Hi, I'm Lu!

A PhD Student at University of Chicago who loves discovering the world and trying new eats! Hope you enjoy!

Northern City

Northern City

Fuqifeipian
Fuqifeipian

Ever since restaurants in the actual Chicago Chinatown started becoming more touristy and less authentic, we've been venturing out to Bridgeport for Chinese food, of which my favorite restaurant thus far is Potsticker House.  But then we heard about Northern City, which was opened by one of the chefs who had worked at Potsticker House, we had to go and try it out!

Despite its name, which makes you think they solely serve cuisine from northeastern China, Northern City actually have a number of Szechuan dishes on their menu, including fuqifeipian.  The name of this appetizer literally translates to the sliced lung of the married couple, but thankfully, the actual ingredients normally consist of thinly sliced beef tripe, heart and tongue tossed in a mix of spices including Szechuan peppercorn.  At Northern City, this dish is pretty decent, but I think the flavors could have been bolder.  It should result in my taste buds and stomach wanting more food!

Left: Xihu niu rou gen (West Lake beef soup) Right: Wan dou miao (peashoots)
Left: Xihu niu rou gen (West Lake beef soup) Right: Wan dou miao (peashoots)

The soup we ordered is difficult to find on Americanized Chinese restaurant menus since it is less popular than the well-known eggdrop or hot and sour soup.  The West Lake beef soup is very viscous and is topped off with a handful of fresh cilantro, making it look like an aerial view of Xihu (West Lake) in Hangzhou, China.  This was a very hearty starter for sharing that I would definitely order again.

And of course we had to order some vegetables just to be healthy... These peashoots were pretty good, but don't go out of your way to order them.

Suan ni bai rou (sliced pork with garlic sauce)
Suan ni bai rou (sliced pork with garlic sauce)

Another Szechuan dish on the menu is the sliced pork with garlic sauce.  If you love garlic and pork belly, this is definitely the dish for you!  The pork itself is very tender, and the garlic sauce will guarantee that you won't end up like the characters in Vampire Diaries.

Fish
Fish

I love sweet and sour sauce on fish, but what's even better is FRIED fish in a sweet and sour sauce.  This was absolutely delicious, and I'd recommend ordering this for more than 2 people.  But make sure you watch out for bones!

Tang cu pai gu (sweet and sour spare ribs)
Tang cu pai gu (sweet and sour spare ribs)

This is my absolute favorite way of having spare ribs done.  Forget about Southern BBQ!  What you need is a thick coat of vinegar and sugar, giving these pieces of meat a spectacular sweet and sour taste that will blow you away!

Fried shrimp
Fried shrimp

And somehow, we ended up ordering fried shrimp... I don't think these are very Chinese, but they were certainly delicious!  Loved that crisp!

Left: Zi ran yan rou (Cumin lamb) Right: Jiang bao ji ding (Gong pao chicken)
Left: Zi ran yan rou (Cumin lamb) Right: Jiang bao ji ding (Gong pao chicken)

These final Szechuan dishes were a serious let-down.  The cumin lamb was definitely not up there on my rating of other versions of this dish.  The flavors were there, but the ingredients seemed very disconnected.  Plus, whoever cooked this dumped WAY too much salt onto it.  Unfortunately, that's also what happened with the chicken.  It was so salty we could barely eat it, and when we confronted the manager, he said that saltiness is the essence of northern food.  That may be, but I'm 100% sure northerners don't ingest food this salty or they would all be suffering from a slew of health problems.

Tips:

  1. You can park in the strip mall parking lot across the street for free.
  2. If you pay in cash, it's 10% off (just ask).
Northern City on Urbanspoon
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