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Derek J

Looking for Peking duck in Chicago

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I'm looking to order Peking duck in Chicago. Can anyone recommend a restaurant in Chicago with a good Peking duck?

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I'm looking to order Peking duck in Chicago. Can anyone recommend a restaurant in Chicago with a good Peking duck?

IMO, there is only one place doing it that's worth a visit...

Sun Wah BBQ

5041 N Broadway St

Chicago, IL 60640

(773) 769-1254

Here are some links to relevant discussions about it at LTHForum.com

Sun Wah

Beijing Duck for Chinese New Year at Sun Wah

=R=

Hosts, feel free to remove these links if it's not cool to link to LTH. :smile:

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I also love Sun Wah, though I'll add that you should call and reserve the duck in advance to ensure it's available on your visit.

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I also love Sun Wah, though I'll add that you should call and reserve the duck in advance to ensure it's available on your visit.

It definitely cannot hurt to call. I think they used to ask for 24 hours lead time but their volume on this item has grown to the point where that's no longer necessary. Still, better safe than sorry.

=R=

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Yes, I like Sun Wah, too. It's one of the only places that serves the Peking (let's make that Beijing) duck with steamed buns — the usual in Beijing — rather than moo-shu pancakes, and they finish, as in China, with duck soup. Plus they carve the bird at the table. But their service is atrocious, the dining room staff so poorly trained the last time we had Beijing duck there, they brought out our soup with the carved duck, requiring two tables, but we had only one. It was full of food (as was a chair next to us because they rushed the meal out) and was no place to put it and its requisite bowls and spoons.

Better service, controlled operations, and a more complete menu are to be found in Chinatown's more experienced Phoenix, an excellent restaurant with a large menu and many Chinese specials they'll describe for Anglos, though meant for "real" native customers.

As with both, give 24 hours' notice (mandatory at Phoenix). I'd prefer to go to the latter any day for a less-chaotic experience, but Sun Wah's great for barbecued pig and duck carryout. Phoenix's greater percentage of Chinese patrons assures a more accurate, polished Chinese-restaurant experience overall.

Sun Wah draws a large Anglo crowd, and many of its Asian customers are likely Hmong and Vietnamese. They have culinary treasures of their own, but are likely to be less demanding of an authentic Chinese dish.


Edited by allenkelson (log)

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allenkelson, have you been to Sun Wah since they expanded? I've yet to have a problem with having enough room in the new dining room.

I love Phoenix, and dine there frequently with a good friend and his father, who is Chinese and very particular about authenticity (he won't return to Lao Sze Chuan after pointing out how several dishes used shortcuts he didn't approve of). We always go to Phoenix for dim sum when they are in town, but for dinner we inevitably end up at Sun Wah. On our last visit, my friend's father told me about taking his father there a few years ago...the elder cried when he tried the duck. He said that he didn't think it was possible to find a duck that good in America.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

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It's interesting that the service at Phoenix has been mentioned in a positive light, because it's the primary reason I no longer go there. I found it to be often indifferent and even horrible at times. It's been a couple of years, though, so maybe it's improved.

=R=

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We have been to Phoenix several times in the last year, and have no complaints about the service.

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It's interesting that the service at Phoenix has been mentioned in a positive light, because it's the primary reason I no longer go there. I found it to be often indifferent and even horrible at times. It's been a couple of years, though, so maybe it's improved.

=R=

I've encountered pretty poor service at a number of places around town when not accompanied by someone of the ethnicity that is primarily catered to by the establishment. Dim Sum and Korean BBQ places stand out as repeat offenders in my mind. I feel like Phoenix has gotten much better in this regard, but it may just be that I've significantly changed the days/times when I visit. It's almost always weekday mornings, when I'm able to order from the menu and have a relaxed meal rather than deal with the crush of carts. Some people prefer the frenetic pace of the latter, but I definitely do not.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

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It's interesting that the service at Phoenix has been mentioned in a positive light, because it's the primary reason I no longer go there. I found it to be often indifferent and even horrible at times. It's been a couple of years, though, so maybe it's improved.

I've encountered pretty poor service at a number of places around town when not accompanied by someone of the ethnicity that is primarily catered to by the establishment. Dim Sum and Korean BBQ places stand out as repeat offenders in my mind. I feel like Phoenix has gotten much better in this regard, but it may just be that I've significantly changed the days/times when I visit. It's almost always weekday mornings, when I'm able to order from the menu and have a relaxed meal rather than deal with the crush of carts. Some people prefer the frenetic pace of the latter, but I definitely do not.

I have been to the Phoenix at both dim sum brunch and in the evening, with and without my Chinese friends. I didn't notice any difference in service. If anything, my Chinese friends managed to irritate the servers by asking lots of questions...

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I finally made it to Sun Wah a couple weeks ago for the Beijing duck. It was good, but disappointing. I guess I built the dish up in my mind to something spectacular and it fell far short. The duck fried rice was particularly bland. The duck itself and the buns were enjoyable. The soup was probably the most interesting component. It was a lot like chicken noodle soup, but with a distinctly different flavor. I would gladly eat it again, but the dish would not be destination dining for me.

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