Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cai, Chinatown Square

We joined my parents for dim sum this morning at the recently opened, Cai, in Chinatown Square. Walking in, the space reminded me of the large, Chinese restaurants in suburban Toronto or Vancouver. I was being cautiously optimistic that this might live up to my high expectations for good dim sum.

There's a menu card for ordering, but there are still 1-2 carts that make their way around the dining room. Service was very attentive, well informed, and friendly. 

The standouts included vegetarian dumplings, bbq pork rice crepe, congee, and sticky rice. The sticky rice was the best rendition in Chicago - packed with flavor from ground pork, dried scallops, and preserved egg yolk. The greens used in the vegetarian dumplings and bbq pork rice crepe (very lovely crepe) were clearly very fresh based on their vibrant green hue and taste. The congee was delicate (you may want to request pepper to season it to your liking), and the handmade fishballs were made with care. I am quite happy about having this new addition in Chicago's Chinatown scene, especially for dim sum.

Now, onto some iPhone pictures:  
Pictured above: BBQ pork turnovers, vegetarian dumplings (shiitake, bamboo shoot, and peapod greens), bbq pork and greens rice crepe, and pork potstickers.

Pictured above: Congee with handmade fishballs, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, curry chicken pot pie, and taro dumpling

Fried cruller wrapped in a rice crepe (I'm happy that they serve the sauce on the side. While the cruller was fresh and crisp when it arrived, it's best to consume as quickly as possible before the cruller gets soggy. This is a good version, but still not as good as Congee Wong in Toronto.)

Cai
2100 S Archer Av Ste 2F
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-6888

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