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Dim Sum in the Western 'burbs?

Dim Sum in the Western 'burbs?
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  • Dim Sum in the Western 'burbs?

    Post #1 - April 2nd, 2005, 2:35 pm
    Post #1 - April 2nd, 2005, 2:35 pm Post #1 - April 2nd, 2005, 2:35 pm
    I know that we really should head into China Town for Dim Sum, but that takes planning <grin>

    Is there any place in the western 'burbs worth visiting for Dim Sum?
    ...ron
  • Post #2 - April 2nd, 2005, 3:30 pm
    Post #2 - April 2nd, 2005, 3:30 pm Post #2 - April 2nd, 2005, 3:30 pm
    Hi,

    Dim-sum-like experience, leaning toward Taiwanese, is International Mall. Instead of a restaurant, there is a food court with maybe 5-6 vendors all serving Chinese snacks.

    Here is a write-up and link to a prior visit on:

    September 11, 2003 wrote:Last Sunday was a glorious day to meet with our Chowhound buddies … yep 3 out of the last 4 days had included one Chowhound related event or another. I had been to International Mall several years before during a weekday, which I found to be a rather dead place. Pick a table, any table, it is yours! Point to the menu and most items were not available. I felt like I was back in Moscow, USSR … little on the menu was available. However, from posts here it appeared this place really comes alive on weekends.

    When I pulled into the parking lot Sunday, I had to wait for a car to exit to obtain a parking place. Walking into the door, the line to one stand featuring dumplings was at least 20 people deep. Clearly it was going to be a challenge to seat our group of 15+ because all the tables were occupied. We did find a series of booths available, though Leek and the Condiment Queen had to balance a wobbly table on cafeteria trays, which surprised a roving busboy.

    Since I was not involved in the ordering, I will sketch out what we selected and hope somebody more knowledgeable will complete or correct my gaffes.

    - While standing in line, Erik spied an interesting dish someone was unloading from their cafeteria tray. He wasn’t comfortable inquiring, so I stepped in to make inquiries. It was an oyster pancake from the last booth. This dish was bean sprouts and oysters cooked in egg with oyster sauce on top - Chinese variant of a Spanish tortilla. Erik then moved on to order this dish. I advised a friend later of this dish, who advised her husband who grew up in Hong Kong used to regularly eat this pancake.

    - Erik also spied an interesting sandwich, which was also ordered. It was a somewhat flat, crusty bread with roast beef and cilantro. My friend was also familiar with this dish, the beef is simmered in five-spice stock, chilled, sliced and served on bread with the cilantro. Sometimes people will add Hoisin sauce, this was not present in our sandwich and she doesn’t use it either.

    - VI did the principal ordering, among the dishes was “Crisp Fish Fillet (hot)” for $6.75. This was not a fish fillet but a whole fish in a sauce, which was rich and complex though not very hot.

    - Tofu sheets stuffed with vegetable was a rare cold dish.

    - Two different types of boiled dumplings, which were clearly handmade. One came in a hot sauce and the other came by itself.

    - Mike G brought late to the meal two Vietnamese pancakes stuffed with shrimp and bean sprouts. Some people were beginning to groan there might be too much food, but somehow we tucked neatly into these pancakes because it wasn’t around too long.

    - There was a spicy noodle soup ordered. Leek commented it had kick. I avoided it thereafter knowing she has a greater heat tolerance than myself.

    - There was a combination condiment container, which had preserved egg, cold seaweed and the surprise pork ear (I just popped it not considering what it was … only after reading David Hammond’s post did I realize what it was: great!). Maybe there were other things in there but the lighting wasn’t too good.

    - We also had the Chinese twisted cruller to dip in warm soy milk. VI’s chowhounditas were quite excited at the prospect of eating this treat. There was so much to choose from, VI kept reminding people to eat these crullers while they were still warm and delicious. (just reading the take-out menu post-facto, I learned their weekend breakfast offerings include beef as well as pork flapjacks, salted or sweet rice ball and the ever popular soy bean jello)

    - Chinese chive boxes – a bun with a hollow inside stuffed with Chinese chives.

