Monday, April 6, 2009

Review: Tasty China

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 4:15 PM

click to enlarge TASTY SENSATION: "Slice fish and sour cabbage soup" at Tasty China
  • TASTY SENSATION: "Slice fish and sour cabbage soup" at Tasty China

When Atlanta foodies first discovered Tasty China in 2006, the food developed mythic status in a matter of weeks. This was no fluke, no matter of hype or bandwagon-jumping — chef Peter Chang's food was revelatory. Then, just as quickly as he appeared, Chang left town. Owner Yang Da He and powerhouse hostess Phuong remained, but since Chang’s departure, Tasty China’s food has gone through some major changes.

Many of the dishes Chang made so well — hot and numbing beef rolls, sharp pepper fish, wontons in hot oil — were still being served but lacked the finesse and balance he gave them. Over time, chefs came and went, some of them better than others. In the two years since I originally reviewed the restaurant, I’ve had great meals at Tasty China and some severely disappointing ones.

Just over a year ago, two new chefs took over the kitchen. It's taken them some time to hit their stride, but these days chef Liu and chef Wong are cooking in a way that revives Tasty China's reputation as Atlanta's best Chinese restaurant. Their style differs from Chang’s, yet they do some of Chang’s signature dishes justice. But where Chang’s food was often a study in flavors ramped up to mind-blowing, nuclear levels, the new dishes deal more in balance.

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(Photo by James Camp)

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