ShopHouse generously sent me a couple of gift cards to try out their restaurant while I was in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, it took me all week to get there, but yesterday my husband and I were able to finally make time and headed over to Chinatown via the Metro for dinner to try out their bowls.
The ShopHouse really intrigued me because 1. EVERYTHING they prepare in their shop is gluten, wheat, and dairy-free! 2. It is a sister restaurant to Chipotle – and who doesn’t love Chipotle?! 3. The menu is inspired by traditional ingredients, flavors and cooking styles of Southeast Asian restaurants. And everyone knows I have a love affair with Asian inspired food! And 4. Their meats are Responsibly Raised®! So yeah, for all those reasons I really wanted to try out their restaurant!
Since I had never eaten there before the gentleman behind the counter at the Chinatown restaurant were very happy to accommodate my questions and even let me try out the sauces to see what I would like best. They were patient and extremely helpful and not only with me, but with other customers as well. That is A+ in my book for customer service!
The way ShopHouse works: patrons customize their meal by building a rice or noodle bowl topped with spicy sauces, wok-grilled meats or tofu, and covered with herbs and vegetables.
I chose to build my own instead of going with their per-made choices. I asked for Chilled Rice Noodles topped with Grilled Steak Laab, and a little of each of their sautéed Kale, Charred Corn, Eggplant & Thai Basil and their Green Beans.
Next I wanted to pick just the right sauce so I asked to try their Green Curry and Spicy Red Curry to see which one I’d like best. While the Spicy Red Curry was VERY spicy and had a tremendously wonderful flavor, I went with the Green Curry which had a lot less kick in heat even though it was still spicy. My thinking was I wanted to taste all the fragrant flavors of every bite for my meal and what better way then by taking it down a notch.
Next I topped my concoction by adding a garnish of their Pickled Vegetables (made of Daikon, carrot, and cucumber in a tart and tangy Singaporean-style brine) as well as having them add the Herb Salad (which consisted of fresh cilantro and Thai basil) to my bowl.
From there I had them finish my bowl by topping it off with Crushed Peanuts.
It looked and smelled wonderful and I really couldn’t wait to merge all the beauty in my bowl into one.
Once it was mixed together — just one bite threw me into taste-bud heaven. The heat from the veggies and sauce were a perfect blend and it wasn’t overpowering at all!
I love cold Asian food and while the Chilled Rice Noodles weren’t really refrigerator cold, they weren’t steaming hot either. Nevertheless, I really thought the noodles’ coolness paired well with the spicy flavors of the vegetables and curry.
The Grilled Steak Laab had a nice charred crisp to it that the curry sauce softened a bit to give you a full-bodied flavor. And the vegetables were just fresh and wonderful.
The ShopHouse keeps expanding because, well, the food is that good… Right now they have 11 going on 12 locations – four in the D.C. area, three locations in Maryland and three with one opening soon in Southern California. So if you are in any of these areas you definitely should try this surprisingly wonderful, Asian inspired, palate pleasing restaurant out by clicking on to their location finder.
If you want to check out the restaurant I visited go to:
Washington D.C. – Chinatown District
710 7th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Open daily 11am–10pm
*** Disclaimer: I received 2 free food bowls from ShopHouse. I am not required to write a positive review and all opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”