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DOLO - Chinatown

DOLO - Chinatown
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  • DOLO - Chinatown

    Post #1 - June 30th, 2015, 2:41 pm
    Post #1 - June 30th, 2015, 2:41 pm Post #1 - June 30th, 2015, 2:41 pm
    With solid intel provided by my ginseng/gingko biloba herb connect just down the street a couple months ago- (it took me a bit to get here) but when I when I saw him again and hadn't been, he starts pulling out pix from his phone to show me. Alright. Gotta go. He started laughing and called it Cajun Chinese (more on that).

    Solid dim sum w/some standouts. Best bite of the day was a pumpkin glutinous rice ball. Add chili oil and wow. I don't feel it's quite as good as Lao You Ju in some areas, particularly w/the dough items and pork, but seafood really shines and dinners look most promising.

    Now the Cajun. They also do a crawfish boil, which looks interesting, but even more so, is the seafood itself. The chow fun crepe w/shrimp had some of the tastiest shrimp I've eaten in a long time. Clean tasting and surprisingly large. Same quality w/the smaller shrimp dumpling. There's a live tank w/an 11lb crab going for $55 per lb (sold), besides shrimp, sweet shrimp, crab, lobster and flounder. Salt and pepper enoki mushrooms sound good, as did the tenderloin over crispy noodles w/blk pepper sauce both recommended by our waitress, besides having many other menu items in need of checking out.

    DOLO
    2222 S Archer Ave
    Chicago, IL 60616
    at Stewart Ave
    Chinatown
    IMG_2526.JPG
    IMG_2527.JPG
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    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #2 - July 1st, 2015, 6:48 am
    Post #2 - July 1st, 2015, 6:48 am Post #2 - July 1st, 2015, 6:48 am
    Jazzfood wrote:There's a live tank w/an 11lb crab
    By the light, or should I say muzzle flash, of the illustrious Gaston Glock that is one scarey looking edible.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - July 22nd, 2015, 9:19 am
    Post #3 - July 22nd, 2015, 9:19 am Post #3 - July 22nd, 2015, 9:19 am
    Came away unimpressed on a return visit for dinner. Was hoping for wonderful, and in turn got avg for the most part. The Cajun style boil, while decent, is not what I want from a Chinese restaurant. Maybe Cajun Chinese is hip to some, but it didn't do much for either of us. Also, would have preferred that when ordering shrimp by the lb, that I'd known it would be served in that fashion i.e. gloppy red sauce w/corn, sausage and potato. The menu didn't really make that clear. Again, serviceable but didn't come close to scratching the itch for a Chinese seafood fix. Note: This is the regular shrimp they use, which is quite good, but not the special shrimp from the tank that there's a premium charge for. Probably wouldn't want to cover those up w/this type of presentation though.

    A pedestrian noodle dish (vermicelli w/pork) was uninspired and fairly bland. The better in concept than on plate salt and pepper enoki mushshrooms were devoid of any mushroom flavor. Nice texture, but that mushroom is so mild it may as well have been a napkin. Lucky there was salt involved- maybe shiitakes would be a better choice. Steamed oysters were decent, but a lesser version than what you'd get @ Ming Hin or Go 4 Food. Best bite of the nite was a crisp shrimp dumpling app, that allowed the good quality shrimp to shine. Should be noted that the stars of the show seems to be anything out of the live tank.

    Service was good, the room is nice, but left not feeling any need to hurry back.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #4 - July 22nd, 2015, 9:21 am
    Post #4 - July 22nd, 2015, 9:21 am Post #4 - July 22nd, 2015, 9:21 am
    Jazzfood wrote:The Cajun style boil, while decent, is not what I want from a Chinese restaurant.


    I'm with you on this. It was interesting, and I'm glad I got it, but more a peculiarity than a memorably delicious preparation.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #5 - July 24th, 2015, 6:59 am
    Post #5 - July 24th, 2015, 6:59 am Post #5 - July 24th, 2015, 6:59 am
    I was planning to try dim sum here this weekend. Is that better than dinner or should I be going to Cai or Ming Hin or even Lao You Ju? Any dim sum dishes particularly good?
  • Post #6 - July 24th, 2015, 7:03 am
    Post #6 - July 24th, 2015, 7:03 am Post #6 - July 24th, 2015, 7:03 am
    Preferred dim sum to dinner and read above for something unique, but there's better to be had @ Lao You Ju.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #7 - August 10th, 2015, 8:22 am
    Post #7 - August 10th, 2015, 8:22 am Post #7 - August 10th, 2015, 8:22 am
    Ok I am going to have to disagree on this one. I have been to dim sum here twice now because it is excellent and incredibly cheap. The huge caveat is that they don't do dumplings that well. Their special shrimp dumpling is a shrimp in a thin wrapper and not much more and their XLB are a travesty. However, this is OK because XLB aren't really a dim sum thing. They have just been thrown into dim sum here in America. In China you go to a dumpling house that usually specializes in XLB and eat as many steam trays of them as you possibly can.

