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Qing Xiang Yuan Dumpling

Qing Xiang Yuan Dumpling
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  • Qing Xiang Yuan Dumpling

    Post #1 - February 9th, 2016, 6:59 pm
    Post #1 - February 9th, 2016, 6:59 pm Post #1 - February 9th, 2016, 6:59 pm
    LTH,

    No longer subterranean Qing Xiang Yuan Dumpling has a bright pleasant spot just north of Lao You Ju on Wentworth. Same wide selection of dumplings as when they were in Richland Center basement with a slightly expanded menu of BBQ/grilled, appetizers, terrific looking Fried & Roasted lamb chops and a $9.99 bowl of Hot and Spicy. All of the BBQ and many of the appetizer items were out due to Chinese New Year and a recent Hungry Hound spot.

    I had Celery and Peanuts and an order of Lamb and Coriander dumplings. Very much enjoyed both, especially with a drizzle of vinegar and chili oil.

    Image

    I was going to describe the dumplings, then realized Jefe had already summed them up perfectly in the Richland Center Food Court thread.

    Jefe
    "I found this plate of dumplings quite subtle– the filling not too assertive but pleasantly clean tasting."

    Nice to see a vendor break out of the desolation of the Richland Center basement, its baffling the interesting inexpensive kiosks are not packed all day long.

    Qing Xiang Yuan Dumpling, count me a fan!

    Qing Xiang Yuan Dumpling
    2002 S Wentworth Ave
    Chicago, Il 60616
    312-799-1118
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - February 10th, 2016, 9:41 am
    Post #2 - February 10th, 2016, 9:41 am Post #2 - February 10th, 2016, 9:41 am
    This is great news as I find the basement a bit discomfiting.
  • Post #3 - February 10th, 2016, 3:30 pm
    Post #3 - February 10th, 2016, 3:30 pm Post #3 - February 10th, 2016, 3:30 pm
    Some of the best dumplings I've had in the US and my girlfriend from China agrees. They know what they're doing. Unfortunately though they need to get a hold of their service - wait times specifically. Everything is hand made which is great, but when it's super busy things can be really slow to get your food.
  • Post #4 - February 10th, 2016, 7:21 pm
    Post #4 - February 10th, 2016, 7:21 pm Post #4 - February 10th, 2016, 7:21 pm
    Don't forget to ask for the off-menu fish dumpling. The best, in my experience.
  • Post #5 - December 20th, 2016, 6:59 pm
    Post #5 - December 20th, 2016, 6:59 pm Post #5 - December 20th, 2016, 6:59 pm
    For those who've missed Qing Xiang Yuan Dumpling while they were undergoing renovations, I'm pleased to report they have reopened.

    I visited the updated space this past weekend and the interior has been completely transformed into a roomy, modern space with ample seating. There were still some minor issues they were resolving (the front door wasn't staying completely closed) but it's great to have them back.

    And the lamb and coriander dumplings (steamed) were better than ever. They also are now offering different preparation options including fried dumplings, so they have expanded their choices.
  • Post #6 - December 27th, 2016, 10:16 am
    Post #6 - December 27th, 2016, 10:16 am Post #6 - December 27th, 2016, 10:16 am
    Very enjoyable Christmas dinner at Qing Xiang Yuan Dumpling. Wanted a place that accepted reservations and wouldn't be too crazy given we both worked during the day, and this filled the bill and bellies well. Had the lamb & leek dumplings boiled and shrimp & pork steamed, along with cucumber salad (cut in spears, picked up pleasant spice from the sliced red chiles), chicken wings, and lamb skewers. Of note, since the renovation, they now offer dumplings in 12- or 18-piece servings. On our way out we asked if they allow BYOB and were told yes, at least for now and without corkage, as they plan to serve alcohol (maybe just beer? Realized later that in our wish to move along and let them proceed with their service, I might not have heard the full answer) in the future.
  • Post #7 - December 29th, 2016, 9:42 am
    Post #7 - December 29th, 2016, 9:42 am Post #7 - December 29th, 2016, 9:42 am
    We have been here a few times. All around great dumplings, though I think the lamb and cilantro is overrated (but still very good). I believe our favorite is the pork and pickled cabbage. Also they have never had the Beijing mackerel dumpling even though we ask every time.

    Two things annoy me though. I don't like the 18 piece order size. I also think their cold apps have been pretty terrible. So it's hard to get any vegetables and getting two flavors of dumplings makes us feel like fatties. I would eat here more often otherwise.
  • Post #8 - December 29th, 2016, 10:10 pm
    Post #8 - December 29th, 2016, 10:10 pm Post #8 - December 29th, 2016, 10:10 pm
    Had several varieties of dumplings here and thought they were all good, though a few tasted very similar to each other. Our faves were the Lamb and Leek.

