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  • Post #31 - October 11th, 2018, 10:00 am
    Post #31 - October 11th, 2018, 10:00 am Post #31 - October 11th, 2018, 10:00 am
    Hey all - hoping the illustrious LTH crew can help out. I'm in charge of planning a couple's dinner in Chinatown next week, and feeling a little lost. I haven't been down that way in years, and back then it was mostly for Lao Hunan (RIP).

    Any current recommendations? Or places to avoid? I'm considering MingHin, only because of the Michelin Bib Gourmand designation.

    We'd prefer a slightly more upscale atmosphere (nothing fancy, just something along the lines of say Lao Sze Chuan) vs. a true hole in the wall. But other than that, pretty much open to anything!
  • Post #32 - October 11th, 2018, 10:39 am
    Post #32 - October 11th, 2018, 10:39 am Post #32 - October 11th, 2018, 10:39 am
    Possumlad wrote:Hey all - hoping the illustrious LTH crew can help out. I'm in charge of planning a couple's dinner in Chinatown next week, and feeling a little lost. I haven't been down that way in years, and back then it was mostly for Lao Hunan (RIP).

    Any current recommendations? Or places to avoid? I'm considering MingHin, only because of the Michelin Bib Gourmand designation.

    We'd prefer a slightly more upscale atmosphere (nothing fancy, just something along the lines of say Lao Sze Chuan) vs. a true hole in the wall. But other than that, pretty much open to anything!


    I haven't been yet (life keeps getting in the way) but this looks like another option (especially for the house specialties):

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html
  • Post #33 - October 11th, 2018, 3:18 pm
    Post #33 - October 11th, 2018, 3:18 pm Post #33 - October 11th, 2018, 3:18 pm
    Do you have any likes on cuisines? Do you want Cantonese? Taiwanese? Northern? Sichuan? Hong Kong diner?

    Ming Hin's Cantonese food is good and the room is nice. In the Cantonese bucket you can throw in Cai and Phoenix (I have not been there since they got new management awhile back). Dim Sum is good at all of these places.

    For Taiwanese, I'd suggest Taipei Cafe on Halsted (closer to Bridgeport than Chinatown). The room is OK. The food is excellent.

    I haven't been there in a long time, but Northern City on 31st and Halsted was excellent. Northern Chinese food is wheat based and mainly dumplings and noodles. Both were good at Northern City. The room reminded me of a suburban Chinese restaurant. slightly more spacious and dingy. I haven't been here in a few years and things may have changed. Ed's Potsticker House is also in this family.

    Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings is a nice room with good dumplings. There was some chatter they are renovating. Make sure you understand the menu, it's a dumpling joint.

    I'm not an expert on Sichuan food. It's too spicy for me and the Mrs. won't go near it. I remember Lao Sze Chuan being pretty good when I had a stronger stomach.

    There's also all those Chinese food diners at the "Chinatown Mall:" Ken Kee, Chi Cafe, My Place, Sweet Station, Joy Yee. My mom called them diners because they usually have 98 page menus with with infinite levels of customization. Mainly Cantonese food, but more emphasis on drinks and quick eats (bowls of noodle soup, X on rice, some dishes). Usually pretty stylish modern rooms.

    This is by no means exhaustive. It's hard to make a bad choice.
  • Post #34 - October 11th, 2018, 3:31 pm
    Post #34 - October 11th, 2018, 3:31 pm Post #34 - October 11th, 2018, 3:31 pm
    Another possibility, also near but not in Chinatown like a couple of the other suggestions above, since you want something upscale, is Han 202. It's in Bridgeport, and their menu reads like Chinese food with a French spin on some of the dishes. It's a terrific bargain, with a four-course prix fixe menu for $35, and BYOB with no corkage so you'll save if you bring your own. The food is very very good, albeit rather conventional.

    Han 202
    605 W. 31 STREET
    CHICAGO,IL. 60616
    (312) 949-1314
  • Post #35 - October 11th, 2018, 9:13 pm
    Post #35 - October 11th, 2018, 9:13 pm Post #35 - October 11th, 2018, 9:13 pm
    jacketpotato wrote:I haven't been there in a long time, but Northern City on 31st and Halsted was excellent. Northern Chinese food is wheat based and mainly dumplings and noodles. Both were good at Northern City. The room reminded me of a suburban Chinese restaurant. slightly more spacious and dingy. I haven't been here in a few years and things may have changed. Ed's Potsticker House is also in this family.


    Always wanted to try Northern City, but never did. We prefered Homestyle Taste nearby - their Dongbei menu (first page and a half) is pretty good.

    Also, not to nitpick, but "Northern Chinese food is wheat based and mainly dumplings and noodles. "...not true if you're talking about Dongbei food. Dongbei food is hearty food because the climate is cold (colder than Chicago). You'll find a lot of pickling too not unlike parts of Russia because they need to preserve the food during the winters. A lot of pork, potatoes, carrots, string beans, etc. My girlfriend makes a few things all the time from there especially in winter - one is a stew of pork ribs with star anise, ginger, potatoes, string beans, etc. The other is a sour cabbage soup with pork ribs. This soup could easily pass as some sort of Eastern European soup if the eater didn't know any differently. I showed a co-worker of mine from Poland and he said it sounds and looks exactly like a soup he grew up eating in Poland.

    Also, seafood is heavy in the diet in some of the more coastal cities like Yingkou (where my girlfriend's mom is from) and Dalian. When I was in Shenyang last year for a few days, I had some pretty hearty meals even though it was warm out - and also had one of the biggest fish served at a dinner ever. You'll also find that there's Russian influences in some of the food as well as Korean and Japanese (as it's very close to North Korea and the Japanese used to rule over the region awhile ago).

