The curse of this location continues! Golden BBQ closed in the second half of 2015
Sometimes, being on a constant Buford Highway Food Expedition can be a burden. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a first world problem type of thing, but still. Sometimes I really want to explore more of a place, or I just have a low-grade constant jonesin’ for something I had somewhere, without the time/budget to revisit when I should really be making more progress for the blog – for you, dear reader. And sometimes, that constant postponing of something I want to do really bites me in the butt. Like when Coco’s closed. Ever since we first visited, I have wanted to go back and devour that tasty shredded pork noodle dish again. And now I never can. *tear*
Anyway, nearly a year ago the place was rebranded as Golden BBQ, probably one of the least reassuring chinese restaurant names they could have picked, possibly second only to Golden/Lucky Buddha. So after repeatedly putting off Coco’s until it was lost to me forever, I now began in earnest to put off visiting Golden BBQ. Then I saw one of my favorite food bloggers, Fried Chicken Lips, visited the joint in December, and I knew it was just about time to cave in and go.
It was a little damp the day we visited, and I definitely don’t recommend visiting under those conditions. The floor is incredibly slick and both Adam and I found ourselves slipping and sliding multiple times in the short 20-foot journey to our table. Luckily neither of us flat-out fell, but it seemed a close thing at the time. Having recovered from that, we set to perusing the menu.
One of the first things I noticed was the prevalence of the vietnamese language on the menu. Obviously this place isn’t your run of the mill “Golden this, Lucky that” americanized chinese fast food joint. Thank goodness. Then I noticed the Ming’s BBQ-esque display of meat in the window and breathed another sigh of relief.
Initially, we were going to pick up a little plate dim sum just to say we tried it, but were were told they weren’t serving it at the time (a Sunday evening).
So, we enquired about the ambiguously but enticingly named “marinated meat combination” dish. After mentioning duck feet, duck legs, and duck wings, my waiter broke off and told me that I wouldn’t like the meal. His delivery of that judgement got both Adam and I instantly peeved, so without consulting each other we promptly fell all over ourselves to inform our young waiter that we would love to try the dish. Hmph.
Despite having mentioned duck feet and legs, our dish only had duck wings. Based on the server’s uncomfortable manner when we inquired about the dish, it’s hard to tell if the plate typically comprises whatever they have on hand, or if they purposefully left out the feet and legs… We’ll never know.
Unfortunately I didn’t like the wings overly much, but I was still a bit pissed so we polished off the whole dish with relish just to spite the staff. Really, they weren’t bad at all. There was a mild marinade on the meat which was pleasant, but overall the meat-to-bone ratio was just low enough to be picky and annoying. I’m sure if the common american chicken wing wasn’t plucked from a specially bred bird pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones, they’d be leaner that I’m used to, too.
I would also like to say that once we showed willingness to try the dish, things got a little better. At some point we were asked how we were doing. I asked him is we were eating it the right way and he said yes and told us that it’s a great chinese snack food that people like to eat while watching television. I felt like we had a good cultural moment, which totally made all the little pieces of duck wing stuck it between my teeth seem worth it.
For an entree we ordered the Heo Quay – roast suckling pig. This dish hit the table at a lukewarm temperature, and we’re still not sure if it is intentional or negligent. It was still tasty and we ate it all. There was a thicker layer of fat in a gooey texture that I didn’t appreciate very much, but the meat itself was tasty as well as the quite crispy skin.
We also ordered Dau Hu Truong Ot Kho To – also known as Ma La Tofu. On the menu, this dish read like a seafood version of Ma Po or MaPo tofu, a dish we first had in Hong Kong and enjoy a lot, so we went for it. The presentation of the dish bore out the comparison. It was milder and obviously fishier that MaPo and while we thoroughly enjoyed what Golden BBQ did with it, we prefer the Ma Po combination over the Ma La one in general.
We can honestly say that given the name of the place, Golden BBQ surprised us. Firstly, it’s just not straight chinese influence, and secondly there are real and interesting dishes offered beyond the americanzed General Tso’s and whatnot. Take a peak at that Fried Chicken Lips link for a better glance at the breadth of the menu. I wish I had remembered to order the fried capelin with roe. Maybe another time. Anyway, the joint is definitely interesting. 3 out of 5 stars.
4897 Buford Highway, Suite 104
Chamblee, GA 30341