Ring in the Chinese New Year with Lucky Food-Atlanta
We could all use a little more luck in our lives. Regardless of your animal sign in the Chinese zodiac (find yours here), there are foods said to bring luck in the Lunar New Year. The spring festival is a time of feasting and family bonding steeped in tradition. 2019, the year of the pig, kicks off February 5-19.
While customs differ regionally, there are common dishes auspicious for delivering blessings for the next year. Atlanta is a terrific city to eat, explore, and ring in the year of the pig with tasty dishes that double as bringers of luck.
Crisp spring rolls fried to a golden hue resemble gold bars. Eating them brings wealth. Tin Drum Asian Kitchen’s crab and cream cheese spring rolls are like tiny versions of crab Rangoon. To celebrate Chines New Year, all 12 Atlanta area locations have four days of deals planned:
Saturday, Feb.2 Free hand dipped chocolate fortune cookie
Sunday, Feb.3 Free double protein. Double your chicken, steak, shrimp or tofu for no extra charge all day.
Monday, Feb. 4 Surprise swag/give away to customers
Tuesday, Feb. 5 Half off sliders, including their brand new Sriracha Mango Sidewalk Slider
Similarly, with a shape like gold ingots, dumplings bring prosperity. There are dozens of restaurants along Buford Highway that excel in folding the craveable pockets. Northern China Eatery opens at 10 am, allowing a breakfast of dumplings with deliciously unexpected combinations. Go for lamb with pumpkin, pork with fennel, or xiao long bao bursting with soup.
Northern China Eatery. 5141 Buford Hwy. NE, Doraville. 770-458-2282, northernchinadoraville.com.
Steamed chicken is a symbol of prosperity and togetherness. You can find it on the lengthy menu at Food Terminal as Hainanese Chicken. It is poached bone-in with ginger and aromatic spices. Deceptively plain looking but punched up with flavor.
Food Terminal. 5000 Buford Hwy., Chamblee. 678-353-6110, foodterminal.com.
Long strands of noodles are symbolic of happiness and longevity. Slurp for long life at Lan Zhou Ramen, where you can watch fresh noodles being hand pulled.
Lan Zhou Ramen. 5231 Bufurd Hwy. NE, Chamblee. 678-691-2175, lanzhouramenatlanta.com.
Good fortune fruit like pomelos and oranges are emblematic of fullness and wealth. You can bet the Sweet Auburn BBQ will conclude their annual Chinese New Year Celebration with tangy slices as a blessed send off. On Feb. 12 they will be serving up an a la carte menu of shareable plates while traditional lion dancers perform throughout the dining room.
Sweet Auburn BBQ. 656 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 678-515-3550, sweetauburnbbq.com.
Steamed cakes of sticky rice and brown sugar both sweeten a meal and lend a new year to prosperity and perhaps a higher position or income. Sweet glutinous rice balls called tangyuan with their roundness symbolize family togetherness. Mango Mango’s menu offers them with many accompaniments. Bring the family for a bowl of almond paste soup with a grouping of rice balls.
Mango Mango. 5177 Buford Hwy. NE, Doraville. 678-395-7694, mangomangodessert.com.
Another way to commemorate the beginning of the year of the pig is with a pop-up collaboration. Parnass Savang and Rod Lassiter will be cooking with Tom Hill of Spotted Trotter who goes by the moniker Jay Bird. On Tuesday, Feb. 5 they serve lucky foods at Ponce City Market’s Root Baking Co. Doors open at 6:30 pm and dinner begins at 7. Tickets.
Root Baking Co. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. talatmarketatl.com.
Gung Hay Fat Choy! (May prosperity be with you in the New Year)
Contributed by Angela Hansberger