A few years ago, there were these thin slices of pork stir-fried with fresh bamboo shoots (operative word: fresh) and strips of Chinese dry tofu. And a plate of ground pork stir-fried with mustard greens. Delicious was an understatement. Those two dishes made a huge fan out of me. The place? Sichuan House in Duluth. The chef? Chef Gu.
Fast forward to these days. Chef Gu‘s brilliance is showcased in his own place bearing his name. While I never really enjoyed his $15 per person weekend dim sum, I keep going back for favorites that demonstrate his talent and expertise in the kitchen. One thing you will notice when you eat his Szechuan food is that a highly-skilled man of wisdom cooked it — that a novice, run-of-the-mill, ordinary, sometimes notorious, groupie-followed chef could not have cooked his kind of dishes. Not by a long mile. My favorites, in no particular order…
Chengdu Dumplings. These aren’t the usual dumplings you’re used to. And don’t mistake them for wontons, gyoza, or pot stickers. The dough is very thick, doughy, and super chewy. Get it with red chili oil which adds a little heat to the savory filling and provide a slightly sweet aftertaste. They are fantastic.
Chengdu Cold Noodles. The ever so slightly sweetish yet savory, chili oil-laced sauce goes so well with the cold, chewy noodles. Beware of the fresh minced garlic on top unless you don’t plan on talking to anybody after your meal.
Twice Cooked Pork. If you want to think like you’ve died and gone to pork heaven, then you MUST have this. If there’s one dish you must eat here, this is it. The ultra thin slices of pork belly (read: bacon) are first smoked then stir-fried in leeks. Heavenly. Amazing. Fantastic. Delicious. You get the picture.
Beef Tendon. Asians love chewy anything. In fact, a good 80% of Asian desserts are all chewy. This dish is no exception. A play on texture, the slices of beef tendon in spicy-savory sauce is a great appetizer.
Tea Smoked Duck. Most places serve duck with shriveled, dried, stuck-to-the-meat skin that is such a turn-off for me. Here, the duck pieces are so tender, the skin is perfectly crisp, and the taste and smell of tea on the meat is evident. Really good.
Spicy Dried Eggplant. What separates this dish from those at other places is the very thin, tasty batter. Not only that, the eggplant is so tender and soft, lending a contrast to the crispy coating.
Kung Pao Lotus Root. The nutty flavor and crunchy slices remind you of peanuts. Except better.
Chongqing Spicy Chicken. This fried chicken nuggets dish is excellent. Each piece is dusted so lightly with flour then fried. Spicy and delicious.
Beef Jerky. These aren’t your jaw-breaking American version. The tender pieces has a slightly chewy texture. Don’t let the chili oil distract you, it provides contrast to the sweetish meat.
All these dishes can be found on their Traditional Chinese Menu where you should be ordering from when you go here. You’d love the food here. Trust me.
5750 Buford Hwy NE, Suite A
Doraville, GA 30340
Tuesday-Thursday: 11:00am – 3:00pm, 4:30pm – 10:00pm
Friday-Sunday: 11:00am – 10:30pm