Late to the game but nevertheless… I wasn’t really planning on writing about BoBo — every single person in Atlanta has been to it and written about it. It’s still my favorite haunt for over two years now. I’ve been going a lot more lately especially for late night dining, and, before things get shaken up a bit once more, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what I’ve been eating here when most everyone is asleep.
BoBo’s chef is one of the most pedigreed Chinese chefs in the city. He’s been around for decades and headed the kitchen of one of the first Chinese restaurants in Atlanta. His famous work was seen at Wan Lai and after leaving there, moved to take up residence at BoBo. That’s partly why I also never wrote about this place; it’s because the food was exactly the same as Wan Lai. His signature dishes remain the same, too. I absolutely love his Crispy Fried Chicken. Garlicky, crispy, tasty. The dry-fried Beef Chow Fun is smoky with a tiny hint of sweet, it’s perfect. The Three Dumpling Soup has this amazing clean, flavorful broth that spells comfort in every single way. Of course, you cannot miss the hot casseroles. They take 20 minutes to prepare but they are so worth the wait.
What I’ve really been eating lately aren’t the mainstream dishes. This isn’t the place to get slutty Chinese. This place is where Chinese elders go to get a taste of home. Just take note that such elders eat late… like around 11PM so it’s quite common to see the place packed around this time of night. A great alternative to the popular dumpling soup is the Beef and Cilantro soup. The light broth has tender pieces of beef and specks of cilantro with the cilantro lending just a slight taste of green but not enough to overpower the soup. Love it.
Beef Intestines. Warning, not for the squeamish. Why? Because for the uninitiated there’s that teeny, tiny off-putting smell and texture. Don’t worry, they’re all erased by the fantastic taste. So savory. So tender. So delicious.
Deep-fried Sea Bass. The very light coating of corn starch right before frying gives this dish the crisp. It’s topped with julienned garlic and scallions and drizzled with sesame oil-soy sauce. A very common Chinese dish. They do it here right.
Beef with Bittermelon. Another dish not for the faint of heart. Think collard greens except way more bitter. And crunchier. There is a trick to get the bitterness out of these veggies but what’s the point, right? People want to taste the real flavor of the veggies, not dumb them down! Worry not, the flavors are so balanced, you’ll welcome the hint of bitterness in the black bean sauce. Mm, really good.
Spare ribs (read: pork) are so delicious in every which way. Yum. Yum. Yum.
So you say you miss Wan Lai? Come to Bo Bo. For the exact same food you were used to.
Bo Bo Garden
5181 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30340