-Asian in Chicago
A Hidden Gem in Westmont
Chinese Kitchen is one of those Chinese restaurants I would of never known about nor stopped in at if not for friendly folks on food forums. In this case the trusty posters over at LTH who gave Chinese kitchen the "good to go" which had it on my radar ever since then. Located in the west suburb of Westmont it sits, like many Chinese restaurants, in a strip mall. But the clientele tends to be Chinese which is always a good sign if it's those un-Americanized authentic Chinese dishes your after. It just so happens to be right down the road from Katy's which is a classic.
Trustworthy Chinese in Westmont
Chinese Kitchen specializes in Cantonese and Szechuan style dishes and has all the regulars on a Americanized Chinese menu including one of their house specialty's, a favorite of mine, orange peel beef. One day I'll try that when I can go with a few more folks since it doesn't come as a special during lunch which is a great time to visit this place due to their deals during those hours. A lunch special will get you soup, fried rice along with the entree you select and cost you no more than $7. Odds are you'll leave with leftovers if you get anything else with that.
We're on a quest to find the ultimate egg roll here and Chinese Kitchen puts out a more than respectable version. These are made in house and have a hint of peanut butter and perfect ratio of cabbage, pork and all the other good stuff that goes into making a great egg roll. Then fried to perfection I like these alot for a strip mall restaurants version. The potstickers are not my preferred style which is thin wrapping that's been browned real well but these still had some good flavor inside and were also cooked perfect as far as the ground pork inside which isn't the case everywhere when it comes to dumplings. I'm not sure if those are made in house or not.
Housemade egg roll
Chinese Kitchen has a few different menus so make sure you get to see all of them if your a first time eater. They have all the usual suspects on their regular Americanized menu such as Mongolian beef, Empress chicken and mu shoo pork. These are also the dishes that are offered in the lunch specials and I have enjoyed a few of them with each visit. The fried rice isn't the best but it's still better than most so I enjoy the fact this is a meal under $10 that can fill me up and is very edible. No nasty bits of gristled inedible meat here.
But the menu you really want to take a peak at is their specials consisting of authentic Hong Kong and Cantonese dishes. The menu seen HERE is also available with lunch special options during those hours. Two of the most popular dishes on this menu which is what keeps the real Chinese diners coming back are the Japanese tofu with spicy & salt as well as the salt & spicy smelt fish. I'm not a big fan of tofu but I do love fried smelt and have tried both of these dishes there and must say they're great. The tofu might even be better than the fried smelts which I really love. Each piece of tofu is cooked to perfection making them melt in your mouth and the chopped jalapenos only add that extra spice you need to take tofu to another level which they certainly do at Chinese Kitchen. I look forward to return visits and new dishes to try.
Salt & Pepper Japanese Tofu (Pic by G Wiv @ LTHforum)
Salt and Pepper Smelt
6551 S. Cass Ave
Westmont, IL 60559