    As always, it was an education meeting up with our Chowhound friends.

    Best regards.
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:18 pm
    Post #3 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:18 pm Post #3 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:18 pm
    Also, the sit-down place next door in the same structure (Triple Crown) isn't bad. Rolling carts and a mostly Chinese crowd.
    Last edited by JeffB on April 3rd, 2005, 12:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #4 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:46 pm
    Post #4 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:46 pm Post #4 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:46 pm
    Hi,

    According to another post on the International Mall thread: I just reread VI's instructions to the mall: "As you drive up Pasquinelli you will see a Triple Crown Seafood restaurant in the same area and the Diho supermarket"
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - April 2nd, 2005, 10:53 pm
    Post #5 - April 2nd, 2005, 10:53 pm Post #5 - April 2nd, 2005, 10:53 pm
    Ron_L wrote:Is there any place in the western 'burbs worth visiting for Dim Sum?

    Ron,

    I've only been to the International Mall a couple of times and seem to be less enthused than most others. Other dim sum options in the general area are Lao Szechuan in Westmont, which Zim has recommended, and Jockey Wok and Rolls in Hoffman Estates, mentioned by both JeffB and RheS. I have never been to either, just passing along info.

    I highly recommend calling Lao Szechuan to make sure they still serve dim sum and, if you plan on going to Jockey, call to make sure they are still in business.

    International Mall is difficult to find. Here's a map link to DiHo, which is just about on top of International Mall.
    DiHo Map

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    http://www.laoszechuan.com/index.htm

    Jockey Wok 'N' Rolls Restaurant
    (847) 885-0888
    1017 N Roselle Rd
    Hoffman EST, IL 60195
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - April 3rd, 2005, 10:58 am
    Post #6 - April 3rd, 2005, 10:58 am Post #6 - April 3rd, 2005, 10:58 am
    Thanks... The International Mall sounds like fun. I haven't been to Diho in ages and I didn't even know that the International Mall was there. I'll check it out, but I'm not sure if my family would go with me. They're not very adventurous when it comes to food... They might be more comfortable in a sit-down environment, so we may check out Lao. I've also seen Fabulous Noodles in Lisle mentioned, so we may try that out also.
    ...ron
  • Post #7 - April 3rd, 2005, 11:12 am
    Post #7 - April 3rd, 2005, 11:12 am Post #7 - April 3rd, 2005, 11:12 am
    Ron_L wrote:I've also seen Fabulous Noodles in Lisle mentioned, so we may try that out also.

    Ron,

    Fabulous Noodle is Fabulousssssssssssssssss :)

    Fab Noodle post w/pictures

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - April 3rd, 2005, 12:17 pm
    Post #8 - April 3rd, 2005, 12:17 pm Post #8 - April 3rd, 2005, 12:17 pm
    LSC in Westmont does not have dim sum as of the last time I checked (last month). Never knew that it ever did.

    For sit down dim sum for the diners described, Triple Crown is the easy call.

    PS, I had written Three Happiness without reading what I had written before. Sorry about the mix up. Triple Crown, at least in Westmont, is much better than "Big" Three Happiness.

    I'll join the chorus lauding Fabulous, and I will once more cry out in the wilderness for my favorite soup noodles at Katy's (aka K's) Dumpling House, home of the hand-pulled noodle. Ogden and Cass, I believe it is. Very industrial, dumpy place.
  • Post #9 - April 3rd, 2005, 12:19 pm
    Post #9 - April 3rd, 2005, 12:19 pm Post #9 - April 3rd, 2005, 12:19 pm
    Ron L wrote:I'll check it out, but I'm not sure if my family would go with me. They're not very adventurous when it comes to food...


    Here is the not so deep secret: most of us have family and friends who are not very adventurous eaters. Instead we make a few friends here whom we may meet up informally to check stuff out together.

    Places like International Mall really reveal themselves when you are out with a crowd who share their food family style. Going by yourself, though worthwhile, is not the same experience as going with a bunch of people.

