Destination Washington DC: Jackey Cafe in Chinatown

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While in Washington DC, I decided to make a trip to Chinatown. Wow, I was completely intrigued. This Chinatown is so different from the New York City one. This Chinatown is so clean and modernized. Unlike the New York City Chinatown, there’s no smell of fish and there’s no unidentifiable liquids leaking on the floors. There’s no loud street vendors or people trying to sell you fake purses or bootleg DVDs. To my surprise, I found a Regals movie theater there and also a Washington Sports Club. There were tons of big name restaurants like Legals Seafood, Fuddruckers, and much more. There was even a Hooters!!!

One of the tourist attractions here is this Friendship Arch, which is this traditional Chinese brick gate archway that hovers over the road.

Well, it was about lunch time and I wanted to go try out some local Chinese food joint. I came across a Wok n Roll Chinese and Japanese restaurant. This place was pretty cool. According to the sign at the door, it was once the boarding house were the conspirators of the Abraham Lincoln assassination met at.

I also came across Chinatown Express. It attracted my attention because through the window, you can see them making noodles and such. There were also tons of signs and posters advertising their popularity by local magazines.

I ended up eating lunch at Jackey Cafe, serving mostly Cantonese cuisine I believe. It seemed like a random place to choose, but I had a random craving for some Chinese Congee and I happily found it listed in their menu.

I ordered a fillet fish with preserved egg congee with a side of youtiao.

Youtiao are these strips of fried dough which complements the congee perfectly. They are crispy on the outside, and soft in the inside. They are lightly salted. I like to rip them into bit size chunks and soak them in the congee.

Fillet fish with preserved egg is my favorite kind of congee. You may wonder what preserved eggs are. Well, they are also known as the century egg, the hundred year egg, the thousand year egg,… I think you get the point. It’s pretty much a preserved duck egg. Usually it’s preserved for about 100 days. After it’s preserved, the egg yolk turns greenish and the egg white turns black. To me, the greenish center has an interesting flavor and has about the same consistency as cream cheese. The outside layer tastes like flavorless jello. It does release a strong odor, but it’s not a bothersome odor.

I have never ate preserved egg other than in congee. There’s usually only a handful of slices, possibly equivalent to about one egg. It’s often served in congee with either fillet fish or sliced lean pork. I’m not sure about the nutrition value of these preserved eggs though. I wouldn’t recommend frequent or large consumptions of these preserved eggs.

Well, I was very satisfied eating my congee at Jackey Cafe. The staff was very friendly. Once seated, they brought over the hot tea and gave me some recommendations of dishes from their menu. I already had my mind set on the congee before walking in, but it was nice to hear about the Cantonese style dishes they offered. My meal was very filling and the bill came out to about $8.00. They do offer lunch specials, but I fear that they would taste like dishes from those Americanized Chinese takeout places. I would be curious to try out their selection of Cantonese dishes though. Jackey Cafe opened until 3am or something like that. It appears to be a late night cheap food joint. There’s two levels to the restaurant. During the day, they serve lunch in the lower level, which was where I ate. It’s a small seating area with a large LCD television on the wall and a bar in the back.

Jackey Cafe on Urbanspoon

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