Get to know the Sichuan side of Atlanta with an 7-course dinner and guided tour of Atlanta's Chinatown Mall
Chinatown, Atlanta. Were you aware that place even existed? Perhaps, if you’re a culinary adventurer who’s explored the food court wonders of our very own Chinatown Mallthe sounds of vendors calling out orders, cutting roasted duck, making fresh noodles, the flash of fire from woks and first generation Chinese American friends enjoying games of Xiangqi or Mahjong. This ain’t your American food court, ladies and genteels. Not even close. In fact, it’s possible you won’t hear a lick of English while you’re here... unless it’s coming from you or your dining companions. And there’s nary a Big Mac or slice of Sbarro in sight.
It’s true; we have some amazing quality Sichuan cuisine happening in this city. And this here is the heart of it. Atlanta Culinary Tours is on a mission to show off this slice of Asia in our city, guiding us through the amazing food bite by bite, and taking us to the ingredients that go into it. They do it for the love of the food, and because they truly believe in exposing the best of Atlanta’s diverse eating opportunities. And we’re more than happy to come along for the ride.
This particular tour takes our taste buds through the finer points and flavors of the Sichuan region. Think hot and spicy, tongue-numbing peppercorn heat of Mala, but then think way, way beyond that. Hot, sour, pungent, salty and sweet are used in combination with myriad textures created by unique methods of cutting and cooking. Fire, and lots of it, is a critical factor in many Sichuan dishes. Turns out, the cuisine is much more diverse (and, overall, less spicy) than we’d always assumed. On this particular tour, seven courses will be served family-style, naturally, courtesy of Chong Qing Hot Pot. After the meal, the tour guides will take our dining crew to the Dinho Chinese Market where we can see the ingredients that went into the meal. And finally, the tour will wrap at the World Journal Bookstore with dessert in their Ni Hao Tea Room. It's a full Sichuan experience, without leaving the perimeter of A-town.
Needed for the tour: two free hours, an empty stomach, and a willing, adventurous eating spirit. Take it from a Chinatown Mall virgin: you’ll never go back to looking at Sichuan in this city the same again.