Authentic Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian dishes dusted in spices and doused in curries make noses curious and mouths water as diners peruse a menu of more than 100 Asian fusion items. Inside the restaurant, walls the color of green tea adorned with bamboo-shoot silhouettes surround customers devouring dishes such as Malaysian curry chicken served in a clay pot with potatoes, onions, and string beans alongside general tso’s chicken glazed with spicy sauce. Bright-red box letters spelling Malaya light up nightly to draw in diners, and speedy staff members zoom delivery orders to offices, kitchen tables, and opera balconies.
Modifying menu items has irritated servers for centuries, directly leading to the Colfax Riot of 1873, the Attica Prison Riot of 1971, and the decline of R & B music. Today’s Groupon avoids world-altering events by letting you orchestrate your own orders: $10 gets you $25 worth of food and drink at The Real Chow Baby, Atlanta’s first and only create-your-own-stir-fry restaurant. Chow Baby is believed to be impervious to the harm of the natural world and all human weaponry, but rumors exist of a Nap Baby, born at the exact same moment and radiating concentric circles of pure, narcoleptic calm. Perhaps, if they are one day reunited, this madness will finally end. Until then, color-coded Chow Baby alert levels hold steady at fuschia: wary.
From the brick-paneled walls and booths lined with dark wooden accents to the seasonal selection of gourmet American cuisine, Blackstone embodies every aspect of the classic steak house. A selection of hearty cuts anchors the menu, whether as solitary 8-ounce cuts of filet mignon, or massive 22-ounce cowboy rib eyes adorned with béarnaise sauce, jumbo lump crabmeat, lobster-shaped earrings, and other edible accessories. Guests can also savor a taste of the seas with plates of Atlantic salmon or pan-fried trout. Blackstone's wine list collects more than 35 pours, including 19 by the glass.
The simple description of Fishook Grille’s cuisine is “South African,” but since the country's culinary influences come from around the globe, that term doesn’t quite capture the diverse flavors that spring from each dish. The spices are Portuguese, the cooking techniques are Bangladeshi, and the entrees themselves—tilapia, salmon—are reflections of the coastal country’s prominent fishing industry. The eatery also features an abundance of health-conscious dishes, including entrees that are grilled instead of being fried in oil or injected with cream filling. The restaurant’s two locations pay homage to South Africa in other ways, too; artwork from the country lines their walls, and their moniker derives from the small fishing village of Fish Hoek.
Fifth Group Restaurants began in 1993 with a hunger-driven dream and the opening of South City Kitchen in Midtown; in the intervening 17 years, the restaurant management company has grown to include a caravan of five grumble-silencing victual villas in a variety of cuisine styles. The restaurant group is also actively involved in a number of charitable and green programs, including a no-trash initiative where at least 95% of waste is either composted or recycled (Ecco is dumpster free and recycles or composts everything).
Owned and operated by siblings, Noodle serves up pan-Asian cuisine aside fun cocktails and sleek décor. A veritable cross-continental culinary campaign, the menu blends flavors of Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand, but eschews that oft-ignored middle child of Eurasia, Stupidistand. Commence your journey with the rolls and dumplings sampler, a mini smorgasbord of curry rolls, shrimp-basil rolls, and spring rolls plus veggie or pork dumplings ($12). For the main course, sink incisors into entrees such as tender chicken (or tofu), bathed in a coconut green curry sauce with potatoes, avocado, cashews, and rice ($11), or classic Thai peanut noodles with shrimp ($10). A steaming bowl of Pho Nam soup brims with thin beef and meatballs, rice noodles, onion, and Thai basil with a side of bean sprouts, cilantro, lime, and jalapeños for dressing ($8–$9). Ample portions ensure that you have leftovers to take home to feed the marmot militia that trains in your basement.