10 Pan-Asian Eateries
by alexandra gallucci
Fusion is the name of the game at these Chicago eateries.
Chef Shin Matsuda rolls out sushi at lightning speed in Streeterville, where on-the-go diners can personalize their bento box meals with rice, protein, tempura, vegetables, house-made pickled items, and salads to create their own custom no-hassle, flavorful lunch. 203 E. Ohio St., 312-245-3003
This oasis in the Financial District welcomes diners with a tranquil atmosphere and Asian-French fusion. Beef tenderloin is paired with satsuma sweet potato gnocchi, grilled napa, and gochujang; the 190 S. sushi dish features soy paper, scallion, yellowtail, tuna, cilantro, avocado, red pepper, lime, and chili oil. 160 W. Adams St., 312-781-7300
Much like Peking duck, whole chicken is dried, marinated, blanched, glazed, and roasted at this West Loop hot spot that marries Vietnamese fare with Chinese techniques. Head to the lounge and sip on a Death of Reposado cocktail with aged tequila, Thai chili, pomelo, and shiso foam. 564 W. Randolph St., 312-612-5640
Harold Jurado and Andy Galsan’s Asian-inspired menu adds some sizzle to the steakhouse-saturated Gold Coast. The Tokyo Chicago pairs Wagyu and Black Angus with uni-Sriracha hollandaise, fingerling potatoes, and pearl onions; the Kiss of Fire roll features spicy tuna, jalapeño, white tuna, salmon, and wasabi sauce. 1009 N. Rush St., 312-660-3111
In his first foray outside of Chinatown, chef Tony Hu ventures to River North to open an upscale venue offering cuisine from various Chinese regions. Enjoy signature dishes like Tony’s Special Chicken, crispy shrimp, and dim sum served in an elevated atmosphere. 18 W. Hubbard St.
Exquisite Japanese cuisine hits Streeterville with three-, five-, and seven-course omakase tasting menus; selections include jellyfish, kelp noodle salad, and stingray simmered in ginger soy. 990 Mies van der Rohe Way, 312-280-9100
Executive chef Matt Riordan’s menu at this intimate Fulton River District restaurant emphasizes seasonal ingredients and local meats to create authentic Vietnamese cuisine that includes sweetbread and beef tongue. 567 W. Lake St., 312-496-0090
Sumi Robata Bar
Start the evening in the downstairs Charcoal Bar with a classic Manhattan or Tom Collins in hand, and head up to enjoy the spectacle that is watching chef Gene Kato grill using the ancient Japanese Robata technique in his brand-new River North restaurant. 702 N. Wells St.
Eastern and Southeastern Asian influences artfully blend in River North, where an ever-changing menu keeps diners on their toes. Warm up with pork belly, tofu, and bok choy kimchi soup, or indulge in hearty Australian Wagyu rib eye with yuzu-chili-stuffed bone marrow. 110 W. Illinois St., 312-644-0500
Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar
This River North mainstay serves three types of Japanese cuisine, including cold dishes such as truffled tuna and duck fat yakisoba, sushi wrapped in black rice, and the signature open flame style of barbecue grilling. For more exotic fare, indulge in Buffalo duck wings or grilled alligator. 230 W. Erie St., 312-662-4888
Michigan Avenue celebrates with cover star Harrison Ford at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.