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Chicago Area Sichuan

fab yunnan/sichuan at spring world

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Restaurants & Bars 2

fab yunnan/sichuan at spring world

Mary Shaposhnik | Oct 8, 2001 08:41 PM

Following lead on this board, had a great meal at Spring World. The menu is mostly Sichuan, with a small Yunnan menu too. Unfortunately, two of the Yunnan dishes I most wanted -- steampot chicken (a simple steamed chicken dish, often with medicinal herbs, defined by the particular cooking method) and yunnan ham with cauliflower -- were not available. I wasn't too surprised, since the chicken takes a long time to cook, and I didn't think Yunnan ham is available here (though the owner, who I am not entirely sure was on the level with me, said it is) -- maybe calling ahead would help?

Anyway, settled on a nice, comforting Over the Bridge noodles -- good, not transcendent, rendition, lots of good crunchy things and pretty quail eggs hidden in the bowl. Lamb and fish stew (tender lamb, a bizarre fish, cellophane noodles) was incredibly intense and wonderful -- very unlike any I had in Yunnan, and so rich it was hard to eat in much quantity, but truly excellent. Tofu skins and leeks were a nice chewy, textured contrast (bland flavored on their own). Minced pork with preserved vegetables was good, packed with heat, but a little monochromatic (again, didn't recognize it as Yunnan chow but I don't know)

Most of the other things were from the Sichuan side. Really good dan dan noodles, far better than Grand Sichuan's in NYC. Excellent, light, spicy frog with scallions -- good chunks of frog, and lots of it -- and a standout, fabulous eggplant with garlic casserole -- smooth, flavorful almost caramelized eggplant. Someone in the group got a steamed fish, was okay, nothing special.

Hotpots on other table looked really good -- will try it next time. Helpful staff kept the rice coming. Total bill (food, tip) for 6 people with far, far more food than we could eat was $17 each. Restaurant is in the book, located Cermak and Archer, in the mall. Will definitely revisit on Chicago trips.

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