Ching Ching Cha | Chinese Restaurant | Tea | Washington DC | United States Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Ching Ching Cha Heart
Restaurants and bars
Washington DC
Open: Daily 11.00am - 9.00pm
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +1 202 333 8288
Address: 1063 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington DC, District of Columbia, 20007
Country: United States
Food Style: Chinese

Ching Ching Cha is a delightful oasis in a busy part of Georgetown, Washington DC. Even though you can hear the planes taking off from the nearby airport you can imagine that you are in a tranquil haven as you sip your tea and snack on some delightful food. We first visited this delightful establishment soon after they opened in 1998.
As you walk through the restaurant entrance you can feel the 'calm' descending. You are transported to a state where you want to relax and forget about how much work there is on your desk.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that it is also very, very reasonably priced. You are offered miso soup then a selection of three of the five vegetable dishes on offer. On the day we visited there was celery with a mustard miso dressing, soy bean sprouts with a sesame dressing, nappa with ginger soy, leek flowers with a garlic and pepper sauce (which we both decided was one of the nicest vegetable dishes we had tried this year) and green beans with a tofu dressing. For the main dish we chose shredded chicken with scallions and a sweet soy sauce dressing and tofu steamed with a terryaki sauce. We also tried both of the tea house snacks which were 'tea eggs' which had been cooked with star anise, peppercorns, soy sauce and tea leaves and a second dish of five spices peanuts. We are amazed that in 2012 these tea eggs still only cost $US1.50.
You can come here for the food or you can come here to drink tea or you can come for both. We decided that the surroundings were so congenial that we would try both. We were delighted to find that Ching Ching Cha offers both a 10 year old and a 20 year old Pu erh tea. If you are one of those who think that Chinese tea is a watery concoction with leaves of jasmine floating around in it, then think again. The wonderfully strong, oily Pu erh is one of the most beautifully flavoured teas that you can drink. We tried both vintages to compare them - but we knew what the result would be before we started. The wonderfully pungent 20 year old had a depth of flavour that its younger rival could not match.
We recommend that if you have not experienced a tea drinking ceremony before that you pay a visit to this delightful and relaxing venue to try one of the 33 different varieties.
Our review is now quite dated having been written in the late 1990s but we are delighted to see that the restaurant is still operating in 2012 and offering similar dishes and tea to those we experienced all those years ago!.
     - Independent commentary on the Web since 1996

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