Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chopstix - Atlanta

Even in a larger city like Atlanta, it can be hard to find a convenient and tasty meal at 10 on a Sunday night. Thankfully, there are restaurants that can be very accommodating to the relatively late dinner, and one of those is Chopstix.

After a quick call to make sure we could be seated, my sister and I made the quick drive to Chopstix and were quickly shown a table. Chopstix markets itself as an elegant Chinese dining experience, and I believe they fit the bill. Of course there’s the copious amount of black and red that fills the interior of every Chinese restaurant, but Chopstix has an air of quality that comes from fine china and waiters in tuxedos.

Knowing the kitchen was waiting, we made a few hasty choices and sat back to enjoy our cups of hot tea. Seemingly seconds later our food was at the table. I know the kitchen was ready to close, but I was amazed at how fast the food was ready.

I have a hard time going to an Asian restaurant and not ordering dumplings, Chopstix was no exception.

These Szechwan wontons seemed pretty generic at first. However, as soon as I took a bite, I realized these wontons were perfectly steamed and swimming in a pretty potent spicy sauce.

Another exceptional but difficult to photograph dish were the curry flavored rolls.

Sure, this looks like any spring roll, but it immediately stands out for not being greasy.

Inside the delightfully crispy spring roll was a delicious stuffing that had a subtle, tasty curry flavor. I was contemplating stealing my sister’s curry roll, but I’ll just have to order a second plate next time.

What would a visit to a Chinese restaurant be without fried rice?

The Yang Chow fried rice at Chopstix seems like any other version, but this is a pretty solid presentation. One definite plus is the sheer amount of shrimp and roast pork in the fried rice. Usually restaurants try to skimp with plenty of carrot and peas filler, but there’s a lot of meat in this dish.

Our last dish for the evening was another appetizer, the pork noodle.

This dish was described as shredded pork in hot chili sauce on crispy fried noodles. I think the description is fairly accurate, I just wasn’t prepared for how sweet the pork would be. In all my years of eating Chinese food, I have never found a way to politely eat crispy noodles. Politeness aside, this is a still a nice appetizer.

Reading the front of the Chopstix menu, you get the feeling that Chopstix has a lot of be proud of. They’ve been recognized by Zagats, Atlanta’s Best, the Nation’s Restaurant Hall of Fame, and they have their own DIRoNA award. That list is nothing to scoff at, but the most interesting thing on the menu is their promise of “Custom Chinese Cuisine”. Chopstix has a clause that says “if your favorite dish is not listed on our menu, just tell your waiter what you want – our chef will prepare your favorite menu with care and skill.” That’s no small promise, and I’m eager to try it our one day, but in the mean time I’ll be more than happy with their standard offerings and lenient Sunday hours.

Chopstix on Urbanspoon

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