So I visited two Northern Chinese restaurants in a week. I’m not sure if this is a trend in Atlanta, but if it is, I’m liking it. Delicious Kabob is new, and despite an unfortunate name and location, it has the potential to become a stand out, with a unique menu and warm friendly owners.
Northern Chinese cuisine is heavily influenced by a variety of factors – climate (cold and dry), culture (Mongolian, Muslim, etc.) and traditional concepts of nutrition and medicine – and is likely unfamiliar to a lot of westerners. Strongly flavored stews and sauces are predominate as are offal (don’t let that scare you).
The restaurant is named Delicious Kabob, and the glassed-in grill kitchen is visible from both the parking lot and the dining room, so we had to start with kabobs – lamb and squid. I am usually reluctant to order meat-on-a-stick – mostly because I have suffered through more than my fair share of dry, reheated jerky leather – but both of these were cooked to order, moist and tender. Cumin (whole seed) is a prominent spice here and works very well with the lamb. The squid is large, thick slices seasoned heavily with chili and cumin. If you like your squid spicy – go for this.
Lamb and Squid Kabobs – lots of cumin and chili.
Stewed Lamb with Goji Berries and Dates was comforting and warming, with cumin and star anis balanced by the sweetness of the goji and dates. (Goji are known in the West as wolfberries, and are common in areas like Ningxia in Northwestern China). Lamb and mutton are common in dishes from this area, due in part to the high concentration of Muslim (Hui) and Mongolian groups.
Lamb Stew with Goji Berries and Dates
Guo Bao Rou (thin sliced pork – deep fried and served in a syrupy, but not overly sweet sauce) is a dish from North Eastern China (Dongbei province). The closest analog in Westernized Chinese food would be sweet and sour pork – except that this isn’t nasty and pink. Crunchy and tender, Guo Bao Rou quickly becomes addictive and didn’t last through the meal.
Guo Bao Rou
Ignore the ugly strip center and go now – be sure to refuse the American menu and ask for the Chinese (it’s in English as well) and explore.
3640 Shallowford Rd.
Doraville, GA 30340