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Entries Tagged as 'Chinese Cuisine'

Liu Fu

Liu Fu (Johns Creek)

Before Liu Fu, there was China Inn in Chamblee. It was an institution and was around longer than I have been alive. For 30 years, it made a foothold in Atlanta offering Americanized Sichuan food. Until one day, they decided to close shop, open a posher digs, and go fine dining: fancier look and fancier prices.

Like most Chinese restaurants, there are two menus here. The readily available Americanized, English one, and the “secret” Chinese one where you have to either know how to read Chinese or bring someone who does. The servers aren’t really good with translations and most times, they are harried or just don’t have time to explain intensive offerings. Don’t worry, most of the items on the Chinese menu are also on the English one.

Sichuan food is characterized by the liberal use of Sichuan peppers (which don’t necessarily make the dishes spicy) and Sichuan pepper oil. I’ve read so many reviews complaining about the oiliness of Sichuan dishes. Liberal use of Sichuan pepper oil. Remember that.

Liu Fu (Johns Creek)

While still delicious, the Americanized version of Sichuan dishes here make the flavors subtle especially when ingredients such as pickled vegetables (sour) and dried meats (salty) are used. Three of the must-eat here are the Velvet Fish, Double Cooked Pork Belly, and Tea Smoked Duck. The Velvet Fish uses filets of fish and crisp vegetables that are poached in light sauce. The poaching makes the fish so velvety. The Double Cooked Pork Belly uses the good part of the bacon which is smoked then stir-fried with leeks and scallions. The pork has a smoky taste and the greens have a slight sweetness in them. Delicious.

Liu Fu (Johns Creek)

Black tea leaves are used to smoke the duck in the Tea Smoked Duck. This gives the duck an earthy flavor and makes the meat succulent. I like that you can taste the tea all the way to the bone. Yummy. A key to eating Sichuan dishes is with plain, steamed, white rice so you can taste all the flavors of the dish. Do that.

I cannot explain why there are three Sichuan restaurants in Johns Creek/Duluth, on the same road, within two miles of each other. All the better for us. Go try Sichuan food if you’ve never had it before. You’ll like it.

Liu Fu
11625 Medlock Bridge Rd Map.162480c
Duluth, GA 30097
(678) 957-8889

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Fung Mei

A quickie post as I’m afraid this Chinese-Korean place is on its way to my “Death Watch” (if I ever had one). Death Watch is a term coined I first heard from my good friend Eli Zandman of Tomorrow’s News Today. It’s a list of businesses that, according to him, are “good as dead or should quit while they’re ahead.” Seems it was originally from Eater.com. Now I love Fung Mei. The food and service are both exemplary. The ambiance and decor are both top notch — you ought to see the huge aquariums that double as dividers. However, with the opening of Golden House nearby, I’m sure the clientele will shift to the new Cantonese place.

Fung Mei (Duluth)

Fung Mei (Duluth)

Jajangmyeon. Homemade noodles with a side of fermented soy bean sauce has always been my favorite. The version here is good. A little less smoky and a bit more sweetish than what I prefer, but tasty nonetheless.

Fung Mei (Duluth)

Fung Mei (Duluth)

Did you know? This smoked pork is amazing. There’s no other word to describe it. The thin slices of pork belly are smoked then stir-fried with leeks. There is no other place that makes it better in this part of town. Get it.

The menu is extensive so there’s something for everyone. Food is really good. Go before it’s too late.


Fung Mei

1605 Pleasant Hill Rd Map
Duluth, GA 30096
770-935-8888

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Mr. BoBo: Golden House

Golden House (Duluth)

The illustrious chef, Mr. BoBo, (as I fondly call him) also known as Chef Danny Ting, has moved again. First Wan Lai. Then Bo Bo Garden. Now, Golden House. Mr. BoBo is a star chef among the Chinese. He’s like the Linton Hopkins of Cantonese cuisine and the talented version of Peter Chang minus the “wide-eyed” groupies and the New York Times. I was told he’s been around since the early 80s, starting at the very first Chinese restaurant in Atlanta. His new venture — yes, he has a financial stake — Golden House, is aimed to be the best Cantonese restaurant in the south.

