Welcome to an amazing culinary world from China’s Sichuan Province, brought to you at Q by Peter Chang in Bethesda. Q is a sister restaurant of Peter Chang in the Rockville Town Center and Mama Chang in Fairfax, Virginia. However, the Bethesda restaurant is an upscale location that serves some of the best Chinese food in the DC area. High-end version and a more expensive dining experience. From dim sum to full entrees, you will leave full and happy nomster.
Some advice from us, go there with a large group of friends. The more people you have at your party, the more dishes you can try! Q has an extensive menu that small groups might not be able to tackle. Plus, with a larger group, you have more people to split the check. This upscale, high-end restaurant can get very pricey, and your wallet might hate you for being empty. After several visits to this restaurant, we are happy to say that we have tried the entire menu and can now tell you what you should order.
1. Bubble Scallion Pancake (6/5 NOMs)
This was our first time trying this unique dish, and we fell in love with the first bite. You first have to pop the bubble open to let the hot air out. The scallion pancake has an exciting and tasty flavor that combines sweet and savory in one great bite. The outer shell of the pancake is surprisingly sweet, and the dipping sauce is curry-like and savory. The Bubble Pancake is a must-order starter as you wait for the rest of your dinner.
2. Dan Dan Noodles (5/5 NOMs)
Another must-order is a traditional Sichuan Province street dish. A fun fact, Dan Dan refers to a pole on which street vendors carried the dish. Upon arrival at your table, the dish must be thoroughly mixed while still warm. You want to make sure that all the different spicy sauces, vegetables, mustard stems, and thin noodles are mixed well. We are quite happy to see that Q by Peter Chang took a more authentic route and made these noodles with a nice kick to them, unlike other Chinese restaurants where they are sweet. While it’s a small dish, the Dan Dan Noodles will bring lots of joy to your taste buds.
3. Xi’an Style Youpo Lamb Noodles (4/5 NOMs)
You can never go wrong with an order of long wide noodles with a kick. Similar to the Dan Dan Noodles, you want to make sure they are mixed well while still warm. That helps ensure the noodles don’t stick together and the flavor is evenly distributed. We liked the noodles, and they had a very nice soft texture and a great kick.
4. Sichuan Chili Wontons (5/5 NOMs)
These little shrimp wontons pack a big punch to the taste buds with both an excellent flavor and a spicy kick. Perfectly prepared with a light exterior and soft interior, the chili pepper kick is not too strong and should be fine for most people, but have a glass of water prepared just in case. Remember, every tear is worth it when enjoying this dish! This is one of our favorite dishes from the nomnom experience. Try as we might, our words and photos can not do these wontons justice, so order them and taste the joy for yourself.
5. Beggar’s Ribs (5/5 NOMs)
You will be begging for seconds in no time with an order of Beggar’s Ribs, which are prepared so well, the meat falls off the bone. The ribs tasted very light, and the meat flavors shine through, even though they are covered in a heavy sauce. You can taste the hours of cooking that they underwent. The ribs are served with some nicely seasoned home fries.
6. Dong Po Braised Pork Belly (6/5 NOMs)
A dish that may make you moan louder than with your partner! We love pork belly. I mean, what’s not to love? It is soft and delicious. However, this pork belly just ruined us for any other in the future. Overall as a dish, it’s quite similar to a steamed bun bao. The shell is a bit dryer and harder, though, which compliments the pork and sauce very well. It’s just there to deliver the meat into your mouth.
7. Eggplant Fries (3/5 NOMs)
Eggplant fries are not something we were expecting to see at this upper-class Chinese restaurant. They had a nice crunch, but the seasoning was a bit too salty. The dish just wasn’t as impressive compared to the other great dishes we had that night. We would rather save space in our stomachs for other great new nomnoms, or maybe just another order of our favorite dishes.
8. Lobster Egg Foo Young (5/5 NOMs)
We are big egg lovers, and anything that mostly consists of eggs will be ordered. Over the years, we’ve had a lot of egg foo young and, sadly, most of it wasn’t that good. Now we have found a place that knows how to make a good Egg Foo Young! We love the big soup bowl this dish is served in, too. Truly a great dish for Egg Foo Young and lobster lovers. We do have some bad news, though: this was a special of the night and might not always be on the menu. If you happen to see it, then you must order it.
9. Tofu Skin (4/5 NOMs)
Did you know that tofu skins come from wild tofu that must be carefully cared for and prepared? Yes, we are messing with you. 🙂 Tofu skins are made from a film that forms when boiling soy milk. It’s not considered tofu, though it has a very similar flavor. The boiling adds a very ripply and different texture from the regular tofu that we normally eat. These tofu skins are combined with a gooey sauce to make for a good dish with some rice.
