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Dinner at TenPenh


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My wife and I are off to dinner Saturday night at TenPenh. Has anyone been there recently and have any dishes to avoid or must have? Afterwards I thought we would wander over to the Hotel Washington for after dinner drinks overlooking the city. Any other ideas for after dinner entertainment that is close to Penn Ave (a jazz club would be best).

Thanks and will report how our dinner was.

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  • 5 months later...

Dunno - I've only been once, but it was certainly worth a return visit. They had one of the most amazing carnivore-fest dishes I've ever seen - NY strip crusted with applewood bacon - that was just as good as it sounds, assuming you like meat. And the Asian-style dishes were good as well - the Thai red curry shrimp was as good as any I've had in a traditional Thai place.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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I have loved it, but only eaten there once because it gets pricey in a hurry. The food isn't all that expensive, but their drinks, if I recall correctly, start at $8 and go up fast. One is never enough...

They had a great lamb dish...and the trio of creme brulees was incredible (especially the kona coffee version).

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  • 1 month later...
the trio of creme brulees was incredible (especially the kona coffee version).

I would have to agree that this is truly a masterpiece. It was so simple, yet so perfect. I have found that in a nice restaurant, you really can't go wrong with creme brulee, but this was definately one of the best! I remember the coffee and the key lime flavors, but I can't remember the third. Perhaps Jenny can help me out here.

(Sitting for lamb chops)

Lamb: Ple-e-e-se Li-i-i-sa I thought you lo-o-o-oved me, lo-o-o-oved me

Marge: Whats Wrong Lisa? Cant get enough lamb chops?

Lisa: I can't eat this, I can't eat a poor little lamb.

Homer: Lisa get a hold yourself, that is lamb, not A lamb.

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the trio of creme brulees was incredible (especially the kona coffee version).

I would have to agree that this is truly a masterpiece. It was so simple, yet so perfect. I have found that in a nice restaurant, you really can't go wrong with creme brulee, but this was definately one of the best! I remember the coffee and the key lime flavors, but I can't remember the third. Perhaps Jenny can help me out here.

I believe the third is lemongrass.

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I believe the third is lemongrass.

I just looked at the menu online and it says that it is coffee, lemongrass & ginger-vanilla. This must've changed recently because the time that I was there (maybe 18 months ago), it was coffee, key lime and possibly ginger-vanilla.

(Sitting for lamb chops)

Lamb: Ple-e-e-se Li-i-i-sa I thought you lo-o-o-oved me, lo-o-o-oved me

Marge: Whats Wrong Lisa? Cant get enough lamb chops?

Lisa: I can't eat this, I can't eat a poor little lamb.

Homer: Lisa get a hold yourself, that is lamb, not A lamb.

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  • 10 months later...

Just got back from an early Valentine's dinner at Ten Penh. This was the 3rd time we've eaten there in the past year & I'm wondering if it's going a little....downhill? I dunno, but this was definitely the least exciting meal of the three.

The atmosphere is as kitchy-Hong Kong-kool as ever, but I'm getting a little tired of sitting at that banquette next to the kitchen entrance. Those benches must have been designed with the larger/taller diner in mind, 'cause for a medium height thin woman they are aggravatingly uncomfortable! Way too much height between the banquette seat and the tabletop. The addition of a pillow requested halfway through the meal helped, but I still don't like to feel like a kid at the grown-ups table when I'm out on a date with my husband.

For dinner, we had:

Thai Chicken Coconut Mushroom Soup

A very standard prepartion of a very standard...well, standard. Nice balance of lemongrass tartness with coconut sweetness, and the presentation is fun, inside a hollowed out coconut husk.

Peking Style Duck Rolls in Moo-Shoo Wrappers w/ Hoisin

This was one of those dishes I remember being wowed at in the past that didn't seem 100% on this time. The flavor was nice but the hoisin completely dominated the duck when I dipped the roll in it. Also the duck was a bit chewy and the mooshoo wrappers were very leathery which made them hard to cut through.

Salmon with...a lot of stuff on top (the online menu is not up-to-date) on a bed of Shrimp Rissotto

Good salmon that got overpowered with WAY too many condiments and a heavy hand with the sugar. There was some bright green sauce, something that seemed like crystallized shredded tangy something (citrus? lemongrass?), and then some shredded red strips. All of this on a bed of shrimp rissotto in a pool of hot pink sauce. I was surprised at how sweet this dish was, and by the time I finished felt like I'd already eaten dessert!

Special - Sake Marinated MahiMahi on Oyster Mushrooms with Beets

My husband got the special; this had the opposite "problem" of my salmon -- everything besides the fish was really yummy, but the fish itself was a little dry & bland, especially surprising considering it was marinated.

Trio of Creme Brulee - Lemongrass, Coffee, Ginger Vanilla

This, thankfully, was just as amazing as remembered.

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake with Vanilla IceCream

Also fabulous, clearly the desserts are still up to par.

Service was polite and timely throughout. The meal above, plus 2 glasses wine and coffee, was about $120 including tax & tip.

You know, one thing I constantly struggle with when deciding where to eat is weighing the chance to try a NEW restaurant that I've been hearing good things about, against indulging again in an old favorite that I feel confident will "deliver" on my expectations. Tonight was fun as a special occassion, but I'm left feeling a bit disappointed that a place I thought was a no-brainer failed to live up to previous experiences.

Edited by EllenH (log)

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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Their chinese smoked lobster is also great, with those crispy greens that quite literally melt in your mouth...

I've been to Tunksville three times, once each at TenPenh, DC Coast and Ceiba. But this smoked lobster dish over crispy greens is one that I had at DC Coast, not TenPenh. What's that all about? The same dish at a different branch? It was quite tasty, I should add, but it just seems mighty strange to be serving the same dish at two different restaurants that are supposed to be different, no?

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Four words:

Warm Coconut Dusted Donuts

and three more:

with Coconut Caramel Pudding

I have enjoyed all of the meals I have had a TenPenh, but I keep going back for the donuts. I've considered ordering them as my main course AND dessert (but haven't... yet)

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I think the lobster dish is sort of a Jeff Tunks signature and was an original from DC Coast's menu. Ceiba also has a rendition with spiny lobster and crispy callaloo standing in for the spinach.

Desserts have always been what impressed me most at TenPenh, and I have to agree with clayrae on those doughnuts!

Amanda

Metrocurean, a D.C. restaurant and food blog

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