305 N Washington St,
Rockville, MD 20850
Washington DC is an eclectic city where a lot of kinds of cultures intermingle. It’s refreshing to see how many minds of ethnic food can be tried in an international city like this one. Bob’s Shanghai 66 is one of them. To be clear, that name is not one that makes you think of ethnic foods, but make no mistake, this spot offers something really great.
The good here is real Chinese food — not the Americanized stuff you often find in small town America. They are served in that traditional fashion too — smaller portions, intended for multiple people to share multiple plates among them. Some of my favorites:
- Mapo tofu: This is a particular recipe from the Sichuan area of China, a tofu cooked in a suspended chili sauce with fermented black beans. The recipe is just a bit spicy, but the beans bring it home. The tofu is a little undercooked in this take though; other times it’s cooked to be a little more firm.
- Xiaolongbao: Soup dumplings, which can be served with a mixture of Seafoods or a vegetarian take. One of a very popular variety of baozi steamed dumplings that are served with a nice ginger soy sauce. Look out for the steam, a fresh dumpling will be piping hot on the inside.
- Spicy stir fried lamb: this is a recipe of crisp lamb stir fried with cilantro and a ton of red cayenne peppers. There’s a direct heat to this one, and it’s not subtle at all. Indicative of some cuisine in China like the Hunan region which spices its food considerably. Should be kept in mind.
- Yu xiang qiezi: This is a dish of eggplant that has been braised and served in a sweet, barbecue-like sauce with scallions, peppers and veggies. Not a lot of heat to this one but it’s definitely got a more strong garlic aftertaste, which is great.
The restaurant is loved locally as a place to get some minds of food you don’t find in everyday Chinese places around America. The service is pretty good albeit with some cultural considerations necessary (You get tea automatically, but will need to ask for water, and food comes very spicy by default) and also the important point that the restaurant is cash-only, and you’ll find this place all in all a worthwhile use of your time.
It offers something that is really unique and the place is well worth a visit.
- Cash only! Though there is an ATM if you need it.
- Keep in mind the food here is cooked in much a similar way as can be found in China. Very spicy by default, and hot tea, not cold water, to drink. Good, but especially people who don’t eat a lot of spicy food should be aware.
- A lunch menu serves Chinese dishes you can’t otherwise find in most Chinese restaurants.