Makan restaurant, Decatur: Pan-Asian confusion beats best intentions

130 Clairmont Ave., Decatur, 30030. 404-996-6504

How nice it would be to get a couple of pork belly buns, sit at the comfortable bar at this new Decatur restaurant and get a pint of a good local microbrew.

The buns are great, but the rest of Makan’s pan-Asian menu remains troublesome. The kitchen’s ambitions, which draw on both Asian street food and Chinese family dinners, outstrip its execution.

Comfort dishes, such as fried rice and ramen, deliver a salt overload. Edgy experiments — rice cakes and sweetbreads, anyone? — have blurry flavors. And family-style meals don’t communicate a sense of plenty.

It’s a shame, because this restaurant uses quality local meats and vegetables and has no shortage of interesting ideas about Asian-American cooking in the 21st century.

You might do well ordering a wok-fried whole fish or roast duck for the table with braised greens and rice.

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Enjoy the hip atmosphere and good drinks, and hope Makan finds its groove.

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