There is the flaky Malaysian flatbread known as roti, stuffed and served as a convenient hand roll. There are the fluffy, folded steamed buns known as bao. There are bowls made with glassy Korean japchae noodles, rice or greens. There’s some old-fashioned, garlicy fried rice. Any of these can be made with a dark, saucy beef bulgogi; a funky, stewed-down chicken adobo; a fatty-tender portion of pork belly; the stringy decadence of duck confit; or a few vegetarian options.
The most consistently impressive option is the duck confit. Stuffed into an exceptionally fluffy bao, and lacquered with sweet unagi and plum sauce, it is reminiscent of the decadent pleasure of digging into Peking duck. The tender strands of duck make a fine contrast with the crunchy, creamy slaw that accompanies it.
This beef bulgogi bowl at Mushi Ni is served with glassy, Korean-style japchae noodles. CONTRIBUTED BY WYATT WILLIAMS
Not all of the menu options are quite as magical. The thinly sliced beef bulgogi was rich and tender when I ordered it with a bowl of japchae noodles, but the dark brown sauce was a touch too salty. I loved the funky depth of flavor in the stewed-down chicken adobo, but that, too, left me almost parched due to the salt.
As it turns out, a couple of the most impressive offerings are vegetarian. The cauliflower bang bang, a bao stuffed with glazed, fried sweet and spicy cauliflower florets, lived up to that punchy name. I immediately wanted three more. Much the same could be said for the mushroom katsu bao, which paired deeply savory breaded and fried mushrooms with a bright carrot-ginger dressing.
If you want meat, you probably should stick with the duck confit. The best, most decadent vehicle for that is a basket of french fries shellacked with a blend of umami-rich spices, piled with shredded duck, and slathered with truffle Sriracha mayo. Did it really have a Japanese origin, as the name Tokyo fries suggests? Was it kind of like a riff on Canadian poutine? I don't think any of that really matters. It is Tanya Jimenez's dish, and I'm looking forward to the day when she gets a restaurant of her own.
11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays. Global Grub Collective, 477 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-405-6005, mushini.net.
Recommended dishes: kimchi dumplings, cauliflower bang bang, duck confit bao, mushroom katsu, Tokyo fries with duck.
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