    Service was nice and well-intentioned but hampered mightily by the ridiculously wonky tech system in use. Servers all have wireless mini-tablets that are intended to send orders to the kitchen . . . but they didn't really work, instead creating all sorts of delays and gaffes restaurant-wide. And the servers are also wired up to a central comm system via microphones and earpieces, which led to some additional high comedy. Between the tech mishaps and the constant shuttling of paper tickets in and out of drawers in each of the dining room tables, there were moments our meal felt like it was taking place in a Monty Python skit.

    Somehow, this scheme has been deemed more efficient than walking hand-written tickets back to the kitchen manually . . . and perhaps someday it will be. But for now, they're clearly still working out some fundamental issues that were so up-front, they overshadowed the food (which was good).

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

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  • Post #9 - January 22nd, 2017, 10:27 am
    Post #9 - January 22nd, 2017, 10:27 am Post #9 - January 22nd, 2017, 10:27 am
    The FOH at this place is just a mess. I see mention of their headset-based point of service system above, so maybe that's part of the problem. But they also seem to have strict/goofy rules about seating.

    Rewind to my first attempt– we were quoted 15-20 by a guy opening the door, but then up to an hour by the stressed-out seeming host. My bad for hitting up a hot new spot during the Sunday dim sum rush. "We'll come back another time."

    The second visit– a half empty restaurant on a drizzly weeknight. There were two of us and two parties ahead of us, a couple and a solo diner. Before even talking to anyone, the vibe of the staff seemed borderline panicky. We stood there for 10 minutes, casually expressing confusion to our fellow queuers before we were greeted by a hostile white staffer. "Its gonna be an hour at least". I asked about several empty four tops. Responded in a confrontational tone: "We only seat two people at tables for two. And besides those tables are reserved. You could have made a reservation you know."

    I replied that it would be very hard for me to find a reason to return to their establishment. And I don't think I'll be making a third attempt. We stuffed ourselves for under $40 at Xi'an Cuisine, no wait, pleasant staff, in an unhurried atmosphere.
  • Post #10 - January 22nd, 2017, 11:23 pm
    Post #10 - January 22nd, 2017, 11:23 pm Post #10 - January 22nd, 2017, 11:23 pm
    Attitude is part of the meal. Or not. Last wk I called Fat Rice to see how long the wait was and was told "I can't predict the future." Guess who went somewhere else to eat?
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #11 - January 22nd, 2017, 11:54 pm
    Post #11 - January 22nd, 2017, 11:54 pm Post #11 - January 22nd, 2017, 11:54 pm
    Last wk I called Fat Rice to see how long the wait was and was told "I can't predict the future." Guess who went somewhere else to eat?


    Funny that this appeared today. I called Fat Rice Friday afternoon and asked if they could cram me in for lunch. Whoever answered the phone was awesome, said it was wide open and they would hold two spots at the counter. Hope you got the one bad apple and I didn't get the one good apple!
  • Post #12 - January 23rd, 2017, 11:51 am
    Post #12 - January 23rd, 2017, 11:51 am Post #12 - January 23rd, 2017, 11:51 am
    Interesting the issues with service--I went about three weeks back and had a perfectly fine time. Lamb, beef, and pork dumplings were all excellent, as were the lamb kebabs and the sides of cucumber salad and peanuts with celery. These are more like textural accoutrements and fresh snacks rather than stand-alone dishes; they play a perfectly good complementary role.

    Service was interesting in that, yes, a couple of white men were working there and, being non-Chinese, we were served by one of them, but without much issue. I do happen to speak Chinese reasonably well, but I didn't try it with the server. We found it mostly amusing, and an interesting change of pace for Chinatown. In any event, neither race nor language nor technology interfered with the quality or pacing of the food.
  • Post #13 - January 23rd, 2017, 3:57 pm
    Post #13 - January 23rd, 2017, 3:57 pm Post #13 - January 23rd, 2017, 3:57 pm
    iblock9 wrote:
    Jazzfood wrote:Last wk I called Fat Rice to see how long the wait was and was told "I can't predict the future." Guess who went somewhere else to eat?


    Funny that this appeared today. I called Fat Rice Friday afternoon and asked if they could cram me in for lunch. Whoever answered the phone was awesome, said it was wide open and they would hold two spots at the counter. Hope you got the one bad apple and I didn't get the one good apple!


