The former hole-in-the-wall Full Kee takes credit cards now, and the big-ass wall menus that used to list specials only in Chinese characters now are translated into English (although duck stuffed with shrimp paste probably sounds better in another language-however, it's rich taste transcends language barriers); and the Hong Kong-style Noodles and Shrimp Dumplings seemed to have a different, less light and mouth-watering dumpling, perhaps mistakenly changed for downtown diners' palates; and the soy chicken was juicy but kind of fatty.
Stars were the chive flowers sauteed with garlic-crunchy and very oniony, with the garlic overtones of the chives brought out by the sliced, stir-fried garlic cloves (duh). And of course the sauteed duck blood with ginger and scallions, a homey dish that will remind you of mom's cooking (someone's mom, probably not your own), in that it has a smooth, almost foie-like texture and taste, but it's singularity is of blood, not liver, although if liver were...well maybe I already said it. Mom's liver but it tastes sweet and mousse-like, with a lot of crunchy scallions, onions, and ginger.
A classic preparation, in a joint that used to be (and for all I know still is) frequented late-night by the top chefs in DC-including the late Jean-Louis Palladin, who once remarked that the pig's knuckle at Full Kee was as delicate and rich as any french charcuterie he had ever tasted. They also do an amazing pig's skin & turnips, marinated pig's intestine, and the all-time favorite, Marinated "Assortments". Parts so evil that their names must remain unspoken. I think of the chefs that used to haunt this place, and I hope that the owners of Full Kee will continue to keep up the standards they've established over their more than twenty years. Because, let's face it, under the skin, we all have the blood in common. Shout-out to waitress Kyu. Kyu!
Hong Kong Style Shrimp Dumplings and Noodle Soup
Chive Flowers Sauteed in Garlic
Half a Soy Chicken (Us-That looks like a lot-is that a half? Kyu-It was a big chicken.)
The blood from a duck...made into glorious food for humans. Thank you.