10. Soup Dumplings (5/5 NOMs)
Soup on the inside and soup on the outside makes for a bite-size soup party in our mouth. This whole dish is on point in terms of flavors and presentation. Everything you need is in one place. Now, the big question is: should you drink the soup first or swallow the whole thing with the dumplings? We’ll let you decide on that. Make sure to order this great dish.
11. Twice Cooked Pork (5/5 NOMs)
Twice Cooked Pork is a popular, traditional dish in the Sichuan Province of China. It’s often enjoyed as a main dish on holidays. The preparation of this dish is in its name. Like the name says, the pork is cooked twice. First boiled and then stir-fried with vegetables and several sauces. Of course, the pork is the star of this dish, and Q by Peter Chang does not disappoint. It was spicy, just like the dish is supposed to be prepared in its homeland. Our partner in crime nomster is from the Sichuan province in China, where the dish originated, so we’ve had this dish as a home cook meal many times. Right from the sauce! So the fact that he liked this dish very much means a lot.
12. Crispy Diced Beef (4/5 NOMs)
Now, this dish definitely has some kick to it, and if you’re not prepared, those red peppers will make your forehead sweat and your mouth taste spicy for a while. It’s all worth it, however, if you’re in a quest to find a great hot dish. Of course, a great way to balance this out is with some white or brown rice. The beef is crispy and goes so well with all the vegetables.
13. Scallion Juice Branzino Filet (3/5 NOMs)
What in the world did we order? Well, it’s another unique dish. A Fish Fillet with veggies served in a metal bowl full of soup and heated by fire, right on your table. Now, this makes for a more fun experience. Even with the nice presentation, however, it still left us wanting some more flavor. According to our Chinese friends, the dish is supposed to be more on the bland side.
14. Vegetable Lion Head (3/5 NOMs)
Chefs at Q by Peter Chang sure loves making a splash with a fun presentation. Are we about to eat real lion heads? No, but the dish is named for the fact that it resembles a Chinese guardian lion. Normally it’s a meatball stewed or steamed with cabbage, but in this case, it’s a vegetable. While the dish is interesting, we didn’t find it to have a lot of flavors. It felt like it needed something to give it more of a kick.
15. Peking Duck (6/5 NOMs)
You can’t go to Q by Peter Chang and not order their famous and one of the best in town— Peking Duck! While several different sizes are available, you should go for the entire duck. Trust us; it’s so good that half will only leave you craving more. Everything about this dish is excellent, from the thin slices of meat to the crispy skin to the thin pancake rolls. It comes served with several sauces that are all must-tries. In case you are not familiar, let us explain how to eat this dish properly:
You will want to get a thin pancake roll and place a few slices of duck meat and skin inside. Then add few cucumbers, spring onions, and the delicious sweet bean sauce. The flavors are just so amazing that we couldn’t get enough. Even when fully stuffed, we kept on eating. We are yet to find a restaurant whose Peking duck comes even close to this dish, so make sure to order it and leave enough space in your stomach for the star of the meal.
16. Wuhan Sesame Noodle (5/5 NOMs)
We love our noodles (and really, who doesn’t?) It’s one of those dishes that everyone can enjoy, and the Wuhan Sesame Noodles dish is no exception. This popular street breakfast is elevated to a whole new level at Q by Peter Chang. What makes Wuhan’s hot and dry noodles different is the preparation style, where the chef cooks them twice with sesame oil in boiling water. Noodles are swirled and served dry after being drained, then briefly dipped into boiling water. It takes many steps to achieve such a great nom nom flavor. Then the noodles are topped with very soft and juicy glistering beef and onions and other veggies.
17. Pork Belly Stew (3/5 NOMs)
Pork Belly Stew is one of those great dishes that combine the meatiness with veggie goodness. Vary veggies are cooked together with big slices of pork belly in a delicious broth. Unlike other dishes at Q, the stew has a lower flavor profile without a single ingredient overpowering another. We just fell in love with how the dish is served, too. It comes in a big wok with a fire underneath to continue simmering all the ingredients together. If you enjoy a hot meal, then this dish will keep you snuggly warm.
18. Creamy Egg Yolk Bun (3/5 NOMs)
Creamy Egg Yolk is a staple of most Dim Sum places. Q delivers on their part and serves up some good quality dessert buns. Are we blown away? No, but we are not disappointed either. It’s a great way to add a sweet end to your nomnom experience.
19. Jubilee Ice Cream (4/5 NOMs)
After so much food, you really need to end the nomnoms with something light and sweet like Q’s assorted ice creams.
We have some very exciting news: Q by Peter Chang now delivers their tasty nom noms right to your door. There is no excuse to not enjoy one of the best restaurants in the area. Order up at Grubhub, Caviar, Uber Eats, and Doordash. The delivery area and fees may vary by service. Happy noming.