Photos By Armando Gallardo, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
Best For: Groups. It’s perfect for groups.
Go with a group. This place is perfect for groups that enjoy meat and loud conversation. It’s very good for groups that are vegetarian. It’s questionable for groups that are vegan. It’s horrible for people that crave silence. This is not a quiet restaurant. But who wants a quiet restaurant? Home is a quiet restaurant.
You need to know about Tiger Fork if you want to eat at Tiger Fork. This seems like an odd sentence but it’s all about location. Next to La Colombe in Blagden Alley, the restaurant has no sign and no foot traffic. Even if you’re headed to the incredibly popular Columbia Room, you may not realize the restaurant you’re looking at is a restaurant.
So when we went early on a Wednesday evening we were surprised to find a full restaurant.
Tiger Fork comes from Greg Algie and Nathan Beauchamp of The Fainting Goat. The menu is nothing like The Fainting Goat. Tiger Fork specializes in Hong Kong inspired dishes. Executive Chef Irvin Van Oordt is serving food that should be shared.
Are we stressing it enough? Bring friends. This is a fantastic communal dining experience. The menu is best when sampled. I would be disappointed if I only ordered the BBQ Plate. Because I was with a few other diners, I was able to sample the Chinese Cauliflower, Beef Chow Foon and more and nothing was too much.
The highlights of the menu are the Cheung Fun (a very pretty dish with shrimp and flowering chives), the Chinese Cauliflower (tastes more like broccolini than cauliflower) and the Crispy Sour Potatoes (potatoes done two ways, fried and pickled, possibly the best thing to order at the bar). The Crispy Whole Dourade is great if you’re not afraid of picked bones out of your teeth (I do not mind picking bones out of my teeth). The Pork Ribs are delicious by a little too expensive considering the serving size. The Bubble Waffle Matcha Ice Cream is a fun way to end a meal but too much food for two people. Which reminds us, you should go with a group.
Most everything Tiger Fork is doing is working. The menu is ambitious but not over the top. Most of the flavors are familiar but have an interesting take (we especially loved the sauces on the BBQ Plate). The variety is working and the potential for a dim sum menu will make this place even more popular.
Shaw, specifically Bladgen Alley and restaurants across the street, is in peak restaurant bloom. It’s possible to spend an entire day eating and drinking on a one block radius without having a bad dish or cocktail. Start the day with coffee at La Colombe, go to the other side of 9th and eat lunch at Smoked & Stacked, cross the street to Espita Mezcaleria for happy hour, eat dinner at Tiger Fork and end the night with drinks at Columbia Room. You won’t need to go far. It’s probably less than 1,000 steps to visit all five locations. Love it or hate it, Shaw is a dining destination for good reason. Tiger Fork fits right in.
Tiger Fork is located at 922 N Street (Rear) NW, Washington DC 20001 (if you’re taking a Lyft or Uber, do not drop your pin at the restaurant, walk to the end of the block for everyone’s sake), open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. They accept reservations for parties of 6 or more.