Chef Liu: Buford Highway

posted on October 15, 2005 at 12:14 pm


I went to Chef Liu’s on a tip from an Atlanta Chowhound (thanks for the tip Vic). They were supposed to have a decent Shanghai Soup Dumpling (something I’ve been sorely missing since I moved here from SF). The place is absolutely non-descript. It is literally a shack in the parking lot of the Pine Tree Plaza shopping center at 5221 Buford Highway. The set-up is pretty simple. Small menu, small place, have a seat and wait for your server to take your order. When we sat down, we quickly connected with another couple sitting at a table behind us. They seemed to know their stuff and suggested some items to try. They also had a plate of dumplings they could not finish and insisted we have them. They were very good. Well-seasoned pork filling, crispy bottom…not too greasy. We ordered the Shanghai dumplings (pictured above), Mandarin Pork Cake, Hot & Spicy Cold Noodles, and Spicy Ox Tripe Strips. The Shanghai dumplings were very good and I’ve had these all over the country. The spice was perfect..not too much ginger. The Mandarin Pork cake was interesting (something the couple had suggested). It was filled with a juicy pork mixture that was a bit too heavily spiced with five-spice. It made my tongue tickle after every bite and it was a bit greasy. Not my favorite. The noodles were good. They were topped with sliced cucumber which really balanced out the whole dish nicely. Now, I am not that big into Tripe but my Boyfriend (let’s just call him the human trash can) will eat anything no matter how weird it is. He said they were good…very spicy but something you had to be in the mood for. I enjoyed my meal. We got out of there for about $20 and the space was surpsingly bright and airy. There were a lot of other items I wanted to try and will go back to do so. It seems like the Twisted cruller and Sweet bean milk is another thing to get here. Practically every table had a serving. But, I was in the mood for lunch and that is more of a breakfast item. 

Pan-Fried Pork Dumpling:

Hot and Spicy Cold Noodles:

Mandarin Pork Cake:

Spicy Ox Tripe Strips:


Address: 5221 Buford Highway (Pine Tree Plaza)

Phone: (770) 936-0532

Hours: 9am-9pm

Payment information: Credit cards and cash

Cuisine: Chinese

Chef Liu on Urbanspoon
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  • Re: Chef Liu: Buford Highway
    posted by: Anonymous · October 15, 2005  6:42 PM

    have you ever tried the soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai in NYC? The soup in the dumpling is much more than found elsewhere (almost a dangerous amount since it’s hot), but it’s better. Just wondering.

  • Re: Chef Liu: Buford Highway
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · October 16, 2005  11:47 AM

    No. I have not. But, thanks for the heads up. I will be in NYC next week. The best I had (outside of my travels to China) were in Chicago at the Pheonix in Chinatown. These came pretty darn close though…thanks for the tip.

  • Re: Chef Liu: Buford Highway
    posted by: Anonymous · October 18, 2005  3:59 PM

  • Re: Chef Liu: Buford Highway
    posted by: Anonymous · February 18, 2006  8:40 AM

    Actually, a bit differentand even better is a soup dumpling in a bowl – the filling, Chinese mushrooms and other goodies, plus the broth – covered with the dumpling wrapper and steamed that you can get at Golden Unicorn on East Broadway in NYC Chinatown.

  • Re: Chef Liu: Buford Highway
    posted by: syncon · September 17, 2007  7:52 PM

    i have to say i was a bit dissapointed in my visit for a couple of reasons. I had ordered some dumplings( i forget which ones) and the black bean noodle(Jajangmyeon in korean)to go. When I got home they forgot the dumplings and gave me an onion pancake instead! I was so hungry and didnt wanna drive back so i dealt with it. Upon eating the onion pancake i discovered there was dried shrimp(which i get nauseous if i touch shrimp. Also had no idea this would be included in the appetizer). As for the black bean noodle dish it was a complete miss. The sauce was runny and thin and the meat that was included was ground beef lacking in total flavor. I think ill stick to Royal China for the Cha Siu pau or the H Mart Tai Pau for my pork bun needs. However, thanks for at least reviewing the place b/c i been meaning to check it out for quite some time.

  • Re: Chef Liu: Buford Highway
    posted by: reader · January 3, 2008  5:06 PM

    I’ll not go back coz the chef is kinda rude; I asked to put some sugar in my rice stick that he refused to do so, but somehow still sent the very order to my table and told me to DIY-do it myself(spooned sugar from the can on the table), and I thought the waitress could’ve let me know beforehand so I might quit ordering it.

    food was so so, shanghai dumpling should be much more juicy/soupy, but the favor is decent thou.

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