Chef Liu recently opened his fifth restaurant in the DC area, Asian Origin in Tysons Corner. The other restaurants in his empire are Hong Kong Palace in Falls Church; Uncle Liu’s Hot Pot in Merrifield; China Jade in Rockville; and Cafe Hong Kong Bistro in Germantown. Asian Origin is the chef’s most ambitious yet. For that reason, he has labeled it his “flagship.” Here, he has created a showcase for the range and depth of dishes he has perfected over his more than three decades in the kitchen, both in his native Chengdu and in America. In addition to representing the traditional flavors of Szechuan province, you will find him preparing Cantonese, Shanghainese, and even Mandarin dishes, too. The menu is just as versatile. It includes many elegant and delicate creations, such as you would find at a grand banquet for a head of state, but it also was important to the chef to pay honor to the street food that he loves. For this reason he developed a special “trolley cart” menu with handcut noodle bowls, dumplings, and bao. (When you enter the restaurant, you are rewarded with the sight of his dumpling chef, preparing the dough from scratch!) “From scratch” is an important concept to chef Liu. This is why he cuts all his noodles. This is why he brought a chef in who only makes dumplings. This is why all his sauces are made fresh every day.

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Photography by Kang Hu