City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Revisit: China Cooks

photoOnce upon a time, China Cooks had the best salt and pepper squid in town — a spicy, glorious heap of softness and crunch, a thing to inhale without restraint.

This is not it.

This is the perfectly fine squid served at China Cooks now. It is crisp and flavorful, if a little chewy. There are few tentacles, and the one I did get seemed suspiciously thick in the middle. Because I have cleaned squid, I knew what to look for — the creature’s hooked black beak, still in place. Um…no thanks.

I used to have a real fondness for China Cooks — this little Cantonese restaurant in the Copeland Village shopping center near the intersection of Roswell Road and I-285 in Sandy Springs. It was worn, lived in, real. It has that heap of squid goodness.

photo 2I stopped by for lunch with a friend, and we found ourselves the only ones in the quiet, dark dining room. We were offered the American Chinese menu and asked instead for the Chinese one (which is a pink sheet in a plastic sleeve). This dish of shrimp with scrambled eggs (a Cantonese dish that can be brilliant) seemed here to be the sum of its parts, with a bit too much salt. The shrimp were not cleaned of their digestive tracts.

photo 3But my friend and I very much liked this dish of bean sprouts sauteed with little mini-cubes of dried fish and scallions. It was soppy, slick and very tasty when alternated with mouthfuls of rice.

Worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood? If you really love Chinese food, even middlin’ Chinese food, perhaps.

7 comments Add your comment


May 14th, 2010
5:52 pm

If they can’t properly clean thier food, I am not interest, ever!


May 14th, 2010
6:26 pm


May 15th, 2010
9:25 am

Honto always had the best salt and pepper squid in town – by far. I still miss that disgustingly dirty place! I’d go back in a heartbeat if it was open. I have found the s&p squid up the road at Canton Cooks to be quite good. I’m sure you’ve tried it but give it another shot.


May 17th, 2010
2:05 pm

A big second on the s&p squid at Canton Cooks – it’s outstanding.

Bob from Accounttemps

May 17th, 2010
2:32 pm

Haven’t eaten there in years. On the last visit, the place was filthy and the neighborhood seedy.Canton Cooks up the road is a safer bet all around and fits in well with your review of sodium — the saltiest Chinese food I’ve ever had. We ask them for no salt when we eat there.

Elliot Garcia

May 20th, 2010
9:51 am

Canton Cooks!


July 11th, 2010
1:17 am

China Cooks was the best place in town 12 years ago. The best cooks left and opened Canton Cooks. at least thats what I was told. Either way – Canton Cooks is the best in town now.