Chef Liu

The longtime location of Chef Liu was classic Buford Highway—a restaurant specializing in homemade dumplings and subtle Shanghainese specialties crammed into a former Baskin-Robbins shop that sat by its lonesome in the center of the Pinetree Plaza parking lot.

That era passed in October, when the staff hauled its kitchen equipment to the other end of the shopping center, into the space previously occupied by Asam House. The new dining room feels spare but certainly cozier. Dumplings remain the attraction: Xiao long bao—Shanghai-style soup-filled pork buns—have become more delicate as the restaurant acclimates to its new space. Breakfast is still an unusual yet soothing draw, when the kitchen turns out hot crullers to be dunked in a bowl of sweet or salted soy milk (go for the sweet).