Just off I-270 on Middlebrook Road, New Village delivers big, round Cantonese flavors with a strange half-techno, half-dilapidated vibe. Vacillating mood lights notwithstanding, there are plenty of highlights on the menu to bring you back to try out this kitchen’s surprising aptitude.
Feeble attempts at gardening greet you in front of the restaurant, and inside there’s a mishmash of tables and chairs, obviously cobbled together over the years. A further glance reveals crispy-skinned ducks and other roasts hanging behind plastic, their skin bright and caramel-colored. The rest of the back kitchen is also behind plastic.
Questions about the design and lighting soon yield to questions about which of the many dishes to try. To start, pick any of the soups for two (which actually are more than generous for three). The chicken and corn soup is a comforting and thicker Chinese version of chicken soup, and the seafood tripe soup features a wonderful assortment of fresh seafood in a mild broth, along with chewy and meaty braised tripe.
If you’re adventurous, I suggest the lotus root and fungus dish. Bright colors of white lotus, orange carrots and assorted brown mushrooms are stir-fried briefly to maintain crunch, and all the vegetables are barely enrobed in a sheer sauce. The Beef and Turnips Clay Pot is abundant and ripe with star anise. The Sichuan green beans dazzle with hints of pickled peppers, and the yu choy Chinese cabbage is portioned to be tomorrow’s lunch as well as tonight’s dinner.
The roasted crispy pork is slow-cooked to render the meat and leave a crispy bit of uber-flavorful skin on every bite, and the roast duck is as delicious as it looks hanging out behind the plastic, waiting for the chef to chop it up for you.
New Village features a limited list of beer and wine.
11540-11542 Middlebrook Road, Germantown; 301-540-8838, newvillagegermantown.com