Henji Cheung recently left his three-year executive sous chef stint at NYC’s legendary Metropolitan Museum of Art to try a new city on for size and open a restaurant in Columbia Heights next spring, called Queen’s English.
Cheung and his wife, Sarah, recently relocated to the neighborhood from the Big Apple and plan to open Queen’s English — which refers to Britain’s 156-year rule of Hong Kong — inside the Good Silver space, which is set to close doors next week after a short run at 3410 11th Street NW.
Cheung says the Cantonese-inspired menu will feature a modern twist, with dishes like crispy rice with fried shrimp, steam egg and caviar, naked scallop dumplings, and bamboo salad. The new owners are transforming the small watering hole into a “clean, bright, contemporary room” with custom banquettes and minimalist Asian decor, alongside Hong Kong-inspired cocktails, Cheung tells Eater.
Owners of the budget-friendly Good Silver, represented by Pulse Property Group vice president Patrick Slagle in the sales transaction, plan shift their attention to sister dive bar Ivy and Coney in Shaw and growing their new cured meat operation, Epic Curing. A “drink the bar dry” closing party is scheduled for Tuesday, October 2 with deep discounts on alcohol. Popville first reported on its imminent demise on Thursday.
Aside from its historic reference, the Queen’s English name is personally significant to the couple.
“When I was growing up in Hong Kong, I was taught the ‘Queen’s English’ — the inside joke Sarah and I have is whenever I pronounce a word incorrectly due to my Asian accent, I would joke that I was speaking the ‘Queen’s English’,” says Cheung. Queen’s English Instagram account went live this year, teasing out what to expect at the forthcoming eatery.
Cheung says cooking at Central Park’s The Met — the stunning site of Vogue’s annual glitzy and fashion-forward Met Gala — “was a wonderful experience,” and his NYC resume also includes spending time in kitchens at scene-y seafood spot Catch, once-hot (and now defunct) The Lion, as well as W Hotel in Miami, according to his LinkedIn profile.