    You are free to set a date on the Events board for a gathering of the flock on a weekend afternoon to do a broad sample at INternational Mall. When I went there with a crowd, I was highly impressed. I've been there with a friend for a weekday lunch and wasn't impressed. Weekends is when it is best to go to International Mall for the full show.

    Welcome to LTH!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - April 3rd, 2005, 2:25 pm
    Post #10 - April 3rd, 2005, 2:25 pm Post #10 - April 3rd, 2005, 2:25 pm
    JeffB wrote:LSC in Westmont does not have dim sum as of the last time I checked (last month). Never knew that it ever did.

    For sit down dim sum for the diners described, Triple Crown is the easy call.



    I was gonna say about the same thing. I have never tried the dim sum at Triple Crown, Westmont, but from a glance of the menu, I can say it is a bit more pricey than dim sum in Chinatown.

    Also, International Mall is not dim sum in the traditional sense, or shall I say it is not Cantonese dim sum. International Mall is not really about drinking tea, and I think as is apparant from the above, does not have carts either. They really do not have the things associated with dim sum either: shui mai, bbq pork buns, shrimp dumplings, roast duck, chicken feet, etc. Rather, the main two vendors market mostly Taiwainese type of items: pierogi type dumplings, noodles in soup (different noodles), and stinky tofu. There is is a fair amount of almost Korean type flavors, think garlic, red chile and preserved cabbage. It can really be fun eating, especially if you get the right stuff.

    As Cathy2 notes, it is hard to zero in on the right things with a small group. When it is just me and the family, we almost always over-order 'cauyse we want too much. We want a noodle soup, we want the fried fish fillets with garlic, we want the stinky tofu, we want the dumplings, we want the flapjack with meat-a sammy of flaky pastry with beef, we want the chive boxes, we want the assorted cold stuff (seaweed, pig ears, soy cooked egg), and (of course) we want the hot donut sticks with the hot soy milk, the single best thing on offer. All of this stuff I get from the vendor on the right when you walk in.

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #11 - November 11th, 2009, 9:04 am
    Post #11 - November 11th, 2009, 9:04 am Post #11 - November 11th, 2009, 9:04 am
    Since this thread is a few years' old, I thought I'd bring this topic back to life and ask: Anyone know of any new places in the western suburbs for dim sum? It looks as if Jockey in Westmont is still around, so that appears to be one option... Any others? Thanks.
  • Post #12 - November 11th, 2009, 9:11 am
    Post #12 - November 11th, 2009, 9:11 am Post #12 - November 11th, 2009, 9:11 am
    rehorn wrote:Since this thread is a few years' old, I thought I'd bring this topic back to life...


    I have no idea about dim sum in the western burbs.

    I HAVE to ask this question. I MUST. Like a moth to a flame, seriously. I MUST know.

    What is the reasoning for the apostrophe after the word, "years" in your sentence?
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #13 - November 11th, 2009, 9:17 am
    Post #13 - November 11th, 2009, 9:17 am Post #13 - November 11th, 2009, 9:17 am
    Good catch... shouldn't be there.

    That said, if we policed grammar and punctuation on this board all day long, we'd never get around to the more topical discussion of good food!
  • Post #14 - November 11th, 2009, 9:49 am
    Post #14 - November 11th, 2009, 9:49 am Post #14 - November 11th, 2009, 9:49 am
    I wasn't trying to "catch" or "police" anything, I was really wondering if there was a reason behind it.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #15 - November 11th, 2009, 9:52 am
    Post #15 - November 11th, 2009, 9:52 am Post #15 - November 11th, 2009, 9:52 am
    Gen Hoe in Geneva does Dim Sum on Sundays but you order from a tally sheet, no rolling carts. We haven't gone in a few years, we were turned off by the fact you had to walk through a large room of smokers before you got to the no smoking section and that they had the grumpiest waiters around. Not sure how much that has changed, I can't imagine how they got the smoke smell out, it was very strong, but the parking lot is always full.

