In New York and San Francisco, the question of "where to" when the subject of Chinese food arises, is often easy to answer. These costal cities have many options from which to choose, but in Atlanta, the pickings are slim!
For Gary Lin, a native of China now living in Atlanta, the approach to bringing Chinese food to Atlanta came with a twist. His concept is an alternative version where less of the menu is fried and MSG, microwave ovens, and canned foods are forbidden. When it's cost effective, he opts for products baring the official title of organic, locally sourced, and humanely raised.
Lin calls his concept, Chow Bing, and although he has opened two locations, stick with the one located in a strip mall in the heart of Atlanta's Buckhead community.
A quick step inside where the vibe is light and airy with white walls and chairs upholstered in the look of white leather, he welcomes his southern patrons with various versions of sweet tea. He offers plain, peach, apple, and the classic Arnold Palmer. The offical bar, stocked with the usual suspects of hard liquor, is located next to the tea bar.
The menu begins with a selection of "Small Bing Plates." Wontons are stuffed with lobster and cream cheese with a crispy, crunchy exterior to make their lobster Philly wontons. The chicken wings include a choice of regular, general's, lemon pepper, sweet sriracha, or hoisin bbq. A Chinese restaurant without good wings is like a cardinal sin, and here they don't disappoint. The General's chicken came out crispy and very tender, and the sweet general's sauce that follows ia simply awesome. Fried calamari is served simply with salt and pepper style and house yummi sauce on side. The rings and pieces are crispy, crunchy, lightly golden, and are not too greasy. Make sure to save room for the Dumplings or you'll no doubt regret it--they're pan fried and stuffed with chicken and scallions as you would find in both the Chinese and Japanese culinary traditions.
Entrees, or "House Bing Platters," are plentiful. Again, Chow Bing takes the high road to avoid the traditional dishes most Americans have come to expect. You will not find orange chicken or egg foo young, but do say yes to kung pao chicken. This spicy, savory dish of chicken, bell peppers, onions and peanuts is served with a choice of fried, steamed rice or brown rice, and is bursting with flavor. That's the CHOW BING advantage.