Monday, March 2, 2020

My Place

-Grubbing in Chicago
Cantonese Comfort Food in the South Loop

It's been mentioned by many how Chicago's Chinatown is undergoing a major change. Just like anything does through time. One big sign of this change happened when a local Chinatown landlord decided to squeeze out a longtime spot. I always passed My Place as it was located at the end or beginning of Chinatown Square depending on how you look at it. Since I always park over by the Richland Center My Place was usually the first or second spot I passed while walking into the Square. If it was the evening it was bound to be packed with a younger Chinatown demographic.

Locals Favorite now in the South Loop 

With it having been a longtime Chinatown spot My Place features classic Cantonese cooking. They closed at the end of 2019 and returned just last month. I'd always wondered what was good from here over the years (reviews are average and scattered). It wasn't until @brian_eng started giving it some online love that I started to entertain a visit. It took me long enough but eventually I went and found a specific dish to be fantastic. So much so I returned for it a couple times and then boom they closed. Well they're back on Wabash in the South Loop where some of their wypipo neighbors are pissed another Chinese restaurant has opened in the area. The type of idiots that would move to Bridgeport to escape it. That said I got to join Brian and his wife, both regulars, this past weekend for a lunch. While there the crowd was only about half Chinese so from what I could see there were quite a few South Loopers happy to have them in the neighborhood. By joining Brian and his lovely wife I got to get a feel for My Place past the Portuguese Rice Dishes that made me start to really like the place.

Stir Fried Duck Noodles (rice noodle) at My Place

We ordered up a four pack of the Eng's favorite hits. A plate of stir fried rice noodles with shredded duck was just what I needed as far as figuring out what else to order from here. I really liked this simple dish specifically for the wok job. As they told me as we ate you can rely on most of the wok fried noodle dishes including the beef chow fun. I'll have to try that next time as Hong Kong style (served dry) beef chow fun is a favorite. Here's another great tip I learned from our meal. On the specials combo page (meals with soup and drink included) there's a noodle soup served with a fried pork chop. Ask for the fried pork chop on the side and you'll get a big bowl of egg noodle soup (delicious on a cold day) and a fried pork chop sliced up bone-on and all. For $6-7 it's a steal considering you also get your choice of drink and so I was told they make great HK style teas.

Pork Chop and Noodle Soup Combo Special 

Another dish I never would've known to order is listed as "Eggplant preserved in fish, and chicken in the mini wok". Strips of eggplant are fried until bubbling hot along with little shreds of chicken and salted dried fish. You can really smell the fish when it arrives but the taste of it was pretty mild overall. I'd definitely recommend this to a group of people dining in looking to try a variety of menu items.

Eggplant served with Chicken and Salted Fish

Then there's the Portuguese Baked Rice dishes. The reason I first came here at their now old location. To those asking what are they doing serving Portuguese food at a Chinese restaurant? Well not quite. I believe the native term for this dish is Galinha à Portuguesa and it's debatable whether it originated in Hong Kong or Macau. Either way they don't eat this in Portugal. It's just another one of the amazing dishes that fusion food has brought us. The closest comparison for this baked rice dish served with a mild yellow curry is Japanese curry. It's a classic Cantonese / Macanese comfort dish found on the menu of many tea restaurants (like a diner) in Hong Kong and Macau. It's a gratin of rice topped with your choice of meat which can be a tough decision at My Place. The first couple times I tried it with the pork chop and it rocked. The other day we got the chicken which is little chunks of fried meat similar to karaage. Rice and meat are then topped with a very mild but tasty yellow curry and cheese. It's quickly become one of my favorite dishes in town. If you're looking for a night out food option in the South Loop they also serve booze. It's also worth mentioning they do live seafood from the tank and the lobster noodles are popular. It's good to have this Cantonese classic back.

Portuguese Baked Chicken Rice at My Place

My Place
1307 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 763-6935


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