Foodies who love Chinese cuisine have been going to the Buford Highway Chinatown shopping center/food court for years. It was renovated around the year 2000 and honestly, I can’t remember what it was like around then nor anytime earlier than 2003.
From time to time, I still pop in the attached Dinho Supermarket to pick up some hard-to-find Chinese ingredients. This shopping center also used to house Frank Ma’s Dinho Chinese Restaurant, which was some of the better Chinese food that was around Atlanta many years ago. Frank Ma was like the Peter Chang of the early 2000’s and would vanish and resurface just as frequently. The last place he popped up was a small eatery off Briarcliff Road, which was hot with foodies for a millisecond before Frank finally decided to hang it up altogether.
Anyways, there are quite a few things here one can explore and I have to admit I’m a relative novice to the shopping center compared to some fellow colleagues/bloggers.
One place most all of us agree on liking is Hong Kong BBQ. You can’t miss this place marked by soy glazed pork ribs, whole ducks and chickens (sans heads) hanging in a lit glass box. Foodies LOVE the dry beef chow fun which is a flavorful soy sautéed noodle dish with onions, beef and crunchy sprouts.
I’m also a big fan of Hong Kong BBQ’s soy sauce chicken (pictured above to the left), which not all of my friends tend to like due to it being served room temperature and bone-in. But if you can get pass those things, I highly recommend this dish. The same goes for the bbq pork (pictured above to the right) which is fried chunks of skin-on pork that will crackle in your mouth and complement the softer, succulent meat underneath.
Let’s see, what else is there in the food court? Oh yeah, there’s Chong Qing Hot Pot serving Sichuan style Chinese food, and was also the subject of one of my earlier stories here on this blog.
I haven’t explored a whole lot at Chong Qing, but I do like their take on the Shan City Chicken (pictured above to the left). Fried chicken + red chilies + Sichuan peppercorns = a mouth-numbing, sweat-inducing explosion of umami. I’ve also sampled a funky hot pot of offal, and a large bowl of dan dan noodles (pictured above to the right) which was ok. It’s a bowl of thick wheat noodles topped with seasoned minced pork, blanched greens and chili oil (mix it all together) – a bit tame in flavor compared to other places where it’s served.
That’s it as far as what I’ve sampled in the food court. There are a few other places that I haven’t tried yet. There is an American-Chinese restaurant, a dim sum eatery called Ocean Garden, and one other place whose menu is completely written in hànzì, or Chinese characters.
Full service Chinese restaurant also offering dim sum
Also around the corner is Royal China, a full service Chinese restaurant that also offers dim sum every day. I’ve had a regular meal there on a weekend night and have participated in their dim sum on one occasion.
Royal China’s menu is pretty extensive and it will probably take a few visits, or an outing with a large group to put a dent in it. Below are some pics of a few things that I’ve had there on one dim sum outing.
That’s all I got. Have you been to Chinatown? What else do you like? Anything to look for?
Tip: For dining in the food court, bring cash as some of these food stalls do not accept credit/debit cards. The ATM out front seems to always be out of cash or out of service. Hours vary depending on the restaurant in the food court. Check here for their standard hours and phone numbers.
Royal China, 11 a.m-10:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. Dim sum served daily but more choices are offered during weekend hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. 3295 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Chamblee, 770-216-9933, $-$$.
- by Gene Lee, Food and More blog
– Gene Lee writes about International Cuisine for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Eat, Drink, Man… A Food Journal.