, Goji Berry, He Huan Hua, Valerian Root, Kava Kava, and Lavender. So many words we have no idea about, but let’s drink. Why would this earn it a lower score? Mostly because it just wasn’t sweet at all. It was the opposite of sweet. Which is not as fun since it’s a pricey drink at $14. The fact that it is a strong drink raised its score by a few points. We might not have liked it all that much, but if you are into non-sweet drinks, then this may be your drink of choice.
Bubble Waffle with Ice Cream (4/5 NOMs)
Every great dining adventure needs to end with a nice dessert, like this popular Hong Kong street food “Bubble Waffle,” also known as “Egg Waffle.”This dessert is also known as Gai Daan Jai, which translates to “little chicken egg.” We are big fans of waffles, and this very soft and bubbly (pun intended) wins. While it commonly served just as is, it’s also popular to eat it with ice cream and other great sweets. Sprinkles are always a great addition! You don’t get a choice of toppings, but so far, they have made some good choices. Extra points for serving it in the newspaper to make that extra street vendor vibe real. It’s a whole lot of dessert for $9 and enough to share with friends. Probably better if you share, actually, because that’s a lot of sugar for one! The chef alternates the toppings pretty regularly, so just because you’ve had this dish once doesn’t mean that it will be the same next time you order it. Tiger Fork also has Egg Tart dessert for $3, but the waffle always wins!