Directly across from Chinatown Square is this two-in-one dining destination. Praised by Chicago critics (proven by an entrance decorated with its accolades), this restaurant has remained popular for its diversity of options. Downstairs is the Dumpling House, a casual, cafe-style spot that provides what few Chinatown restaurants do: round-the-clock dim sum. Here patrons can nosh on cold plates, Szechwan noodle dishes or Shanghai dim sum items like crispy scallion cake or steamed juicy dumpling with minced pork and ginger. The items range from $2.45 to $7.95 and are the perfect snack, especially when washed down with a cold bubble tea.
The upstairs dining rooms provide a more elegant ambiance, with full-course meals to match. A sizeable banquet room features white tablecloths, red lanterns hanging from the ceiling and striking contemporary art. A selection of traditional soups, chicken, duck, seafood (the steamed sea bass is among the restaurant's most popular entrees) pork and beef are available for between $9.95 and $30. A banquet menu, suitable for private parties or groups of six or 10 people, provides some more exotic dishes, such as the suckling pig platter and shark's fin soup. Though they aren't cheap, these combos will surely satisfy discerning palates.
In the mood for something lighter and less expensive? The top floor does serve legendary dim sum...but only until 3 p.m. But not to worry; if you miss it, just head downstairs for your fix.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Christine Tyler