Kyirisan: A Tasty Twist
By Nicole L. Gill, CouncilMag.com
With two restaurants in Virginia under their belt, Chef Tim Ma and his wife, Joey, opened their first Washington, D.C.-based restaurant – Kyirisan – in the Shaw neighborhood. “D.C. was always the target,” said Ma.
“D.C. is by far one of the most international cities in the country and it’s great to be able to have a restaurant that is enjoyed by such a large range of guests,” Ma said.
Kyirisan (pronounced kir-EE-sahn), which opened in March 2016, combined two culinary traditions that aren’t usually paired together – Chinese and French.
After opening Water & Wall, which had an American menu, and sub shop, Submarine, it was important for Ma to honor his Chinese heritage – and that started with the Shaw restaurant’s name.
“Kyirisan is derived by Kun (our kids' generation name), and then our three children (yi, er, san) is one, two, three in Chinese,” said Ma.
Ma said he wants to know more about his heritage since he didn’t really explore it early in his life.
“I was born and raised in America. And what’s the first way you are typically introduced to a culture or a family’s story? Through their food.
“It’s been fun putting a modern touch to Chinese food. Using techniques and methods that are often not explored in Chinese cuisine has been an interesting journey so far,” he said.
Ma’s scallops with coconut risotto and Thai basil ice cream typify that combination.
“You never see risotto in Asian cuisine, so I thought this would be a risk worth taking,” Ma said. “You also NEVER see risotto with ice cream. … Our technique is very definitively French in the risotto, but our cooking ingredients are never heard of in French cuisine: coconut flake, coconut milk. It sounds weird; it looks weird; it tastes delicious.”
Kyirisan, whose name is derived from Chef Tim Ma's children, is located in the northern part of D.C.'s Shaw District.
Photos by Amber Frederiksen
Ma isn’t stopping with one D.C. restaurant. Another one is on the way within Eaton Workshop, a new global hotel brand, he said.
1924 8th St., NW, Suite 140 Washington, DC
Saturday & Sunday: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Sunday: 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Monday – Saturday: 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.