    Gen Hoe Chop Suey
    534 East State Street (Rte. 38)
    Geneva, Il.
    630-232-8350

    http://www.genhoerestaurant.com
  • Post #16 - November 11th, 2009, 10:28 am
    Post #16 - November 11th, 2009, 10:28 am Post #16 - November 11th, 2009, 10:28 am
    [quote=Since this thread is a few years' old, I thought I'd bring this topic back to life and ask: Anyone know of any new places in the western suburbs for dim sum? It looks as if Jockey in Westmont is still around, so that appears to be one option... Any others? Thanks.[/quote]

    I haven't been to Jockey in years. Is it still good in general and do they have good dimsum?
  • Post #17 - January 3rd, 2010, 6:46 pm
    Post #17 - January 3rd, 2010, 6:46 pm Post #17 - January 3rd, 2010, 6:46 pm
    Hi,

    Yesterday was a day to get out of the house. Get out first, then plan what to do on the fly. Almost went to a Filipino restaurant, but couldn't decide which one would be good. Started to drive toward Mitsuwa, though it was maybe a bit too close to home. I mentioned to my friend Helen, "Why not Westmont?" She was on board, if we went to Katy's Noodles. I was happy to go there, if we could also make a stop to the International Mall.

    It was a long time since we were at Katy's. We went for the Chinese pancake with pork and an order of dumplings. Some of the onions in the Chinese pancake dish were raw to cooked sufficiently. Helen thought the pork and leek dumpling didn't have green leeks and the filling overground. I simply ate them with pleasure not paying attention to the ingredients.

    For dessert, we ventured over to the International Mall. Quickly learned Triple Crown closed about six months ago. All the tables were set as if people were expected any moment, though a 'for rent' sign indicated otherwise.

    The dark and somewhat dingy food court at International Mall was packed. I and one couple were the only non-Asians in the place. I felt I had travelled to a local hole in the wall in Hong Kong or Taiwan. I did my usual rubbernecking checking everyone's trays as they walked away from the stalls.

    At the Oriental Seafood House, the food stall furthest left, they have an open kitchen. However they plaster the window with signs, to look into the kitchen you have to stand on your tippy toes. I watched a woman expertly flip a pancake. I learned this was an oyster pancake as it was presented to the customer. I learned from the other non-Asian customer, this was his wife's favorite selection at this stall along with the oyster rolls. Based on his enthusiasm alone, we ordered both.

    The oyster roll was made fresh after our order. I watched the cook hand off oysters to another cook who assemble and fried our oyster roll. I couldn't see if these were frozen oysters or freshly shucked, though the roll did have a strong oyster smell and taste.

    Image

    There was a sweet sauce to dip into, though I never bothered. I wanted to eat it as-is to get the full impression. Helen thought there was too much vegetable inside. I gave it high points for freshness, though I might try other offerings before returning to it.

    The oyster pancake came doused in the same sweet sauce offered for the eggroll. While the pancake looked far more attractive without the sauce, it look a bit off-putting with it.

    Image

    This oyster pancake was Taiwanese in origin. Instead of egg-cornstarch-based seafood pancakes from Korea, these were based in tapioca starch (sometimes it can be sweet potato starch, too). There were bean sprouts and Chinese brocolli mixed in with the oysters. If I were to do it again, I would get the sauce on the side and maybe some oyster sauce in addition to their preferred sweet sauce. I'm just not sure I will revisit oyster pancake at this stall. It wasn't bad, it wasn't enough to excite me for another round anytime soon.

    Still itching for adventure and not ready to go home, I suggested we check out Jockey Restaurant. Helen had been there long ago with happy memories. I recall CrazyC also mentioned it favorably. It is on Cass Road a few miles south of Katy's Noodles. There is an an awning proclaiming the chef inside is from the famous Jockey Restaurant in Hong Kong. There was also a red neon sign stating "Dim Sum," which always draws my attention.

