Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A Farewell Lunch at Chicago


Last weekend, my brother and I took our Auntie to Chicago. My Auntie was flying home and we wanted to give her a farewell lunch. Initially, we thought of Japanese or Indian but my Auntie had tummy upset the day before. Since she was flying off that evening itself, we reckon that she should eat something that won't aggravate her tummy. Raw fish and spicy curry was out of the question.
What about pork ribs? That should be fine and Chicago it was! We were early and it was easy to get a seat. I have been there before with my partner a few years ago and I had a good impression of the ribs and nachos. But we never went back again because my partner was upset with the service. 

Our drinks were inadvertently omitted from the bill and instead of issuing a new bill, the staff insisted that we should pay for it separately in cash. Not wanting to create a scene, my partner obliged. He never supports a restaurant if the service is bad. I agree with him but on this occasion, I decided to give Chicago another chance.

My brother is a fan of ribs and he was happy to check out the ribs at Chicago. Once we were seated, we got busy with the menu. There are other items besides ribs, like pizza and burgers but we were already decided on ribs. And of course we had to try the appetizers too.

We ordered the Beer Battered Mushrooms. These were really good. Very crispy on the outside with juicy button mushrooms on the inside. The portion was quite big. More that enough for 3 persons. It comes with a sour cream dip which was very nice.

Beer Battered Mushrooms.

When I spotted Potato Skins, ah, I had to try that! There are only 6 pieces per serving which comes with some salad and sour cream dip. To me the lettuce leaves were totally unnecessary and I suspect they were there just to fill up the void. Either that or the chef feels that we should eat some greens hah...hah... The filling consisted of cheese and bacon with a sprinkling of spring onions. It was not bad, but not really that great either.

Potato Skins. Mine is better ahem!
Now on to the mains. The ribs come in two sizes - full rack or half rack. Had we not ordered appetizers, I would have gone for the full rack. My brother ordered a full rack as his "tangki" (tank) is bigger than mine. He is a six-footer after all :) I wish I had grown that tall but genetics was not on my side :( 

I ordered the Flaming Kansas something something. Can't remember the full name. My Auntie just tagged along and got the same thing. The server, who is a foreigner who speaks with heavily accented English tried to explain something to us but we couldn't make out what he was saying.

It was when the order arrived that we finally understood. This particular ribs is doused with whisky (or was it Bourbon? Whatever) and zapped with a blow torch. 

Please don't burn the restaurant down.

The server poured a small vial of liquor onto the ribs and proceeded to torch it. Kaboosh! My food went up in flames.


The song Shot Up in Flames by AC/DC came to mind.

The end result was not a pretty sight. And it tastes just like it looks. In spite of the hoo-hah-up-in-flames-ribs it did not really taste like much to me. Not impressive at all and I wished I had ordered something else. But at least now I know what not to order next time. I kind of felt sorry for my Auntie. But on the bright side, that mini inferno ensured that the ribs were extra sanitized and no bacteria will attack my Auntie's tummy :D

My torched ribs. This is a half rack.
The ribs come with a choice of two sides. I chose Coleslaw and Beer Battered Fries. My Auntie, not knowing what to choose, did likewise. Since the ribs were to be torched, the sides were served separately.

The Beer Battered Fries were pretty good. Very crispy. I haven't had fires fries for a very long time and I enjoyed them very much. It was quite a big portion and I had to help my Auntie finish hers.

Beer Battered Fries. There goes my low carb diet.
Then there was the Coleslaw. Hmmm...and not Mmmmm.... It needs improvement, this one. Not enough dressing and seasoning. Quite blah but I needed the roughage :)

I can make better coleslaw.
And how about my brother's order? He made a very wise choice by opting for the Original BBQ. Look at that. A full rack with Beer Battered Fries and Mashed Potatoes. Oiks, that's two sides of potatoes. I guess my brother couldn't decide between fries or mash and decided to go for both.

I wish I had gone for this one. Next time.

I did not try anything on my brother's plate because I don't make it a habit of taking food from other people's plate (unless if they make an offer). Likewise, I don't like people taking anything from mine. I am very territorial when it comes to food.  I remember giving a university mate my killer stare when she started pinching tempeh from my tray at the cafeteria tsk...tsk...tsk.... But if you ask for permission, I would gladly oblige :)

Mashed potato topped with spring onions and some grated cheese.

The service can be improved because our drinks did not arrive even after the appetizers were served. We had to remind the staff. Something as basic as serving drinks shouldn't go wrong.


Funny taste notwithstanding, I finished my ribs.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the lunch with the exception of my choice of ribs. The serving portions are generous. And as my brother reminded me, it is way better than a rib outlet we went to in Damansara Heights where the serving size was so small and did not justify the price that we paid.