    I think a must order is the pan fried eggplant stuffed with shrimp. Crispy exterior on the eggplant with satisfying shrimp paste on the inside smothered in a delicious peppery sauce. It also comes with cubes of creamy tofu topped with crispy shrimp paste.

    Fried radishes in XO sauce are extremely well executed with their creamy interiors and crunchy exteriors tossed in XO sauce with bits of crispy bacon and delicious peppers and celery.

    We also thoroughly enjoyed the radish with offal. This is a typical light brown broth/sauce but oh so delicious. The daikon are perfectly tender and soak up the delicious broth and the tripe and liver are both given the proper attention.

    A more traditional dim sum item is the bean curd skin with pork (or vegetable). I am not a fan of the rice crepes usually served at dim sum (always seem too gummy) so using bean curd skins is a huge improvement. This is a meaty filling and the whole thing is sitting in another very good brown sauce variation. Really good.

    Other dishes of note: Their molten egg yolk buns is perfectly serviceable, though I slightly prefer Cai for this. The chicken feet are at least as good as anywhere else (we eat this everywhere) and is usually a must order for dim sum, but there are enough other better things here that it may get bumped. Finally I should not that the zhou here is very well done and VERY meaty unlike most places where it is a rice dish with some token meat thrown in.

    The other thing to recall here is that this food is ridiculously cheap. One visit was a hearty meal for two people for 21 dollars before tax/tip and the other (where we ordered more and more expensive things) was still only 28. I personally preferred Cai before, but I found they did a handful of things well and nothing else I would want to eat. Dolo seems to have a much broader assortment of things I want to eat.
  • Post #8 - August 10th, 2015, 1:57 pm
    Post #8 - August 10th, 2015, 1:57 pm Post #8 - August 10th, 2015, 1:57 pm
    Have had dim sum there twice. For my taste, neither was as good as Lao You Ju, but then, I'm not a fan of Cai either.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #9 - November 25th, 2015, 2:28 am
    Post #9 - November 25th, 2015, 2:28 am Post #9 - November 25th, 2015, 2:28 am
    I haven't had time to do a full write-up, but before too much time passes I want to say that I thought the dim sum here was some of the best I have had in Chicago, even better than Lao You Ju which I love.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #10 - December 13th, 2015, 4:43 pm
    Post #10 - December 13th, 2015, 4:43 pm Post #10 - December 13th, 2015, 4:43 pm
    With my tailgating days largely behind me (I'll blame my friends with kids for that), dim sum has become my typical pre-Bears game meal -- great food, easy and less expensive parking and a reasonable walk to Soldier Field. Today's visit was my first to Dolo and I came away very impressed. Decor is upscale without being too bright or garish, service was excellent, and food was mostly very successful.

    My two favorite items were the sticky rice with lotus leaf and the bbq pork buns. Both were the best I've had in years in Chicago.

    Other items were mostly successful. Har Gow were some of the better ones I've had. Somewhat translucent, though I've had more translucent, but delicious and not the least bit gummy. Pork ribs in black bean sauce were perhaps a tad light on black beans and perhaps slightly too fatty, but still delicious. Seafood dumplings with XO sauce were excellent, and vegetable crepes were quite good too and not gummy.

    There were a couple of misses. Pot stickers were a little bland, a little greasy and a little undercooked. Egg custard tarts were also unimpressive. The shells were too puffy and thick and the egg custard was way too sweet.

    But with 8 items and so many highs, 2 lows should be considered a major success notwithstanding the 2 failures. I'm already looking forward to my next visit.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #11 - December 14th, 2015, 8:34 am
    Post #11 - December 14th, 2015, 8:34 am Post #11 - December 14th, 2015, 8:34 am
    I am glad to see some love for this place. We went back recently and I can add another menu item we enjoyed, the beef tendons. Preparation is similar to dim sum chicken feet but with a shot of cumin. However, what takes it over the top is the soft, tender, gelatinous texture. Must try if you like that texture.
  • Post #12 - December 28th, 2015, 2:35 pm
    Post #12 - December 28th, 2015, 2:35 pm Post #12 - December 28th, 2015, 2:35 pm
    I second botd's comment - the Beef Tendon were one of our favorite. We were there Christmas Day, between 4 of us we ordered 12 things total :shock:
    Couldn't even finished everything, tons of leftovers and the total was less than $70

    Nice and clean place, good service and good dimsum
    We will go back again very soon
  • Post #13 - January 6th, 2016, 9:58 pm
    Post #13 - January 6th, 2016, 9:58 pm Post #13 - January 6th, 2016, 9:58 pm
    Some thoughts and pics from a recent visit:

    XLB - flavor good, including the accompanying black vinegar, though minimal soup (perhaps one reason they didn't serve with soup spoons). Reminded me a lot of the ones at Lao You Ju. Serves me right for ordering them at a dim sum joint . . . I just had to.