    Not entirely sure we wanted anything, we went in with plans to read the menu first. We glanced through the menu promising Cantonese, Mandarin and Filipino cuisine. I inquired if they had a dim sum menu. They said they didn't have a dim sum menu, but they could show me dim sum. There were so few people in this place, I could not imagine they bothered with carts. I asked if they could comment on their dim sum offerings. Again, they offered to show them to us. Eventually they came out of the kitchen with a tray loaded with dishes:

      1. Uncooked, fresh from the freezer, shrimp dumplings;
      2. Bao stuffed with bean paste, I think;
      3. Chicken feet;
      4. Rice wrapped in banana leaves, presumably frozen, too;
      5. Shiu mai dumplings;
      6. Marinated raw pork short ribs.

    Whatever we wanted, they were prepared to steam for us. I badly wanted to reach for my camera to record this offering, but I was afraid I might embarrass our very sincere waitress.

    We decided to proceed with food likely prepared on the premises: chicken feet and pork short ribs. Reading through the Filipino section, we added an order of Lumpia Shanghai. There was an item on the Filipino menu unknown to us. To clarify, the waitress brought out a Chinese translation of the menu to help her describe it to us.

    The first dish to arrive was the Lumpia Shanghai, which arrived as two vegetarian spring rolls. We both advised the waitress this was not Lumpia Shanghai. While she dashed off to get the translated menu, the other waitress firmly stated we were wrong. We explained Lumpia Shanghai are meat filled cigar-shaped eggrolls, not vegetarian spring rolls. The translated menu also stated Lumpia Shanghai was vegetarian spring rolls. Helen trumped them by advising she was a Filipina and these were definitely not Lumpia Shanghai.

    The chicken feet and pork short ribs came out together. The feet were fine, though we returned the pork to the kitchen for further steaming. The pork was underdone as evidenced by a stream of blood. The minced garlic used on the pork was clearly preminced from a jar.

    While waiting for the check, I read the take-out menu to learn, "Chef Lee, who has been an instructor of Chinese chefs, was featured on WBBM Channel 2, "Two on Two." If you missed him, then you can see him yourself throught our "open kitchen."" I inquired about the open to kitchen to learn it was closed during a remodeling.

    I have a sense Chef Lee has left the building.

    Jockey Restaurant
    6108 S. Cass Avenue (Westview Shopping Center)
    Westmont, IL 60559
    630-969-8228
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - February 13th, 2010, 7:50 pm
    Post #18 - February 13th, 2010, 7:50 pm Post #18 - February 13th, 2010, 7:50 pm
    I concur with Cathy2's comments on Jockey in Westmont.
    In December I was desperate enough to give them another
    try, since Triple Crown is gone. Over the last 10 yrs I've
    tried Jockey here and there and never thought enough of
    them to return regularly.

    The Dim Sum offerings were few - as I recall: char siu bow,
    har gow, chicken feet, sticky rice, and shu mai - and presented
    in all their frozen glory on a platter for choosing. (I don't mind
    if I have to order dim sum off a card/menu rather than choose
    off a cart, but this is a bit strange and they obviously don't know
    the first thing about presentation. Some pictures of the cooked
    dishes would go over much better.) I ordered one of each minus the
    chicken feet -- only to have the waitress come back and tell
    me the sticky rice was "no good today" (whatever that means,
    she was unable to explain coherently.) So I ended up with three
    items - they were respectable but nothing special and hardly
    worth a trip there.

    I asked the waitress if the dim sum offerings varied at all each
    week - but it seemed not. If they have spare ribs w/black bean,
    that is new because I specifically asked about them and it was
    not available in Dec.

    Another thing- the dining room was FREEZING, everyone was
    complaining about it but the staff did not seem to be able to
    do anything about it.

    Recommendation: forget about dim sum at Jockey.
  • Post #19 - February 13th, 2010, 7:59 pm
    Post #19 - February 13th, 2010, 7:59 pm Post #19 - February 13th, 2010, 7:59 pm
    landofbland wrote:
    Recommendation: forget about dim sum at Jockey.


    From my couple of meals @ jockey Id say forget about them for any meal.

    too many other good chinese spots so close(Chinese Kitchen, Lao Szechuan, Katy's, Fabulous Noodles)

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