    You'd think the person would have said "we can make you a reservation for 8pm" or at least "we can't predict the wait time, I am sorry". I have been told by other restaurant people that they don't like the question about wait times because it could be fine now, but you hang up and then 10 people walk in, and then you arrive 1/2 hour later and say "but you told me there was no wait".
    Leek

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  • Post #14 - March 6th, 2017, 11:50 am
    Post #14 - March 6th, 2017, 11:50 am Post #14 - March 6th, 2017, 11:50 am
    FOH is still a mess even when the restaurant is practically empty on a late Sunday afternoon.

    However, the food itself was delicious, and I look forward to returning here for many years to come.

    But, I'll probably only come on Sunday afternoons because I can't imagine how the FOH operates when the place is busy.
  • Post #15 - August 21st, 2017, 7:14 am
    Post #15 - August 21st, 2017, 7:14 am Post #15 - August 21st, 2017, 7:14 am
    Our Sunday dinner visit was excellent in terms of food and service. I know the competition is weak, but they may have the nicest bathrooms in Chinatown as well!
  • Post #16 - August 21st, 2017, 9:59 am
    Post #16 - August 21st, 2017, 9:59 am Post #16 - August 21st, 2017, 9:59 am
    A post air and water show early dinner last night was just excellent. We ordered boiled pork and pickled cabbage, steamed beef and onion, and steamed lamb and coriander dumplings. I'd like to explore more of the menu, but the dumplings are so delicious that it's hard not to fill up on multiple orders. It's BYOB, and BYOG is a good idea. All they had last night were small disposable plastic cups.
    image.jpg Beef and onion (R), lamb and coriander (L)
    image.jpg Pork and pickled cabbage
  • Post #17 - November 6th, 2017, 11:46 am
    Post #17 - November 6th, 2017, 11:46 am Post #17 - November 6th, 2017, 11:46 am
    We went on Saturday night, and I was very glad I'd read up here first to know what to expect.

    First, let's dispense with the service and menu confusion.

    Service continues to be pleasant but haphazard at best. It began when we arrived with a reservation, we'd even gotten the "are you still coming" call an hour before the appointed time, and yet when we arrived the person could find no record of the reservation, going back and forth between the tablet screen and little slips of paper. When asked "where did you make the reservation" and we answered "on your own website" while holding up the phone to show it only prompted another round of confusion. Service itself was slow and when we wanted another round of dumplings we'd become invisible and finally had to walk back to the kitchen area to flag someone down to place the order. But, all done pleasantly. In all, we were in there for 2.5 hours enjoying a meal that should have take an hour, tops. Perhaps this is why the line is so long?

    The menu on the tablet is cute, but was plopped down on the table with no explanation. Do we just look at the menu here? How do we do that? Do we also order from it? No clue. It also didn't seem to contain the entire menu. We saw things go past, like a bowl of soup, that were nowhere to be found on the tablet.

    But, the food make up for it all. Everything we ordered but one came from the items listed here and all were spot on. Cucumber salad and the celery and peanuts were great. Lamb kebobs a total hit. For dumplings we had the Lamb with coriander (twice), the pork with pickled cabbage and going off the recommendations the chicken with mushroom. The lamb was our favorite, followed by the pork/cabbage. The chicken was pronounced bland. The dumpling wrappers are amazing, sleek and soft and cooked to perfection.

    All in all, go expecting haphazard service and you'll have a great meal.
  • Post #18 - November 6th, 2017, 5:24 pm
    Post #18 - November 6th, 2017, 5:24 pm Post #18 - November 6th, 2017, 5:24 pm
    With the recent Check Please appearance, expect even longer waits!

    The food, as Jim described, is as delicious as ever. For those who visited back in the Richland Center era, the new, remodeled space is very attractive and pleasant. However, the insistence on gadgetry is impractical and inefficient. A proper paper menu would serve better than a slick tablet with no clear functionality. My impression is an outside firm was hired to implement their point of service operation but front of house staff was never fully trained in its application.

    Several unanswered calls prior to a recent take out order led to eventually placing the order in person (by a server on a tablet) and waiting for it to be prepared. It was explained that orders no longer can be taken over the phone but instead via their web portal.

    They also no longer serve the smaller 12 dumpling order for take out, just the 16 size portion. However, you can still order the portion of 12 while dining in the restaurant. When I inquired about the change in policy, I was met with a blank stare.

    So to echo previous posts, be prepared for potentially inconsistent service and don't let it take away from the wonderful food here.

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