    Image
    Xiao long bao




    Har gow - unfortunately, not nearly as good as the last time. In fact, poorly made dough that was a little too thick and even falling apart. Flavor was just fine though.

    Image
    Har gow




    botd wrote:I think a must order is the pan fried eggplant stuffed with shrimp. Crispy exterior on the eggplant with satisfying shrimp paste on the inside smothered in a delicious peppery sauce. It also comes with cubes of creamy tofu topped with crispy shrimp paste.

    I have to agree botd - loved this dish! Here's a pic:

    Image
    Pan fried eggplant with shrimp




    I loved the creamy texture of the turnip cakes, but the accompanying xo sauce was really just dried hot pepper flakes, with no fishy funk. The xo sauce I tried on my last visit (with seafood dumplings) was far better.

    Image
    Pan fried turnip cakes with xo sauce




    BBQ pork buns were ever bit as good as they were on my first visit.

    Image
    BBQ pork buns




    The pumpkin balls Jazzfood references above were tasty, albeit a little light in terms of pumpkin flavor.

    Image
    Fried pumpkin balls




    Sticky rice in lotus leaf is delicious, though less sticky than versions I've had elsewhere. But I love the flavor.

    Image
    Sticky rice in lotus leaf




    Egg custard bun had a nice texture and delivered the promised oozing custard. It was a little sweeter than other versions I've had -- a bit too sweet -- but I still enjoyed it.

    Image
    Image
    Egg custard bun





    I enjoyed the dim sum once again at Dolo, with a couple of standouts for sure. I also appreciate that they offer some items I haven't had elsewhere in town. For me, Dolo and Ming Hin are probably my top choices. Cai and Phoenix are pretty close too. I haven't been to Lao You Ju in some time and hesitant with all going on these days in Hu-Ville . . . I'll wait for others to report back on that one. In the meantime, give Dolo a try.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #14 - January 6th, 2016, 10:26 pm
    Post #14 - January 6th, 2016, 10:26 pm Post #14 - January 6th, 2016, 10:26 pm
    Tony sold Lao Yu Ju a few months ago. Same chef, a few different items- very good but seemed a notch off. Still prefer it over Dolo, Cai etc... but w/some reservation. Will go again soon and see, but my recent Dolo dim sum w/Gwiv was still the lesser tallest midget in the circus
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #15 - January 8th, 2016, 2:31 pm
    Post #15 - January 8th, 2016, 2:31 pm Post #15 - January 8th, 2016, 2:31 pm
    Is Dolo dim sum cart service or ordered off a menu?
  • Post #16 - January 8th, 2016, 2:35 pm
    Post #16 - January 8th, 2016, 2:35 pm Post #16 - January 8th, 2016, 2:35 pm
    Menu.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #17 - May 29th, 2017, 10:31 pm
    Post #17 - May 29th, 2017, 10:31 pm Post #17 - May 29th, 2017, 10:31 pm
    We've found Dolo worth considering for dim sum - a few locally-unique items, on-point service, and better texture, flavor variety, and serving temperatures than last revisits to Cai and Phoenix (and more distant memories of MingHin and Triple Crown).

    Image

    On this last outing, the pan-fried buns were tasty but the blistering hot plate of vegetables was more appreciated as a contrast and seasoning for other rich items. In background, the mango and date jellies were intensely flavored exemplars. The pumpkin balls are a winner with that chili oil, and the sesame balls were maybe the best I've had, though that may be a function of luck with oil temperature and time to table. Sticky rice with chicken and sausage was a notch up as frequently-cited, and I recommend the crispy rice crepe, in which the soft noodle is wrapped around fried pork spring roll elements and greens, and somehow manages to stay crisp in a pool of sweet soy. That plate is also a good buy since the sauce works in other applications.

    In addition to some clear on-site food prep, the sales system builds some confidence, with no missed items yet - a receipt is immediately printed and stapled on your original marked-up menu and cross-checked. That's the direction in which others have headed but the execution seems best here. The tea is good and they have a small parking lot, with additional free street spaces nearby on Sundays in which is otherwise a loading zone.

    I still miss some of the complete cookery of Shui Wah and Hong Min, at which my favorite plates were imperfectly and deliciously handmade and served at an entirely unpredictable pace, but in this dim sum era I think Dolo is doing well. I'm curious about a whole seafood dinner there sometime.
  • Post #18 - June 4th, 2017, 2:58 pm
    Post #18 - June 4th, 2017, 2:58 pm Post #18 - June 4th, 2017, 2:58 pm
    Hong Min I most certainly miss, more than Shui Wah, but I've been almost always pleased with what I get at Dolo, and today was no exception. I love their bbq pork bun and the pan fried stuffed eggplant is fantastic. And the liquidy egg custard bun is always oozing. So I was pleased today as ever, although I'll note the presence of whole small shrimp in the har gow and I don't recall noticing that before (and I don't like it) . . . hopefully just an odd occurrence.

