Dim sum: Triple Crown vs. Phoenix?
We're traveling to Chicago and would like to know which is better and more authentic. Thanks so much for your input.
I actually like Three Happiness (across from the Chinatown parking lot - can't miss it). Service is efficient, the food is good, wide variety of dim sum items. Phoenix was okay, but extra-crowded and I hate waiting forever at restaurants to dine. Phoenix Dumpling House (ground floor below Phoenix) used to be great for Xiao Lung Bao (sp?). We always went to the dumpling house when we were jonesiing for dim-sum but didn't have a lot of time (I know - that's antithetical to the concept of dim sum).
Neither, Chinese food in Chicago is mediocre at best.
Nothing comes close to SF (Nan King or Yank Sing) but if you're not afraid of not much English, I have had great exeperiences at Sui Wah (pronounced Shwee Wah). It is in the "new" Chinatown square--across the street from Phoenix. A little hard to find, you walk into the West side of the little open-air mall called Chinatown Square. I usually find me and my group to be the only caucasians in the place. No carts, you order on a card like many Sushi places.
I wouldn't say Chicago Chinese food is mediocre. I've had some great Chinese food in SF and NYC, but Chicago Chinese was very comparable.
One of the Three Happiness restaurants had been repeatedly shut down by the health department (this was a few years ago. I don't know the status now). There are 2 Three Happiness restaurants, though. I'm not sure which is the culprit.
I would also look into Furama on the south end of Chinatown. It has dropped off in quality lately, but it's still pretty good, especially when it's crowded and there are plenty of carts to chose from.
I second Shui Wah's - it's great - very fresh and good flavor. It's across from Joy Yee's, which always has a huge line of people getting smoothies. If Shui Wah's is packed, Happy Chef is next door and is also pretty good. I would try to get to Shui Wah's around 10:30 because the restaurant is kind of small.