The damage after discount was RM182.10. So will I come back to Chicago? Yes, I would. As a matter of fact, my brother and I plan to return to try the other items on the menu. We'll order a full rack each and exchange half a rack for variety. When it comes to food, we like to plan ahead hah..hah...


I'll be dreaming of you tonite...........

55 comments:

  1. Eh the Penang outlet don't have the fire stunt one, not fair! I went once with a colleague, she bought from Groupon, but her hubs did not want to go with her, so she dragged me along on one of the Friday long lunch hours >.<

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    1. You didn't miss much. I did not think that it tasted that great. I want to go back there and try the other flavours and also the other items like burgers and their desserts :)

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  2. How's the service this time? Better I hope. Wow that's a huge flame.....too bad the ribs weren't that good.

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    1. Hi Yen! The service was much better except that the drinks was slow. I think it is wise to go during the off peak hours like we did. Yup, that rib I ordered was disappointing.

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  3. no Phong Hong bakes or cooks today!! she instead went out makan in Chicago, but never also forgotten her own kitchen, must taste the food and compare if the restaurant did it better or she cooks it better at home!! haha, you are surely a very professional foodie~~

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    1. SK, once in a while I want to taste other people's cooking. Not being arrogant lah, but seriously sometimes I find that the food is not up to mark.

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  4. i think i have been to this Chicago before, in 1U if not mistaken, and that was when i met up with some bloggers.. just been there once and we also ordered the ribs but i don't remember we had that "burnt" right in front of us.. one of the blogger friends made the order, besides the ribs, we did not have what you have ordered!! the beer battered mushrooms and fries and potato skins look good, but of course i would agree Phong Hong's potato skins are way better (even just the look)..

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    1. Yah, that't the one at 1-Utama. Thank you for complementing my potato skins hah..hah...

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  5. all drinks omitted from the bill?? hahaha.. and who was the honest one to let the restaurant know about this?? well, i won't mind paying the drinks separately in another bill actually.. unless there are mistakes in the bill, else i won't ask for a new one.. it's just like a top up of the drinks, so making no difference to the total amount, so it's fine to give me a separate bill.. this also helped the waiter so that he/she is not penalized for voiding one big bill to just add in the extras..

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    1. Though it is no big deal digging up some cash to pay for the drinks separately, it is a matter of principle. If you made a mistake, you have to correct it. The customer wants to pay by credit card and instead of inconveniencing him to pay part by credit card and part by cash, you should issue a new bill. After all it is your mistake and it is the convenience of the customer you must think of and not your own.

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  6. Replies
    1. They were awesome, GK! I would order that one again.

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  7. When I saw the potato skins I was thinking your one is better before I even read your caption for the photo, hehehe. True enough you also think yours are better. :)

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  8. Good to hear that you enjoyed the ribs, I took my family there once and they said the ribs are not meaty enough because the top and bottom part of the ribs where the meat are have been shaved off leaving a thin layer of meat and only those meat between every bone. They told me to go to the butcher to see a real slab of pork ribs for myself to know what a real pork ribs rack should look like with all the meat.

    After being thrown cold water by my own family, I never go back to Chicago to eat pork ribs again. Hahaha.

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    1. Oh really? I must do a close inspection when I go there again. This does not sound good at all.

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    2. I thought I perasan with the lack of meat, maybe because I was having a Groupon meal. You mean that meatless thing is what they serve even on usual price? No thanks then :-/

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  9. Never Been to Chicago before.. Ipoh don't have this yet... and will never have, I guess.. too many cafes already and not much business.. but open hawker stalls, then you will see people crowding especially when the food is cheap and nice! :)

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    1. Never mind, Claire. If given the choice, I would go for good hawker food anytime :)

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  10. Hi Phong Hong, well ... looking at their baked potato skin, definitely yours (and perhaps mine .. hee hee ahem) is better. Beer Battered Fries look good. Ok guess that you will going back for Original BBQ ? Sweet dream ^-^!

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    1. Karen. hah..hah..yes, your potato skins are also way better lah! Yup, going for the original BBQ or Honey Garlic next time :)

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  11. I haven't been to Chicago, looks good, except your choice lol! I keep that in mind in case I landed there one day!

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    1. Jeannie, do not order that flaming ribs hah..hah... Just a lot of show and not good taste :(

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  12. Hey! When did you post this? Dropped by a few times today, didn't notice anything new...or maybe I was not observant. The only place that I've been to that is something like this is Tony Roma's. Nice. The kucings took me there for dinner. Sure would like to give this one a try should I get the chance.