    In any event, I rank Dolo as my current favorite dim sum in Chicago, a little ahead of Ming Hin, which I rank a fair bit ahead of some other respectable dim sum spots: Triple Crown, China Cafe, Cai and Phoenix.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #19 - June 4th, 2017, 5:32 pm
    Post #19 - June 4th, 2017, 5:32 pm Post #19 - June 4th, 2017, 5:32 pm
    Santander wrote:
    Image

    On this last outing, the pan-fried buns were tasty but the blistering hot plate of vegetables was more appreciated as a contrast and seasoning for other rich items.


    Without remembering this post, we got these pan-fried buns (with the vegetable inside). The buns were so-so (the dough-to-filling ratio was very dough-heavy), but the sizzling plate of vegetables (pictured above) that accompanied it made the dish. I have no idea if this is quite traditional or some weird Chili's hybridization, but I like it.

    Overall, my meal yesterday was very good. Standouts included the rice crepes with shrimp and the shumai. A new-to-me dimsum dish of bean curd skin with pork was also very good.

    Well-excecuted menu ordering and reservations for dim sum? Yes please.
  • Post #20 - June 4th, 2017, 6:06 pm
    Post #20 - June 4th, 2017, 6:06 pm Post #20 - June 4th, 2017, 6:06 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:
    Santander wrote:
    Image

    On this last outing, the pan-fried buns were tasty but the blistering hot plate of vegetables was more appreciated as a contrast and seasoning for other rich items.


    Without remembering this post, we got these pan-fried buns (with the vegetable inside). The buns were so-so (the dough-to-filling ratio was very dough-heavy), but the sizzling plate of vegetables (pictured above) that accompanied it made the dish. I have no idea if this is quite traditional or some weird Chili's hybridization, but I like it.


    I've had them too, with pork filling. I agree on the buns themselves - okay, rather ginger heavy and nothing else really stood out about them. But yes, that sizzling plate of vegetables is the only reason I'd consider ordering it again.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #21 - June 5th, 2017, 12:35 pm
    Post #21 - June 5th, 2017, 12:35 pm Post #21 - June 5th, 2017, 12:35 pm
    Wow, I recall ordering those pan fried buns a year ago and thinking the exact same thing.

    "These buns are mediocre, but these Chinese fajitas are amazing!"

    Also, while I still think Dolo has a pretty weak dumpling game for dim sum, it's still my go to spot. I only switch it up when I really want some XLB.
  • Post #22 - June 5th, 2017, 1:37 pm
    Post #22 - June 5th, 2017, 1:37 pm Post #22 - June 5th, 2017, 1:37 pm
    "These buns are mediocre, but these Chinese fajitas are amazing!"

    Talk about cultural appropriation :D
  • Post #23 - June 7th, 2017, 2:15 pm
    Post #23 - June 7th, 2017, 2:15 pm Post #23 - June 7th, 2017, 2:15 pm
    Try the chow fun noodles w/pork sparerib and olive. Savory wonderfulness.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #24 - March 12th, 2018, 9:39 am
    Post #24 - March 12th, 2018, 9:39 am Post #24 - March 12th, 2018, 9:39 am
    botd wrote:Also, while I still think Dolo has a pretty weak dumpling game for dim sum, it's still my go to spot. I only switch it up when I really want some XLB.


    What is currently the best spot for XLB in Chinatown for dim sum? Its been awhile since I've trekked down there and might be making a stop this weekend.
  • Post #25 - March 13th, 2018, 12:03 pm
    Post #25 - March 13th, 2018, 12:03 pm Post #25 - March 13th, 2018, 12:03 pm
    I think Phoenix has the best XLB based on one visit. But I found everything else very underwhelming and red vinegar < black vinegar. I went to Cai recently and had a fantastic meal with some very good XLB. So Cai is definitely my choice.
  • Post #26 - March 14th, 2018, 9:39 am
    Post #26 - March 14th, 2018, 9:39 am Post #26 - March 14th, 2018, 9:39 am
    botd wrote:I think Phoenix has the best XLB based on one visit. But I found everything else very underwhelming and red vinegar < black vinegar. I went to Cai recently and had a fantastic meal with some very good XLB. So Cai is definitely my choice.

    Thanks! Don't make it to Chinatown as much as I used to, I keep moving further and further north it seems. I need to hit DOLO as I have not been there yet but will keep this in mind for next XLB trip.

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