Chu's Taiwan Kitchen - Coral Gables
Has anyone been? We walked in last night and felt a very odd vibe. Chu's is in the old Los Ranchos space in the Gables and by the looks of the decor not much had been done to wipe out the vestiges of its predecessor before opening. It felt completely odd seeing the terracotta and stained glass still there.
We were seated at a table right by the open kitchen. It was hot and we asked to move away from the kitchen (plenty of other tables were open so why we got the hottest one in the place I have no idea). Next took a look at the menu. I'd heard dim sum was not going to be offered yet the menu had a section of dumplings (at $6 to $8 a pop, pretty expensive for dim sum). Also about a third of the menu was dedicated to sushi. Two strikes. There was a third strike which I'd rather not mention and off we went.
Chu's has gotten some love in other boards but our 10 minute experience was very off-putting. Did we miss something?
I visited Chu's last week and they are under new management now. The place looks much better. They now have a very extensive menu and even offers dim sum. I heard they are now open for lunch also. Southfloridadines.com offers a coupon for $20 off, so maybe you should try it again. I tried the peking duck which comes in two courses and the sweet and sour snapper. Very delicious.
We were there for lunch last week and they are doing a full dim sum menu at lunch service (checklist style, not pushcart). Some things are better than others, generally speaking I preferred the steamed items to the baked, but a great addition to the Gables for lunch options. One of the few places you can find xiao long bao. They are not the best I've had but they're still pretty darn good.
I had forgotten about this thread, and could/should have noted a few months ago that we had a very good Peking duck there on a dinner visit.
The space is still sort of in a strange purgatory state between a Chinese restaurant and the old Los Ranchos.
Looked at the menu and figured I would give it some time to figure out what it wants to do. I'm not a real expert on Taiwanese food, but if you tell me Taiwanese, I don't want to look at some loungey Chinese-Japanese menu. I know there is sushi in Taiwan and perhaps their rendition is different from Japan, but I rather wait and see.
We used to go to Mr. Chu's on South Beach. When they first opened and for some time after it was a regular rotation dim sum spot for us; but after a couple years, the selection and consistency declined and it fell out of the rotation. I have not been to the new Gables spot but was hoping the move would help them relocate their mojo.
I had heard they'd not done much to refurbish the old Los Ranchos space. Not that I ever go to a Chinese restaurant for the decor, but this was somewhat surprising as Mr. Chu's on South Beach was very nicely decorated. I was disappointed to hear they were not doing dim sum lunch service (no lunch at all yet is what I understand).
Unfortunately it's unlikely I will try it any time soon unless/until they start doing lunch service as I don't often get to the Gables for dinner. I would love to see a good dim sum lunch in the Gables.