First Look: Ten Tigers Parlour

By Rina Rapuano  |  December 13, 2016
Credit: Lacey Johnson

The gist: Housed in the former Chez Billy location, Ten Tigers Parlour from Ian and Eric Hilton — along with partners Scott Herman and chef Tim Ma — opened in Petworth over the weekend. The new pan-Asian restaurant will serve as a teahouse with WiFi by day and a gathering place for those who crave dumplings, noodles and rice bowls by night. The owners sound keen on keeping it more “accessible” pricewise than its predecessor (which they also ran), signaling their hope for the space to welcome teleworkers, cocktail fiends and families alike.  

The food: Chef Tim Ma of  Kyirisan, Water & Wall and Chase the Submarine has crafted a menu of crowd-pleasers inspired by dishes he remembers from his childhood. He says many were taken almost directly — but “with finishes that are more my style” — from the playbook of his uncle, a renowned cook who ran a popular New York eatery in the ’80s. Others were traditions from his own home: “Potstickers were always a big thing, with the family making them on weekends,” he says. He imported his chef de cuisine from Kyirisan in Shaw to execute his selection of “super-approachable” bao xi, pan-fried dumplings, ramen, donburi and — perhaps most exciting — soup dumplings, which are notoriously difficult to find in this area. Kyirisan pastry chef Mollie Bird provides such daytime treats as egg tarts and sesame balls to pair with French press and Vietnamese coffee, plus specialty teas, including boba tea and Thai iced tea. Cocktails ($10) include an alluring Mekhong Manhattan made with sweet vermouth, honey and Angostura bitters and garnished with an orange peel.

The space: The first floor features a long bar with a cozy, partially enclosed lounge toward the back. A second, brighter room sits behind the bar, outfitted with decorous white benches and distressed walls displaying Asian artwork, while a Victorian-style upstairs room holds another bar and more lounge seating in front of three windows. Still, with 3,200 square feet spread among two floors, this spot has space to spare — literally. There’s an additional upstairs area that the partners are trying to figure out what to do with, brainstorming uses that would best suit the community. That could include parties, yoga, dance classes or story time for the kids. When the weather warms back up, a 24-seat patio will open up too.

The details: 3813 Georgia Ave. NW; 202-506-2080. Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11 AM–9 PM Sunday–Thursday and 11 AM–10  PM Friday and Saturday. The bar stays open until 2 AM Thursdays and until 3 AM Friday–Saturday.

Photos by Lacey Johnson

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