Golden House (Duluth)

Golden House (Duluth)

Golden House (Duluth)

Mr. BoBo went all out in creating his restaurant. Not only is the place humongous, it is grandiose. It is an exact replica of a fancy Chinese hotel restaurant, complete with the 95% Chinese clientele, 5% tourists, an army of servers, bowed chair covers, round linen-topped tables, huge chandeliers, red carpet, and fountains everywhere. As my eating buddy said, “Wow, it feels like we’re in China!” Its grand opening was held on September 10th. A momentous date. It coincides with the Chinese Mooncake Festival. It was also a Chinese public holiday.

Golden House (Duluth)

Golden House (Duluth)

Golden House (Duluth)

Golden House (Duluth)

Golden House (Duluth)

Golden House (Duluth)
my favorite mooncake (served during grand opening): with salted duck egg in the middle

The menu — and the food — is an exact replica of Wan Lai and Bo Bo Garden with one exception: dimsum on weekends in the coming weeks ahead. I have visited twice since its grand opening and Mr. BoBo’s food is as exceptional as ever. You can read more about his food here and here.

Go now and taste real Cantonese cooking from a highly-experienced, brilliant chef. Trust me, it’s worth the drive.

P.S. FnS was also there during opening day. You can read his impression here.

Golden House
1600 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 921-2228

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Bo Bo Garden

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.

Bo Bo Garden

Bo Bo Garden

Bo Bo Garden

Bo Bo Garden

Bo Bo Garden

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.

Bo Bo Garden

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.

Bo Bo Garden

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.

Bo Bo Garden

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.

Bo Bo Garden

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.

Bo Bo Garden

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
(678) 547-1881

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Chef Liu

I used to eat here a lot back when they were still located in that trailer-type digs in the middle of Pine Tree Plaza. Now that they’ve moved to a fancier place a few steps away, complete with centralized heating, I guess you could say the food has become more consistent. Generally, food here is decent. Some, better than others. Like the famous Xiao Long Bao. Soup dumplings.

Chef Liu

A misnomer, they’re actually steamed dumplings with soup inside. The version here has been top notch every time I visit. I don’t know, just lucky I guess. The filling is very tasty, the wrapper is soft, translucent and chewy, with lots of soup inside. Eat them fast, eat them first. They tend to get gummier if you wait too long. I like the Cantonese version the best because the wrapper is thinner. Now if you ever get the chance to go to the west coast, or Asia, there is only ONE place that serves the BEST xialongbao: Din Tai Fung. A childhood favorite, it will blow you away. No other place in New York or San Francisco, or elsewhere in the US makes them better. Joe’s you ask? Not even close.

Chef Liu

Steamed Dumplings. Nothing more I can say except ordinary. Skip. Get the fried instead.

Chef Liu

Cha chiang mein. These are thick noodles served with black bean sauce on the side. You mix them up. I’ve eaten this everywhere. It’s not good here. The sauce needs a stronger flavor to balance the tasteless noodles: it needs more black beans and black bean paste. Also absent? Ground pork. It’s like eating a cheeseburger but without the cheese. Why bother.

Chef Liu

The famous leek pie. I don’t know what the fuss is about. Not a big fan. I’m not into that floury wrapper they use. But that’s just me. You go ahead. It’s got lots of chopped leeks and clear noodles. Leek pies in general are ordinary tasting, if you ask me. But they’re a good veggie accompaniment to a meal. And at $2.50? Why not.

Chef Liu

Sesame Paste Topping Noodle. Stellar. Chewy noodles. Peanutty. Sweetish, gritty sesame paste just as it should be. Served cold.

Chef Liu

Yang Zhou Fried Rice. Because Chinese meals are better eaten with a side of fried rice. Smoky and greasy. Love it. (This is also known in Cantonese as Young Chow fried rice.)

Chef Liu

Shredded Tofu. Delicious. Sweetish. Chewy tofu. Served cold with lots of wood ear mushrooms, peanuts. Great appetizer or palate cleanser.

Chef Liu

Chicken Basil Hot Pot. Not on the menu. Tender chicken pieces. A soy-based stew with lots of basil. The caramelized sauce provides a tiny hint of sweet but still savory. Delicious is an understatement.

Chef Liu

Eggplant With Garlic Sauce. Delicious. A good play on savory and garlicky. The eggplants aren’t mushy which is nice.

If you’re craving for decent, inexpensive Chinese then you should come here. It’s clean and service is fast and cordial.

Chef Liu
5221 Buford Highway NE
Doraville, GA 30340
(770) 936-0532
Open Daily 9am-10pm

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