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    1. This very morning! My parents have been to Tony Roma's but I was told that the serving size of the ribs is too small and not worth the price paid. I don't know as I have not been there before.

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  13. Hi Phong Hong, I like the look of all the food that you ordered except the flaming ribs. Looks scary...Reminds me of the Bomb Alaska [flaming ice cream] that I had long ago at a Western food outlet.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! hah..hah... Next time I won't order anything that involves fire at the table!

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  14. So so so....you have your partner in crime when it comes makan good food eh!

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    1. Yup, can always rely on baby brother to go for makan spree!

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  15. An interesting dinner. The food looks greasy though but it is my hub's kind of grub. The ribs look kind of sad..

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    1. Yup, I was sad for making that choice but at least now I know....

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  16. Hmm, not a cooking post today!

    Everything looks good la!

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  17. Wah .... got fire somemore ! I also want to try the ribs !

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    1. Chris, try the Flaming Ribs at your own risk :)

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  18. you had me at the mushroom.....i love it. Hahaha...alamak...only two outlets...hmm....kena bodek driver go there :p

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    1. I think your driver will sure volunteer to go there :)

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    2. Errr...today at Chicago , no homecook huh?! Hehe

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  19. Hi Phong Hong,
    Your platter of pork ribs looks so sad! Haha! I've been to one restaurant that serves delicious tender pork ribs and pork knuckles complete with German sausage, and sides dishes, like potatoes and veggies, It was so, so, good! My sister belanja! haha! I think it is called S'mores restaurant, you can google for more info. She bought the coupons from Groupon when they had the offer. We ordered the pizza as an ala carte and it was crispy and delicious!
    I have not been to Chicago Restaurant before, but I would probably pass on that torched rib! The BBQ ones looks better! And I would not mind a big plate of that fried mushrooms, sounds good!

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    1. Hi Joyce! hah..hah... I made the wrong choice :( Great, I checked the website for S'mores Restaurant and it looks like the sort of restaurant that my brother and I would love! Will check it out one day. If you go to Chicago, you can order any ribs except that torched one hah..hah... The mushrooms are great though :)

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  20. You are making me want to go to Chicago! To be honest, pretty much any food upsets my stomach when I'm travelling. Except toast, which is my go-to travel food :p

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    1. Cathleen, where you are I am sure you can find much better BBQ ribs. I've had ribs at Applebees and I love them!

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  21. Hi Phong Hong, guess I missed so much from your posts...and talk about calories, and fat?...just looking at all the yummy fried stuff, and ribs, made be gain 5 lbs...lol
    Were you in Chicago USA...or a restaurant named Chicago? ...and as for the bill...yikes! That is enormous; even for 3 persons, or was it 2?

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    1. Elisabeth, I would love to go to Chicago. USA hah..hah... But no, that was a restaurant called Chicago. I know, the prices here are on the high side. If I compare dollar for dollar, it is a lot more affordable to eat food like this in USA.

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  22. I'm back again, Phong Hong! Just finished browsing thru all the posts I have missed, and thanks to you, I'm starving and drooling over all your dishes and desserts...especially,

    http://phonghongbakes.blogspot.com/2014/08/nigellas-old-fashioned-chocolate-cake.html

    Love how your Nigella chocolate cake turned out, so moist, light, chocolaty 'heaven' and the silky chocolate frosting; a must try! Also your aunty's sticky ribs...yumm!
    Let's not forget the pretty Orange/Chocolate bundt, or tube cake...superb!
    The Lemony Chicken is another winner! Your roasted chickens are always so fabulous! xo

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    1. Elisabeth, so sweet of you to look through my previous posts! And as always, you flatter me hah..hah.. Thank you for making my day!

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  23. see if i have the chance to go there one day and try the bbq ribs. We had San Francisco Steakhouse here in ipoh but before i got the chance to go, it was closed down already :(

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    1. Lena, I have been to San Francisco Steakhouse but I was not impressed. Never went back hah..hah...

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  24. I hope one day i will be there and enjoy the beer better mushroom,potato skin and the ribs as well. They all look so tempting! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, Aunty Young, you must try the beer battered mushrooms!

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  25. Oh yes, I remember that you and I like the ribs at Chicago. Each time I ate there, I felt so guilty for eating so much ribs and meat. Luckily their salad is nice too. What a shame I never tried their potato skins after seeing your photo. I will do so next time.
    I find the outlet at One-U always warm no matter where I sat as the air conditioning is not right there.

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    1. TM, now that you mentioned it, yes it was warm. Can't feel the air-cond! But at that time it was not so crowded and it was not that bad. More people, more heat. The potato skins are alright and I have had better ones at other restaurants.

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