Ji Hye and I tried to taste as much as possible during my 28 hour visit to Chicago. A lot has surfaced since my last trip about 4 years ago, or maybe I just have a really good personal restaurant locator (Ji Hye).
The first place we visited was in a suburb called Westmont, about an hour train ride from the city. Katy’s dumplings is a hole in a wall- well, a strip mall- and run by a chef from Hong Kong. The menu was small, and what I’d expect to get in a good neighborhood shop in Taipei (I’ve never been to mainland China). They hand pull their noodles daily, sometimes twice a day. The chef makes everything in-house and prides himself on the authenticity and making everything from scratch- even the chili oil. This solidifies my theory that the untapped, good Asian restaurants with almost no advertisement (or English for that matter) will 1. be in a strip mall in suburban America 2. have really good authentic food from an immigrant chef that speaks minimal English, and really doesn’t care what you think because he works his ASS off 20 hours a day.