My family has been going to Canton Cooks since back in the 90s. When I went to college, my Chinese classmates (exchange students), homesick of home-cooked food, would always drag me to eat here every chance they can get. Ask any Chinese who’s been in the city long enough and they all go to Canton Cooks for a taste of home.
A regional/ethnic restaurant is only as good as its chef. I don’t care how “nice” the owners are — if the chef isn’t good, the food won’t be. To appreciate the great Cantonese cooking here, you must order from the Chinese menu. Here are my family’s favorite dishes at Canton Cooks.
No visit of ours is complete without the Beef with Bitter Melons in Black Bean Sauce. Let me warn you, this is an acquired taste for the non-Chinese or the non-initiated. I grew up eating this kind of authentic food so I love it. It’s a bitter-salty combination of slices of bitter melon in black bean sauce. Delicious!
The Salted Fish Fried Rice here is so good. Just like at Penang’s they use big flakes of dried, salted fish here. The saltiness of the fish is tempered by the blandness of the rice. Really, this is already a meal in itself.
sauteed shrimp paste
The Dragon Soup is a magnificent soup. It has winter melon and slices of tender chicken in a clear broth with egg whites stirred in. Add the shrimp paste (available by request) and you have a hearty, comforting soup.
We love the Ono Choy in Garlic Sauce. Ono Choy is a foot-long weed that grows in swamps in Asia. It is called straw vegetable in English due to its hollow body. This vegetable grows year round but I haven’t seen it in Atlanta for a couple of years now. When not available, a good substitute is the snow pea leaves. I prefer Ono Choy because of its crunch. Still, they’re both delicious.
For noodles, we always get the crispy noodles topped with brown gravy, meat/seafood, and Chinese broccoli. Let the noodles soak in the gravy for a minute or two and you get this saucy noodles which is so flavorful.
My mom, sister, and I love crabs so much that we have to get two orders of the whole fried live crabs every time we visit. If you’ve never had fried crabs, I suggest you go now. It is heavenly.
We’ve eaten though the entire Chinese menu at Canton Cooks and every single dish is superb. It’s like eating in China and Hongkong. If you want authentic Cantonese food then you must go here. Service can be slow during peak times and service is typical of China — you have to flag them if you need something. Still, the food makes up for it. Even if you order from the American menu, food is extremely good.
More pictures here.
Located in the plaza where Whole Foods is at.
Closed on Wednesdays.
5984 Roswell Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30328
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