Since we live so close to Chicago Chinatown, love Chinese food, and love the cheap prices, we often end up roaming around new Chinatown square, just trying different places.
In my opinion, dim sum in Chicago is best at Shui Wah, and I heard their dinners are great too, so we almost stepped into the restaurant when we saw 老上海 (Lao Shanghai) across the walkway. I believe this location used to be a Taiwanese place called 海霸王 (Hai Ba Wang), which was exciting and delicious at first, but slowly deteriorated in food quality / flavor. very disappointing.
I saw a supposed 'article' on their soupy dumplings, and thought... why not, lets check it out.
Between the three of us, we shared the following:
1. Shanghai Lao Mien - a bit on the greasier side, but deliciously chewy noodles won me over.
2. Braised Pork Belly - there was this orange/red sauce on it that reminded me of the americanized version of sweet & sour sauce. I love fatty parts of pork belly, but this one had the ratio of 80% fat, 20% meat... pretty disgusting.
3. Seafood Casserole - this was like mapo tofu with shrimp. pretty good w/ rice, big shrimps.
4. Soupy Dumplings - omg, this is the worst EVER! It seriously tasted like the freezer-instant versions I get at supermarkets, the skin wasn't thin at all! SUCKS!
I later remembered that my mom told me about the opening of Lao Shanghai (it's owned by Tony Hu -- same owner of Lao Sze Chuan, and will open Lao Beijing too). I hope they make some improvements or else it won't be able to compare to the success of Lao Sze Chuan.
2163 S China Pl
(between Princeton Ave & Wells St)