The recent discussion of Phoenix below reminded me that I had cannily held back my query on their banquet meals. Cannily because I had forgot where I put my copy of the menus.
Phoenix was tauted as the top chinatown resturant. I do not know if I agree on that based on one dinner there. Still, when we were there for dim sum a few weeks ago, I picked up a menu of their pre-set banquets, and these really appeal.
The prices range from 23 per person for a six person dinner to $600 for a ten person dinner. In fact, except for the $138 dinner for six, all the dinners are for ten. So, right from the start, compared with the tra's or even Arun, the price seems fair--and no foam!
What do you get? It depends on what you want. A couple of the meals are arranged around Perking Duck. [Gary, it would be interesting for you to compare.] The rest of the meals throw a variety of delicacies at you: especially the chewy, rubber stuff like bird's nest that Chinese adore.
The most expensive dinner ($600 for ten) includes suckling pig platter, dried (Japanese) scallop, jumbo shrimps with virginia ham [I've seen these virginia ham's hanging in a market in the chinatown mall, quite the site, like chinese proscuitto], shark's fin soup, crispy chicken stuffed with minced shrimp, pea-pod sprouts with abalone, lobster, steamed fish, baked rice with shrimp in a lotus leaf, e-fu noodles and shrimp dumpling, desert and something called oriental delight, which I believe is another name for bromoseltzer.
I'm anxious to give one of these a try. I'm curious if anyone else has tried. If not, will the first person that does, report back?
The menu's are fully translated and accessible as far as I can tell. I do not know if you need to order in advance, but it probably could not hurt to call first.
Phoenix is at 2131 S. Archer. They validate for the main Chinatown lot. Their phone number is 312-328-0848