When they first opened up (8-10 years ago?) they were famous for their delicious north-china style beef noodle soup (紅燒牛肉麵) and pan fried beef dumplings (牛肉鍋貼). They were without a doubt, the best in the area in these dishes. I have to admit though, either they changed the recipe over the years or got a different chef, these 2 dishes are not as good as they used to be back in the days. They are still descent, but missing the sparkle nowadays.
What I love about A&J is the abundance of little dishes that you can order. My favorite are the two dishes we ordered below, they're usually pretty reasonably priced at under $5 each.
|bean curd & peanuts (香菜干絲)|
|spicy sliced pig ears (麻辣耳絲)|
I ordered the hot and sour noodles, which has been my favorite for a while now. It's simply hand made noodles (are they still hand made at A&J?) cooked and tossed with this special garlic hot and sour sauce. It's the best! Make sure you don't get it on a date though or you'll need a whole pack of gum afterwards....
|hot and sour noodles (酸辣麵)|
He ordered the beef noodle soup. This was pretty good except we really miss the old flavor A&J had when they first opened up. If you're the owner of A&J and you're reading this, please let us know if you can bring that flavor back!!
|beef noodle soup (紅燒牛肉麵)|
Oh, just a side note. You can pick thick noodles or thin noodles when you place noodle orders. The thick noodles are definitely hand-made noodles, I'm not so sure about the thin noodles. We both ordered thin noodles on our dishes, but it's a personal preference....
I also ordered a side soup called shredded pork with pickled cabbage soup. He often orders this noodle soup dish when we visit, it's also quit good there.
|shredded pork with pickled cabbage soup (榨菜肉絲湯)|
Last but not least, we also ordered the pan fried turnip cake (蘿蔔絲餅). This came out piping hot and very flavorful. The crust flaky and bit crunchy, pure yumminess.
|pan fried turnip cake (蘿蔔絲餅)|
Of course I'll go back to this restaurant again, we usually visit every other week or so. Just keep in mind, the restaurant is cash only, so make sure you bring enough green!
FoodiePop's rating: 4.2/5
A&J Restaurant 半畝園
1319 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852