    One of the things that Homestyle Taste does that I like is their Iron Pot dishes with the brown sauce, which are very hearty. They have some cornbread cooking on the side which is great. Not sure if the other places do it - I'm sure some do.

    Anyway, I digress. Not to say they don't have dumplings and noodles and stuff, but NE Chinese food is a hell of a lot more than these things. It's mostly other things like pork, potatoes, carrots, lamb, etc. It's probably the heartiest/heaviest food in all of China along with Inner Mongolia (which is also cold).

    Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings is a nice room with good dumplings. There was some chatter they are renovating. Make sure you understand the menu, it's a dumpling joint.


    Just an FYI: QXYD is also Dongbei food - the owners are from Liaoning. The dumplings they serve are standard jiaoxi from Dongbei and their skewers are also pretty standard of what you'd find up there. QXYD is a great place for food if you love dumplings.



    Another place that might be good is Dolo. A little bit of a nicer atmosphere and also good food.
  • Post #36 - October 12th, 2018, 9:25 am
    Post #36 - October 12th, 2018, 9:25 am Post #36 - October 12th, 2018, 9:25 am
    I don't know if you absolutely have to be in Chinatown, but if not, I highly recommend Jade Court. The owners used to own Phoenix Restaurant. It's near UIC Pavilion, with easy parking across the street. Amazing food and really nice atmosphere. They were just named on the 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand list for Chicago.

    Jade Court
    626 S. Racine Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60607
    (312) 929-4828
    http://jadecourtchicago.com
  • Post #37 - October 12th, 2018, 10:30 am
    Post #37 - October 12th, 2018, 10:30 am Post #37 - October 12th, 2018, 10:30 am
    Lao Sze Chuan has been firing on all cylinders, imo, lately. They have new (er?), plastic, clear, shitty, chairs. Not sure if you've been since then. It seems a little nicer than it was before.

    MCCB is a relative newcomer to the area, and it's a tiny bit modern. It's in what used to be the Lao Beijing space. Pretty decent stuff.

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=44286
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #38 - October 12th, 2018, 10:38 am
    Post #38 - October 12th, 2018, 10:38 am Post #38 - October 12th, 2018, 10:38 am
    Lisa Sue wrote:I don't know if you absolutely have to be in Chinatown, but if not, I highly recommend Jade Court.

    So does Phil Vettel. (I haven't been there... yet.)
  • Post #39 - October 12th, 2018, 12:05 pm
    Post #39 - October 12th, 2018, 12:05 pm Post #39 - October 12th, 2018, 12:05 pm
    Lisa Sue wrote:I don't know if you absolutely have to be in Chinatown, but if not, I highly recommend Jade Court. The owners used to own Phoenix Restaurant. It's near UIC Pavilion, with easy parking across the street. Amazing food and really nice atmosphere. They were just named on the 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand list for Chicago.

    Jade Court
    626 S. Racine Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60607
    (312) 929-4828
    http://jadecourtchicago.com


    We enjoyed Jade Court. We enjoyed all the food, but especially the Peking Duck which, while not totally authentic was among the best we've had outside Beijing. The night we were there the parking lot was closed and chained off, but were lucky to find a parking spot on Racine. The place has been lightly remodeled at best since the last occupant but the chow and friendly staff make up for it.
  • Post #40 - October 12th, 2018, 12:08 pm
    Post #40 - October 12th, 2018, 12:08 pm Post #40 - October 12th, 2018, 12:08 pm
    seebee wrote:Lao Sze Chuan has been firing on all cylinders, imo, lately. They have new (er?), plastic, clear, shitty, chairs. Not sure if you've been since then. It seems a little nicer than it was before.

    MCCB is a relative newcomer to the area, and it's a tiny bit modern. It's in what used to be the Lao Beijing space. Pretty decent stuff.

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=44286


    Interesting to know about Lao - we gave up after a series of bad meals but may give it a try again. I'm not sure how "nicer" combines with "shitty chairs".

    Our one experience with MCCB was delivery so not the full experience. We had a bit of sticker shock at the price and found the food OK but not exceptional. I should give the restaurant itself a try.
  • Post #41 - October 12th, 2018, 12:21 pm
    Post #41 - October 12th, 2018, 12:21 pm Post #41 - October 12th, 2018, 12:21 pm
    seebee wrote:MCCB is a relative newcomer to the area, and it's a tiny bit modern.
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=44286

    If you have a taste for spicy items, this is my recommendation.

    The Chengdu Spicy Dumplings are great stuff.

    http://www.mccbchicago.com
  • Post #42 - October 12th, 2018, 4:24 pm
    Post #42 - October 12th, 2018, 4:24 pm Post #42 - October 12th, 2018, 4:24 pm
    bweiny wrote:
    seebee wrote:MCCB is a relative newcomer to the area, and it's a tiny bit modern.
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=44286

    If you have a taste for spicy items, this is my recommendation.

    The Chengdu Spicy Dumplings are great stuff.

    http://www.mccbchicago.com


    This place is very good. It's the same owner as GNR New China Kitchen, but considerably more upscale. They even have real dinner plates! ;-)
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #43 - October 15th, 2018, 9:49 am
    Post #43 - October 15th, 2018, 9:49 am Post #43 - October 15th, 2018, 9:49 am
    Thanks so much every one! Since the crew wants to be in Chinatown itself, I think we're down to either MCCB, MingHin, or Lao Sze Chuan. I'll report back!

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