Tysons Galleria’s Urbanspace food hall is back, and a key restaurant from its past hopes to soon follow suit.
More than two years after its initial, truncated opening, Hei Hei Tiger is being revived with a new chef to craft the roasted meat and noodle soup dishes that are the Cantonese restaurant and bar’s specialty.
“The main focus of Hei Hei Tiger is roasted meats, like barbecue meats. That’s the whole premise, so he has a lot of experience with that,” co-owner Nathan Beauchamp said of new chef Andrew Chiou, whose most recent venture was the Chinese takeout kitchen Lucky Danger in Pentagon City.
One of seven eateries that have opened in or are coming to Urbanspace, which officially relaunched on Tuesday (March 22), Hei Hei Tiger will reintroduce itself to Tysons diners by first reopening the food hall’s octagon-shaped bar with drink and snack menus.
The restaurant will then ramp up service for a full launch in June.
“Working with all these other restaurants here, once it’s full, I think it’s going to be great,” Beauchamp said.
Developed by the ownership team behind Tiger Fork in D.C., Hei Hei Tiger originally arrived in Tysons Galleria on Feb. 25, 2020, but it lasted only three weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Virginia to shut down indoor dining at all restaurants.
An attempted comeback during the 2020 winter holiday season faltered, as the decline in lunchtime office workers who previously sustained the food hall left its tenants treading water.
“We weren’t getting enough traction, so we decided just to close it,” Beauchamp told FFXnow last week.
Still, the owners remained committed to their vision of a restaurant for classic Cantonese dishes like char siu pork and roast duck served in a more casual setting than the vibe at Tiger Fork.
A friend of Beauchamp and fellow owner Greg Algie, Chiou came on board after former chef and co-owner Will Fung opted to go in a different direction.
Chiou, who came to the U.S. from Taiwan and now lives in Arlington, says “it just made sense” for him to join the Hei Hei Tiger team, given his familiarity with the cuisine and past professional experience. In addition to Lucky Danger, he ran the Japanese restaurant Momo Yakitori and has worked with the State Department.
He has spent the past few months refining Hei Hei Tiger’s new menu. One item that will definitely be on it is whole roast duck.
“I think the goal is just to help bring a lot more people to this space and then kind of promote another version of Tiger Fork,” Chiou said. “[We want to] take a step up from your standard mall food court food, while still respecting the classics of Hong Kong-style dishes.”
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