Valentine’s dinner at Farrah Olivia

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How was your Valentine’s Day? Mine was delicious!

Crystal City in Arlington has quite a few dinner options and I’ve been dying to check out this place called Farrah Olivia. It is run by Chef Morou. Farrah Olivia is actually in the restaurant called “Kora.” That’s right. A restaurant in a restaurant. That was where our v-day dinner took place.

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Bread is served with 4 types of spreads: apple chutney, ricotta cheese with radish, bok choy pesto and cheese with chili! (Bok choy pesto was my favorite.)

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Amuse. Raw oyster with chopped peppers and gelatin pepper bubbles! I saw how they made these on tv one day and today finally got to taste them! I wouldn’t mind just a raw oyster itself but it’s so fun with those peppery bubbles!

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Pan-seared scallops. The seaweed used for garnish had really good taste. I wasn’t too crazy about the candied lemons in the sauce but the scallops were perfectly cooked. (Often, it is so easy to overcook them. Who likes rubbery scallops?! :()

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Seared mahi in Japanese style broth over puréed cauliflower. Shiitake mushrooms were just delightful!

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Duck cooked rare. Ginger Brussels sprouts, flan, Ivorian mole! So many different flavors were nicely plated! 🙂

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Basically, when you walk into a restaurant, they take you to a small, private room. Thats Farrah Olivia. It could fit 10-15 tables. Overall, the food was good. However, I guess my expectations were too high. It is not an “upscale” restaurant by any means. The servers were a little too busy and distracted. They were rushed to get your orders in and clean your table. They stack up the dishes in front of you when you are done. Not that it’s wrong but, it being so private and “exclusive,” I was expecting more than just good food. 😉

What was your v-day dinner? I don’t think it really matters whether you went out to a nice restaurant or cooked pasta at home. As long as we have good company, it’s happy Valentine’s!

[Restaurant Review] Peking Gourmet Inn – The Best Chinese Restaurant!

▣ Location: 6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041

▣ Tel: 703-671-8088

▣ Chinese (Dine-in / Take-out)

▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★★☆ (as of December 2, 2012) – Click for more info!

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What is this heavenly-looking dish? This is their signature duck dish at Peking Gourmet Inn! I gotta say, this is by far the best Chinese restaurant in town! It’s not like your lazy night delivery Moo Goo Gai Pan from some Chinese restaurant in your neighborhood that you’ve never seen in person. You go there, sit down and be served with their great service and phenomenal food!

Peking Gourmet_ServingWe ordered 6 different dishes, which were all excellent but I have to write about their duck! When you order their duck, which is probably enough for two “well-I-can-eat” people, this chef comes out with the whole duck that’s perfectly roasted. It is called Peking (Beijing) Duck. When I went to China, sure enough, I went to eat this awesome dish, for this is considered their “national” dish. And at this place, I was pleasantly surprised! Their duck was way better than the one that I had in Beijing, China!

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I am sorry but if you get freaked out by seeing the whole bird getting prepared in front of you or just by thinking of eating duck skin, forget about this dish. However, you food lovers, my love, please go to this place and get the whole (literally) experience. 😉 He skillfully carves out the duck right at the table without even saying a word! Right after that, your server comes along and explains how to eat the duck, which requires some “work” on your end! FUN!

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Traditionally, peking duck is carved and served with some condiments. Once the chef is done, it’s all on you. Get one of the steamed pancakes, put the sauce (usually hoisin or plum), sprinkle those green onions and place carved duck meat on top! Don’t forget the skin! I keep saying this but THAT’S THE BEST PART! Roll it nicely and all you have to do is stuff your face. 🙂 It sounds like a little more work than getting served at Outback Steakhouse but you know what? It’s worth every single napkin you get dirty! Bring the whole family and friends. Sit at their round table with the spinning center and go to town!