Stepping inside Chef Shangri-La's dining room is like entering a distant tropical trading post. Thatched awnings, woven ceilings, and palm fronds flank Polynesian masks and Easter Island statues while scents of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese cuisine waft with Polynesian aromas from mango- and pineapple-covered meats, barbecue char siu, and spicy sichuan stir-fries. Rock walls and fountains line a tucked-away koi pond, and a separate tiki bar urges guests to while away the hours sipping tropical drinks outfitted with tiny umbrellas that belong to tiny British nannies. As guests sup on meals of japanese noodle soup and tropical pua'a pork, the stage area regales diners with live Hawaiian bands every third Saturday of the month and annual music fests and luaus with DJs, dancers, and Polynesian collectables.
Chicago's Best Cocktail Glasses
The Dr. Fong cocktail recipe is a closely guarded secret at this nearly 40-year-old tiki institution. Learn more about the beautiful glassware that houses this stiff, citrusy concoction.
Since 1980, Golden Wok Restaurant's chefs have used zero-trans-fat vegetable oils while preparing spice-filled Cantonese and Mandarin cuisine. At dinner, the restaurant's tables fill with dishes of sizzling barbecue pork egg foo young, chow mein and lo mein, and Cantonese–style lobster tails.
Chefs at Friendship Chinese Restaurant forge their pan-Chinese and Japanese dishes with an intense pride and dedication to the tradition of well-crafted cuisine. New menu additions include ginger-bacon crusted fresh cod, seafood havarti maki, and grilled mongolian beef with asparagus and rosemary oil. The eatery’s authentic tastes and modern twists are available for delivery as well as dine-in eating amid the dining room’s dark hardwood decor and rows of Buddha-head statues.
From Korean kimchi to Vietnamese noodles, Thee Asian Restaurant lassos the culinary aesthetics of multiple cultures into a comprehensive menu of Asian-fusion fare. Crispy appetizers such as egg rolls and fried shrimp segue into rice bowls and steaming noodle dishes, each highlighted with a choice of veggies, chicken, beef, or seafood offerings such as sea eel. Frozen fruit drinks temper the spice of green-curry dishes and foster fruity rushes without the sting of belly-flopping into a pool of applesauce.
When she opened Take Me Out, Karen Lim was attempting to fill her parents' shoes while they were still wearing them. The elder Lims are the owners of Great Sea, a Chinese restaurant known for its delectable Asian-style wings. But it turns out Karen’s version, which she calls "hotties", may be even better. Chicago magazine named them the best Asian-style wings in the city in 2009, and other press outlets, including the Chicago Reader and Chicago Sun-Times, have raved about them as well. Though an ABC News feature kept Lim's methods under wraps, it did list a handful of ingredients—chilies, honey, soy, and garlic—that contribute to the spicy sauce, a "secret weapon" that takes eight hours to brew. Guests can smother their wings in this tangy concoction or in its mild and medium variants, which provide less kick than the original version, yet more than lukewarm yogurt. Before being served, the meat is "Frenched," or pushed to one side of the bone for ease of eating (the wings are often compared to lollipops in appearance). Sides of crab rangoon, pot stickers, and daikon help mounds of rice offset the fire of each bite, and patrons can also bring libations from home.