Delicious dumplings need no translation

Northern China Eatery

5141 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-458-2282, no website. $

1 of 4 stars [good]

The menu at Northern China Eatery will make you consider the limitations of translation. What does “homemade sauce w/ pork noodle” specifically mean? What flavor is flavored pig ear supposed to be? Should anyone actually order a dish called Chong Ching Spicy Chicken?

I am here to tell you that you should order the Chong Ching Spicy Chicken. When the plate arrives, a bed of shredded napa cabbage will be topped with slightly greasy but decidedly fiery chunks of dry fried chicken studded with dozens of bright red chiles.

Northern China Eatery doesn’t observe any strict rules about regional cuisine, but you should know the arid northern regions of China grow more wheat and less rice. The carbs here are all about dumplings and buns.

The best I’ve tried were fried pork and chive dumplings, which arrive golden brown and crispy on one side, sticky soft on the other. Same goes for the variation with shrimp. Doused in the black vinegar or chile oil kept on the table here, these make an addictive pairing with cold lager, which you’ll have to bring yourself.