Creative Loafing Atlanta declared Chin Chin the city's best Chinese restaurant in 2012; that's a title the eatery has held for the better part of a decade thanks to the skill of the chefs there. Diners catch glimpses of those chefs chopping vegetables, braising tofu, and glazing breasts of duck through a large pane of glass that separates the kitchen from the dining room. Rice soup simmers, and dumplings open blossoms of steam near plates of pork ribs covered in honey like the world’s wealthiest bear.
Spicy traditional sauces and exotic ingredients such as yak meat accent the authentic dishes on the Tibetan menu at Shangrila Bistro. According to AccessAtlanta, Shangrila's owners fly the yak meat—which tastes "like beef but generally leaner"—directly from China, and they also use it for the yak's-milk butter needed to brew the Tibetan butter tea on their beverage menu. A separate Chinese menu stakes a competing claim on eaters' attention with inventive dishes such as hot and spicy tangerine beef and pineapple-seafood fried rice.
Every dish of Lu on the House of Lu's menu of Lu comes from a family recipe perfected over decades and steeped in praise. Lunch features a moderately priced ($5.75¬–$8) cast of classics all served with egg-fried or steamed rice and a vegetable egg roll. Favorites include the sesame chicken, Mongolian beef, and the spicy Hunan chicken. Starting at 3 p.m., the dinner dragon uncoils from its raindrop until it fills the menu with the lengthy list of authentic dishes scrawled across its underbelly. Dinner dishes are mainly centered around beef, poultry, pork, vegetables, and seafood with a plethora of options falling under each category. Net an order of best-selling coconut shrimp ($15.95), peck at the fan-favorite sesame chicken ($10.50), or fulfill a veggie fix with an order of General Tso's tofu ($9.50) and chase it with a dessert of sesame balls ($0.25 each). There's also a kids' menu for grotesque, half-formed adults and finicky feasters.
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While growing up in Taiwan, Grand China Restaurant co-owners K.C. Chang and Tse-Chih Chang watched their mothers??the best cooks in the world??prepare fresh, delicious meals. While she tinkered with the balance of herbs and vegetables in her secret recipes, Tse-Chih?s mother dreamed of owning her own restaurant. As the mother of eight, she never had the time, but her daughter did. After Tse-Chih moved to the United States for graduate school, she opened a Chinese restaurant with her husband.
In business since 1978, Grand China Restaurant dishes sizzling plates of Chinese fare crafted with family recipes. As food trends evolved and customers grew more adventurous, the Changs have expanded their menu to add pan-Asian cuisine, including Vietnamese and Malay appetizers and Japanese and Thai entrees. The new menu earned Grand China the Best of Citysearch award for Best Chinese food every year from 2007 to 2010. Haute Living also called it one of the top five Chinese restaurants in Atlanta, recommending the scorpion or zombie cocktails. Like the food, the cocktails are made from scratch, using fruits, flavored rums, and top-shelf liquors rather than juices or mixes.
At Chin Chin, diners watch various menu items being crafted by skilled chefs behind a large plate glass window, resulting in a dining experience that’s as delicious to the eyes as it is to palates. Witness culinary artists steam a boneless long island duckling for the braised duck plate ($16.95) or stir-fry marinated beef with dried orange peels for the tangerine beef dish ($14.95). Flora-feeding diners can discover a selection of vegetarian options, such as eggplant with garlic sauce ($8.95) and vegetarian general tso's chicken ($11.50). The eatery's contemporary dining room of bright walls, exposed brick, and linen-covered tables coax patrons into sipping on a post-diner libation, such as a glass of wine ($5.75–$8.25), a martini ($8), or imported beer ($4.50). Diners can also wrap up each meal by noshing on the green tea, mango, or coconut ice cream ($3.95) instead of attempting to stuff a tablecloth and utensils into their wallets.