How To Eat Chinese Soup Dumplings (Xiaolongbao/Tang Bao)? [Buddhacation] 4

Posted by Foodie Buddha on July 28, 2010

Soup DumplingsChinese Soup Dumplings (xiaolongbao and tang bao) courtesy misoponia

In Atlanta, and many other cities across the states, the popularity of Asian cuisine seems to be growing.  In years past, it was essentially relegated to take-out status whereby hurried families grabbed their nearest American-influenced Chinese food (see: Mongolian Beef, General Tso’s Chicken, etc…).  Nowadays, we just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff.  Thanks in part to the education doled out by blogs like Take Thou Food (website), Chow Down Atlanta (web), and Eat, Drink Man (web), foodies from all walks of life can’t seem to get enough of that far off cuisine that drapes Buford Highway.

Though the methods used to both execute and consume Chinese food are as varied as the people themselves, I see many a people anxiously dive into dumpling buckets in a fashion that might not be ideal for the task at hand.  This habitual flocking of forks and hands leads me to ask and answer two questions: What are soup dumplings? and How do you eat them?

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Wong Kee BBQ & Peking Duck Restaurant Review – Norcross, Atlanta, GA [First Impressions] 2

Posted by Foodie Buddha on March 16, 2010

wong kee bbq & peking duck - duck, duck and more duck by foodiebuddha

It’s amazing how often one can drive by a restaurant and never even think to enter.  It’s even more astounding when one breaks from tradition (Peking Duck), samples the grub, and finds that the restaurant is a real gem.  Such is the case for Wong Kee BBQ & Peking Duck, a stealth bomber Chinese restaurant in Norcross, GA.  Even if the meal wasn’t flat out perfect, there isn’t a single reason to think that our abbreviated lunch experience at Wong Kee won’t go down as one of the more scrumptious samplings of this calendar year.

Tucked in the corner of Ben Thanh Plaza (know to us Gaijin as Oakbrook Square Shopping Center), foot traffic for this strip mall usually goes the way of Hong Kong Supermarket.  To (Peking duck) complicate matters, Wong Kee’s immediate neighbor is the widely overrated Bento Café (which I’ll recap in the next few days if not hours).  As a consequence of those two hot topics, this “little Chinese restaurant that could” seems to get a little lost in the mix.  After a single glance, that appears to be a real shame.

Having just spent a good 30-minutes stuffing my face full of Celia’s, Spark Plug and I left Brother Chris behind and went to top off over at Bento Café (Peking Duck).  On our way through the Ben Thanh parking lot, two words of mystical harmony caught my eye: “Peking Duck.”  One look in the window and we were hooked.  Adventures were in order and Wong Kee gladly obliged.

wong kee bbq & peking duck - peking duck service by foodiebuddha.

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Chinese/Yixing Pee-Pee Boy Doesn’t Actually Make Your Tea Taste Like Pee [Laugh Of The Day] 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on September 21, 2009

If you know me, you know I love tea … particularly Rooibos (pronounced ROY-Boss), keep that in mind as you progress through this rant.  Last night, over a very kick ass glass of Earl Grey at Octane Coffee, a good friend was kind enough to give my life a whole new meaning.  She is as well traveled as they come and our topic of choice turned to her time in China.  Turns out, there is this thing called the Pee-Pee Boy.  It is perhaps the greatest completely useless but totally cool invention known to mankind… AND IT GOES WITH TEA!!!!  In reality, the Pee-Pee Boy is this mythically important part of Chinese culture (okay – not really) and it is used to tell you when your tea water is appropriately hot.

Okay, so here’s the deal: You take these little dolls and submerge them into cold water.  The instructions tell me that you have to leave it there for 30-minutes.  After that, you pour your tea water over the doll and watch it go to work.  The hotter the water, the farther the … uh … stream.

Being the obsessively curious person that I am, I just had to see if I could locate one of these gems.  Though I was sure I would have to pay at least $20 for a little bundle of joy, and perhaps a hefty shipping tag, I received quite a nice surprise.  An intense internet search led me to the Bird Pick Tea & Herb and their quaint little website.  Turns out, they sell not one, but two of these joyous little cherubs.  Feast your eyes on the Yixing Pee-Pee Boy (linky) and the Yixing Pee-Pee Pig (linky):

chinese-pee-pee-boy yixing-pee-pee-pig

Coming in at $3.00 a pop, you can bet yourself a pretty penny that I ordered these ASAP.  In honor of her contributions to the bettering of all mankind, HK is most certainly getting one of these!!!!  Hopefully, Bird Pick is legitimate.  If so, I’ll be sure to post a video of these things to my newly available YouTube channel just as soon as I get my grubby little hands on them.

