Ah-Ma’s Taiwanese Kitchen: Atlanta, GA, USA
We take a break from our Baltimore blogging because I got to go home about a month ago for fall break! In addition, I had also planned a variety of meals to commemorate my return and to catch with some of my very much-loved and sorely-missed friends. One of them actually flew into Atlanta for vacation as well from SF. Since it was his birthday the day after, I took him to a tasting at a Taiwanese restaurant down in Atlanta: Ah Ma’s Taiwanese Kitchen.
The $20 tasting was hosted by the Taiwanese-Professionals of Atlanta. I got to meet some really nice people, and overall it was a good time! I wish I was back at home to partake more. If you’re in Atlanta and you want to hit up this group, I definitely recommend it. They do all sorts of fun things together (in addition to practicing mandarin) like the annual Fall Dragon Boat race out on Lake Lanier. But I digress…
The tasting included the following:
- Fried frog leg soup
- Pork belly bau (bun)
- Caulfat roll
- Bak Zhang sticky rice
Fried Frog Leg Soup: It is what it is folks. Asides from the fact that it was almost like eating a salt-lick, it was pretty tasty!
- Fried frog leg is super tasty. It really does taste like chicken, but sweeter!
- Two pieces of fried frog leg for this small bowl is actually quite decent, given the price for frog legs in general.
- tasted like a cup of MSG was put into the broth: way too salty! We had about 8 refills of water each!
- Kind of small for the price.
Pork Belly Bau: slab of braised pork belly with pickled mustard and cilantro in a freshly steamed bau (steamed bun wrapper)
- the most tastiest dish of the night (after eating everything)
- good hearty chunk of meat
- no sauce that caused the bread to become soggy
- only one bau for $5 (menu price)!
Caulfat Roll: For those of you who aren’t sure of what caulfat is, well, I didn’t know what it was either until I googled it at the table. I do want to say though, that it tastes amazing. I can’t say that this was my favorite dish, especially since I have a heart for pork belly, but it was pretty tasty. Given that I like the flavor of the caulfat itself, I don’t know if the filling to casing ratio was to my liking.
- good quantity / good size
- hefty amount of filling
- comes with sweet chili sauce which I think is a great combo
- too much meat in the filling. Would like to have more vegetable personally.
- Couldn’t taste the caulfat too much, but it is a really thin webbing so maybe I wasn’t meant to taste it?
Bak Zhang: this is a traditional Chinese (not necessarily Taiwanese because Chinese people eat it too) dish where glutinous rice is shaped into a pyramid, traditionally wrapped in bamboo leaves and stuffed with all sorts of goodies like pork belly, shoulder, peanuts, salted egg yolk, dried scallops, dried oysters, etc. I can’t say it was like that here though…
- good quantity of rice
- poorly filled: as in not much in there except for pork shoulder and some dried shrimp
- not well seasoned
- rice was not glutinous rice! It was either leftover jasmine rice, or broken rice which is NOT the same chewy sticky consistency of a bakzhang. Guaranteed, this is probably made for mass delivery, but if you’re going to serve it to Chinese people whose moms have made this for years in the past, you have to live up to a certain standard!
Bauffagato: Not sure what this was other than the fried bau strips that came on the side. It was okay for a dessert. I guess after the total amount of salt intake this was much appreciated.
- good end to a salty meal
- not overly sweet
- slight tinge but not overly powering taste of coffee
- vanilla bean flavor was good though
- small quantity. Almost like melted ice-cream served in a double shotglass.
All in all a summary:
- fried frog leg soup: **.99 (2.99 stars)
- pork belly bau: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- caulfat roll: ***(3 stars)
- bak zhang sticky rice: **(2 stars)
- bauffagato: **.75 (2.75 stars)
I guess it’s worth a try if you really wanted to get some fusion Taiwanese food in Atlanta, but I’d rather go to my hole-in-the-wall cafe, Ping’s Palace, in the Great Wall Supermarket up in Gwinnett County. However, you can find them here:931 Monroe Dr
Atlanta, GA 30308
Until next time, I hope you all have a blessed weekend!