Brisket before cooking at Nosh Grill House in Rockville Credit: Deb Lindsey

As I enter Nosh Grill House, a Chinese barbecue restaurant that opened in Rockville Town Center in May, a Hello Kitty robot carrying trays of sliced meats and vegetables whizzes by me on its way to a table where diners, with the help of a server, will cook them on a gas-powered grill in the center of their table. Availing myself of the basic all-you-can-eat option ($29.95), I’m soon gorging on grilled pork belly, shrimp and spicy cumin chicken and making lettuce wraps with beef bulgogi and a condiment made from garlic chive flowers and jalapeños.  

Credit: Deb Lindsey

Gaithersburg resident Rebecca Wuren, 23, is the owner. The Bullis School graduate earned a degree in business administration from D.C.’s George Washington University in 2021 and decided she wanted to go into the restaurant business. She grew up in that world; her parents, Hoong “Nancy” Ren and Zhang Wei, opened East Dumpling House, the restaurant next door to Nosh, in 2013. It specializes in hand-pulled noodles and dumplings. 

Wuren and her parents thought the Nosh concept was a good way to introduce diners to barbecue from the family’s native Northern China, where it is popular. She explains that it is similar to the Korean version with which many Americans have become familiar, but with more emphasis on Chinese spices and flavors and less reliance on meat marinades. A lot of the produce used at the restaurant (zucchini, yellow squash, garlic chives, watercress, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, Chinese green beans, peppers) comes from the 6,000-square-foot garden Ren tends at her Potomac home.

Credit: Deb Lindsey

Nosh seats 90 at tables outfitted with grills and hood systems. The decor, which includes a karaoke bar (feel free to sing at any time!), is clubby: black walls, exposed ductwork, lots of mirrored disco balls and neon and a spectacular mosaic wall sculpture of a dragon made from multicolored stained glass. The menu includes a few appetizers, such as Chinese sausage and spicy cucumber salad. The basic all-you-can-eat option offers 28 choices (seven beef, five pork, four chicken, two seafood and 10 vegetarian) and comes with a variety of small cold salads (edamame, pickled daikon, Ren’s homemade kimchi, peanut-and-wasabi-pea snack mix and shredded scallions) and several dry spice mixes and sauces, including a sesame peanut garlic sauce that is a Northern Chinese specialty. Stainless steel compartments around the grill hold vegetables (sliced yellow squash, zucchini and mushrooms) and corn with gooey melted cheese. Another all-you-can-eat option ($36.95) includes all the basic items plus several premium proteins, such as beef ribeye and tiger prawns, but you can also order grill items a la carte. Nosh offers a full bar with cocktails, boba drinks, sake, soju, beer, wine and Chinese sodas. 

Nosh Grill House, 12 N. Washington St., Rockville; 301-296-6228;

David Hagedorn writes about dining and restaurants. He lives in Washington, D.C. 


This story appears in the September/October issue of Bethesda Magazine.