Tucked away in Blagden Alley is an entrance to the vibrant street markets of Hong Kong. Tiger Fork is one of our favorite spots for late night Asian food and sexy cocktails. We enjoyed our last visit there for brunch and were excited to try the newly revamped brunch menu.
Dim sum is the ultimate brunch native to many Chinese sub cultures. Although a dim sum brunch isn’t what we typically go for, we are accepting of all brunches. To keep things authentic, we wanted to get a mix of traditional dim sum beverages along with some fun cocktails.
We started with a Hong Kong milk tea and a blooming jasmine peach tea. We thought the milk tea was supposed to be sweeter, like a Vietnamese coffee — pre-sweetened with condensed milk, but this was a little bit too bitter and didn’t have enough milk for our tastes. We also ordered a blooming jasmine tea, which is an entire dried flower that blooms before your eyes in the hot tea water. The blooming action was beautiful to watch and a fun addition to the table.
As for cocktails, we ordered the “Bad Girl Mimi” — one of our favorite brunch cocktails in town. Prosecco, passion fruit liqueur, guava and pineapple combine for a great drink that pairs well with the salty, umami nature of this brunch.
Dim sum connotes various small plates that come out of the kitchen as soon as they are prepared. That said, we did our due diligence and ordered everything that caught our eye on the menu (which was close to everything). To start, a fresh, smashed cucumber salad with garlic, chili oil, rice vinegar, sesame, and cilantro kicked off the brunch on a high note.
The light, acidic starter revved our appetites — we were ready for some heartier plates. Rice noodle rolls were up next. The noodles were about an inch wide and lightly wrapped shrimp and pork, kind of like a noodle version of a steamed dumpling. The sauce was a sweet soy sauce that was complemented by toasted sesame. We weren’t wild about how this dish was packaged, since the meat patty slide right out of the noodle roll.
You might be disinclined to order the HK green beans, but that’d be a mistake. With chili and peanuts, this crunchy side sets the bar high for veggies.
The egg sandwich might seem like your basic egg sandwich, but this version is a street food and cafe classic made with truffle sauce. It wasn’t particularly noteworthy compared to the rest of the spread, but it was surprisingly tasty.
One of our favorite Asian brunch staples is congee, so we were delighted to see a congee cart roll up to the table. They let you customize which toppings to pile on, including scallions, chili oil, white pepper, peanuts, sesame seeds, bean sprouts and sesame oil. We recommend them all, as this hearty, filling bowl is perfect for a cold day.
One of the newer additions to the menu is the Cantonese-style roasted duck thighs. Served with house plum hoisin sauce, duck chicharron, pancake, and scallions, we couldn’t get enough. The duck was perfectly tender, the sauce so flavorful, and the simplicity of the wrapped pancake shines.
For dessert, we ordered a Matcha croissant and egg tart. The croissants are made by Caroline Yi of Sunday Morning Bakehouse, a frequent visitor to the Pike & Rose farmer’s market. The egg tart was done in the classic fashion but we were most anxious about the French toast.
We remembered the Happy Toast (it literally had a smiley face on it) from the previous brunch menu, so we were a little nervous about ordering the HK French toast. Thankfully, this dessert got a major upgrade. It’s made with peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. It’s sweet without being cloying, and we’d like to officially motion to have peanut butter used in more brunch dishes.
The Bitches say: 5 flutes. Tiger Fork’s dim sum brunch has something for everyone, from sexy cocktails to Hong Kong street food including savory and sweet highlights.
Tiger Fork serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (202) 733-1152