Dim Sum at Lao Sze Chuan and Tank Noodle

We set out to eat some dim sum in Chicago’s Chinatown after a warm-up at Wow Bao.

Lao Sze Chuan had some good reviews on Yelp, but what does that mean?

Their “dim sum” menu consisted of 8-10 items that barely passed as calling the section dim sum. We ordered only from this section, and debated on going to another dim sum place but didn’t have enough time.

These were probably the best dish on the table. Chengdu dumplings with an amazing sauce, slightly spicy, not too salty. The dumplings themselves had a good texture with just enough juice inside. The filling wasn’t anything special.

mini bao zi (steamed buns) with pork filling. These were probably the worst on the table.  I was so hopeful to bite into a soft bun with a juicey meat filling only to be let down with a tough bun and lacking filling that I can only compare to chewing on a hairball.  It got worse as time passed.

the previously mentioned dumplings halved. The one on the right just looks tastier…

Definitely not as good as Katy’s Dumplings, but not bad.  The skin wasn’t as firm and chewy, kind of soggy, and the filling wasn’t very tasty. mediocre.

A forgettable pork ramen with a light pork broth, average quality pork that was not as tender as it should be and almost no fat.

My favorite sweet dish of all time. These glutinous rice balls are sticky and chewy, served in a “soup” which is really the water that it was boiled in- like cereal milk, gets sweet and keeps the sticky consistency of the rice balls.  Inside is a grainy texture of ground black sesame paste.  Think of mochi, but boiled and stickier. I love these and it’s currently on our dessert menu for us to figure out how to make in-house with various fillings. Also served larger with peanut dust instead of soup in Taiwan (like a combo of mochi and this soup).

After wandering around Chinatown, getting LOADS of chinese pastries for $5, and a large Chinese chef’s cleaver, we headed to Vietnamese town for some Bahn Mi and Pho. I didn’t get photos of either, but here’s a photo at Tank Noodle of some delicious Vietnamese food. The pho is to the right of the picture.

Thus concluding my 28 hours in Chicago; 6 ramen soups, 14 orders of dumplings and/or buns, 1 bahn mi, 1 pho soup, and 1 cup of berry swirl for good measure.


2 Responses to “Dim Sum at Lao Sze Chuan and Tank Noodle”

  1. 1 Rob
    April 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Awesome! Lao Sze Chuan is my family’s favorite restaurant in chicago. They make the most incredible Szechuan food. Szechuan features hot and spicy dishes, so the redder and scarier it looks, the better it probably is. The key, which Lao Sze Chuan does so well is taming the spiciness so that it is tasty spicy as opposed to burn your mouth spicy. For good dim sum though, you gotta go to a cantonese restaurant, not szechuan!

  2. 2 Hoagie
    April 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Yeah, good point, Rob. We should’ve hit up a Canto restaurant for dim sum. Their spicy dishes, were indeed the best. I love Szechuan spicy foods! Hopefully we’ll be able to hit Windsor and Toronto soon for dim sum, like back in the dayyy 🙂

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