Asian Snack Attack With Chinese Southern Belle 3

Posted by Foodie Buddha on August 31, 2009

So the Keng Gang, aka Chinese Southern Belle … DOT COM [think Expedia] has graduated from Eggrolls & Sweet Tea and moved onto viral videos.  So check out the video, and hit up their calendar to see where the mother/daughter team is heading next.

Bo Bo Garden Restaurant Review – Doraville, Atlanta, GA [First Impressions] 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on August 21, 2009

bo bo garden - signage

There is a certain dance that occurs every few months in Atlanta’s Chinese restaurant community.  The formula is simple: Well regarded chef shows up; foodies flock to said location; chef up and leaves soon thereafter; foodies follow.  Rinse and repeat.  It’s happened with Frank Ma, it’s happened with Chef Chang (of Tasty China), and it’s happened with countless others.  The latest rendition finds us at Bo Bo Garden up in the Doraville/Chamblee area.

The chef, whose name is still a mystery to me, showed up a few months ago at Wan Lai, a Cantonese job up BuHi.  Word spread like hot sauce at a cook out and foodies flocked (myself included).  Most loved it, some enjoyed it (that’s me), and a only a few turned their nose up.  Then, like a fart in the wind, the head chef, his wife, and a handful of others vanished.  Turns out, that group shot up the street and settled in Pinetree Plaza.

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Hitting The Town With Your Peeps? Good Restaurants In Atlanta For Groups 5

Posted by Foodie Buddha on March 03, 2009

A friend of mine was asking me for advice on where to go for her birthday.  I realized by the time we were done … that was good fodder for a post. This is by no means an attempt to offer up a “definitive” list of party grub in the Dirty.  Rather, here are just a few spots that seem to work well for when you want to hang with your crew.  The focus here isn’t as much on the food as it is on the experience.  That said, *most* of these offer up serviceable grub.  The list after the jump!

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Atlanta Cooking Classes: Eggrolls N’ Sweet Tea 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on January 22, 2009

I recently received an email from one Natalie Keng in which she announced an upcoming, two-part culinary adventure.  Natalie, accompanied by her mother Margaret, offers these educational experiences from time to time.  This is not a traditional cooking class; rather, you will have the opportunity to learn through lecture.  However, this does not sound like some boring oration as the class includes a field trip.

The sessions, which take place the last week of March, are offered through the Evening at Emory program.   The class will incorporate classic Chinese dishes along with elements of Southern cuisine.  While I don’t know Natalie, she was delightful to speak with over email.  Full details and a link to the flier after the jump:

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FoodieBuddha 2008 Atlanta Restaurant of the Year: Sushi House Hayakawa – Chamblee, Atlanta, GA

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 31, 2008

I am not so brazen as to assume that my word carries with it the clout that a post from someone like Jennifer Zyman or Cliff Bostock carries.  That aside, I do feel comfortable enough to be an avid food talker.  Thus, I must have a restaurant of the year, right?  Indeed I do!  In addition, I’ve taken the time to identify some “honorable mentions”
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ALL HAIL PHUONG: Tasty China Restaurant Review – Marietta, GA 2

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 22, 2008

From the Archives (11.20.08)

Phuong is my FAV!!!!

If you don’t know any better – take a clue from the fish tank that sits in the front entrance way – this place is the real deal. That’s not just for decoration people – they use those suckers! Last week, I returned to Tasty China (twice in fact) for my first meals there in approximately six-months. Not much has changed – and thank god! It’s in a dumpy little strip center in Marietta (across from what looks like a building that was fire bombed), but the restaurant has that very comfortable sort of feeling. The interior is washed in red and gold, very apropos. It’s a good sized spot – a bunch of booths and even more tables. In fact, you know this place will do you right if you bring a group – I think there are at least four tables with lazy susans (and maybe more than that).

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Review Update: Frank Ma No Longer at Frank Ma South, Atlanta, GA 3

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 16, 2008

As I continue to borrow from old content while I work on getting the site up to speed, I felt the need to update you on the status of Frank Ma South. Frank is one of my favorite restaurateurs; however, much like the famed Richard Blais, he never seems to stay in one spot for very long.

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