Canton Cooks 2: Sandy Springs, GA, USA
This restaurant is probably the best cantonese-style Chinese food in Atlanta, GA. It’s not even in Atlanta. Like most Asian food in this city, you’re going to have to drive for it because it’s located in the suburbs. For this reason, I truly appreciate living OTP. The original Canton Cooks is located a short 5-minute drive away on Roswell Road. However, friends and I agree that the food portions here at this branch is slightly bigger even though the food tastes just as good. I don’t think that the prices are remarkably more expensive either. We always go with a large group to maximize the amount of food that can be ordered. For CNY (Chinese New Year), I met with a few of my foodie friends and ordered the following in a glutton-like anticipation of satisfying my Chinese food craving:
- fried chicken wings, in some kind of garlic ginger marinade
- two lobsters (they had a buy 2 for $40 deal): ginger onion sauce
- salt and pepper squid
- seafood pan-fried egg noodle
- fried string beans
- garlic chicken
- sirloin in black bean sauce
Fried Chicken Wings: my friends swear by this and get it every time. I have to admit, it is pretty darn good.
- very crispy outside but juicy meat on the inside: perfectly cooked
- not overly salty meaning, not sitting in marinade for too long
- comes out piping hot, sometimes so hot that the first bite can splash some of that hot chicken meat juice and burn your mouth. I consider this a plus because I hate cold chicken or worse, undercooked chicken.
- some people get two, but everybody gets one. This isn’t really a con but it just depends on the size of your party.
Lobsters in ginger onion sauce: you can’t turn down two for $40. They lightly batter the chunks of lobster and then stir fry it in this addicting sauce.
- good amount to share, especially given the deal
- nice chunks of meat, evenly distributed chunks
- sauce is evenly coated and balanced in amount – the lobster isn’t swimming in sauce, but there is enough to evenly butter each piece.
- if you’re one of those who doesn’t like to get down and dirty, this dish is not for you. You’re going to have to pick at the good stuff with your hands.
Salt N’ Pepper Squid: This is by far the best salt and pepper squid that I have had. It even beats the ones I’v eaten in NYC. There’s some sort of special food crack powder that they put in the batter because it is so addicting.
- plenty of squid to go around: they are generous with their portion
- that crack batter: it’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s umami. Whatever, it’s going in my belly.
- not soggy breading, hot and slightly crispy but not burnt
- needs a lot of water and/or rice to be thoroughly enjoyed (or just consumed in vast portions)
Seafood Pan-fried Egg Noodle: this is one of my favorite dishes and hard to find unless it’s a Cantonese-based Chinese restaurant.
- comes out just like it’s supposed to: deep fried crispy egg noodle but with sauce in the middle so you get a bit of crunch and a bit of sauce-soaked noodle with seafood
- large portion, good amount of seafood (and some veggie)
- salty. I was super disappointed because this dish was just saltier in general. We think that because it was CNY weekend, the restaurant was PACKED. While the food came out fairly quick (no more than a 10-15 minute wait), they had to served literally a packed house with a minimum of 15-20min wait. However, I think next time I will ask for less salt to be safe.
Fried String Beans with Minced Meat, Chinese sausage, and pickled vegetable: this is also one of our must-haves each time we come here. (There are a few more but we didn’t have enough people to finish the food!)
- not overly oily: usually this dish comes with a layer of oil that has seeped down into the bottom of the dish. Not here!
- I really like the added flavor of the chinese sausage: it’s an extra different kind of sweet, like an umami sweet, which complements the fresh sweetness of the string beans and the saltiness of the minced meat
- generous portion (but this goes for all the dishes)
- none really
Garlic Chicken: my friend really wanted to try this dish, and I have to admit, it’s the first time I’ve ever had it. True to CC2 word, they did not disappoint.
- chicken was extremely tender. As in, it was super super soft. I almost wonder how much tenderizer was used.
- great sauce: not overly salty, more on the sweet-sour end actually.
- requires lots of rice for consumption and will fill you up before you eat other things!
Sirloin in Black pepper Sauce: unfortunately, this came at the end of the meal and most of us were so full we couldn’t really enjoy this dish to the fullest.
- beef was super tender
- came out sizzling hot (but would have been better on a hot plate)
- not really any. It was a bit on the oily side for me though.
All in all, there are so many great dishes by this restaurant that I wish I could have ordered more to write about. Other dishes from the original location that were really tasty are spicy eggplant, fried sea bass, snow pea leaves, fish maw and crab soup…the list goes on and on. Overall, our summary for tonight’s dishes is as follows:
- fried chicken wings: ***.85 (3.85 stars)
- lobsters in ginger onion sauce: **** (4 stars)
- salt and pepper squid: **** (4 stars)
- seafood pan-fried egg noodle: ***.65 (3.65 stars)
- fried string beans:***.75 (3.75 stars)
- garlic chicken: ***.65 (3.65 stars)
- sirloin in black pepper sauce: ***.65 (3.65 stars)
For locals: they are located in the plaza across the street from Nori Nori sushi and food buffet and David’s Bridal just off Roswell Rd and Abernathy. For everyone else, you can find them here via Google Maps: