Monday, February 22, 2010


Everyone knows I am not a fan of "americanized-Chinese" restaurants, so I was never interested in Opera (self-proclaimed "Chinese with Modern Presentations"), a part of KDK Restaurant Group. However, this was one of the first groupons we received, and it's located close to our place, so we got overly excited and suckered in.

It took us months to make a reservation. When we finally did last weekend, I decided to keep an open mind, accept it won't be authentic, and just appreciate it w/out thinking it's Chinese... because it won't be.

It's a huge space, exciting/celebratory-ish decor, yet it wasn't overly loud. We were comfortable. There were empty tables, but it was quite busy, and it felt like there weren't enough wait staff, because we waited a while before our guy came to us to take the order.

under "dim sum" - Malaysian Red Chili Mussels ($9) - ground pork, sambal olek (chili paste sauce), cilantro

mussels were fresh, cooked well, and the sauce is slightly spicy but flavorful (reminded us of 苍蝇头 or "mosquito head", a famous Taiwanese dish that goes with rice). Slightly on the greasy end, but good.

under "the wok" - Diver Sea Scallops ($23) - Japanese brown rice risotto, bacon, sweet peas, shitake mushrooms, kaffir lime buerre fondue

Scallops were huge & cooked well, but way too salty. The risotto was kind of tough, but maybe it was supposed to be, since they used brown rice. The sauce was overly creamy, definitely not lime-y at all. Decent, not spectacular.

under "grilled" - Vietnamese Chicken ($17) - 1/2 free range chicken, ginger spring onion marinade

We're not sure what was V. about this chicken, and it seemed more baked than grilled. There weren't much flavor in the chicken...I guess they solely depended on the ginger spring onion sauce on the side, but that was just oily. Vegetables were tasty, but very oily too.

Everything up to this point was workable...I may be able to come try something else. However, I made the mistake of ordering a dessert...

dessert - creme brulee ($9) - flavor of the day: vanilla mint

This was the worst creme brulee I've ever had. The burnt sugar on top was THICK, I had to pull it off, otherwise my teeth would've fallen out. The filling was half cooked & tasted like toothpaste. I don't waste food, and def. didn't want to throw a fit, so we finished it... ANOTHER mistake. I ended up with a stomach ache, then sharp pains in my stomach, then "kill me now" feelings on the toilet until the night ended with D. very painful.

1301 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605-2504
(312) 461-0161

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