Colourful Yunnan Cuisine

While writing this review, I wavered back and forth on how to rate Colourful Yunnan Cuisine. On one hand, I liked my meal and it was at a great price point, but on the other I’m not racing to head back and there were some minor shortcomings. Although I settled on 3.5, it was a hard decision.

Atmosphere: Recently opened in Peachtree Plaza, Colourful Yunnan Cuisine was a medium sized family restaurant with non-descript decor. The large circular tables had a glass top, held up by silver elephants on top of a wooden level. We sat at one of these tables in the middle of the restaurant, which was drafty whenever the front doors opened. Mounted TVs were on, showing Chinese television shows at a low volume.

Service: The restaurant had a distinct mom and pop feel. Near the end of our meal, the owner came to check in on us and was friendly and genuinely happy. Dishes arrived quickly and the servers were quick to respond whenever a table called them.

Food: Overall, I liked the food at Colourful Yunnan Cuisine, where they fell short was on variety and quality of ingredients. If we had ordered fewer dishes, I wouldn’t have noticed this and the restaurant would be rated 4.5 for sure. As is, it’s still a high 3.5.

Our table ordered the famous Crossing the Bridge Noodles, Ginseng Chicken Soup, a couple of stir fries and a braised pork belly with preserved vegetables. My favourite fish was the giant bowl of rice noodles. I’d revisit again for this dish and the buttery pork belly. The boiling bowl of broth was brought to our table and the dish assembled tableside. The noodles came out perfectly and the broth was rich and warming, a perfect winter dish. The toppings were ok, but almost negligible. A better cut of ham would’ve made some difference but the noodles and broth were the stars of this bowl.

I was impressed with the depth of flavour in the ginseng chicken broth. So much essence of chicken was infused in that clear, clean broth with just a light herbal ginseng flavour. This dish is supposed to have lots of health benefits, I’d drink a pot myself based on taste alone. Chunks of poached chicken was served in the broth that were mildly flavoured.

We ordered three stir fries, an eggplant, fish fillet and lamb skewer. All three dishes had the same flavour and spices. This may have been a “lost in translation” moment with non-specific English names, but I was expecting a difference. The filler vegetable in all three dishes were also the same and the lamb skewers turned out to be toothpick lamb slices. The flavour was great, spicy, sweet and smokey, just all the same.

The braised pork belly was served on a bed of preserved Chinese vegetables (the kind that isn’t too sour) and was a great balanced dish in terms of texture and flavour. The dense, dried vegetable was a perfect pairing for the rich pork fat and the sourness of the vegetables was in tune with the sweet soy sauce.

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