Lau Hunan, a Chinese restaurant with a Communist themed dining experience along with waiters dressed in Communist uniforms and a large picture of Mao Zedong on the wall. In no way am I affiliated or support the Communist Party, but waiters dressed in Communist uniforms serving me my food? That I cannot pass up!
2230 S Wentworth Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
Check out their menu right here. http://www.tonygourmetgroup.com/pdf/LaoHuNan_menu.pdf
Lao Hunan located in Chinatown, Chicago just opened up recently. I walked past this restaurant one day and casually peered it. To my surprise the waiters were dressed in the traditional green communist uniform: shirt, pants, cross body bag, cap and all! A communist themed restaurant in the States? What is the political world coming to?
I am going to go on a tangent here about something that happened to a relative of a friend of mine. The relative and her husband were applying to immigrate to the States from China. The husband got the stamp of approval! The wife unfortunately did not. The reason was that she told the immigration officers that she supported the Communist Party. When asked why she told the immigration officers this she said that she thought that the United States was the land of free, where freedom reigns. Free? Questionably so. Tolerant of political systems different from ours? Maybe not so much. It boggles me as to why she admitted that. Perhaps all immigration officers questioning Chinese citizens wanting to immigrate to America have to ask them the question whether they support or are affiliated with the Communist Party.
The walls were thematically decked out with pictures of Chairman Mao “serving people” and a mural of the other famous people of the Hunan province in China. The entire dining room was very yellow/orange tinged. The extreme orange glow of the room was a little nauseating with the red and orange walls and warm tinted lights.
I just HAD to try this place out. I came here with my friends Conny and Bernard. Conny and I arrived first and ordered. After reading yelp reviews beforehand, yes we are serious foodies like that, we knew exactly what Lao Hunan was known for. We got the Chairman Mao’s Favorite Pork Belly and Famous Hunan Chili in Black Bean Sauce. Dining like the Chairman himself.
We started off with the complimentary small plate of pickled and pepper turnip as the appetizer. I really like this a lot! They serve this at the other sister restaurants of Lao Hunan (Lau Szechuan, Lau Beijing, etc.). This taste a lot like a spicy version of cole slaw. The spiciness, the crunchiness, the crispness of this dish is just great!
The chili was delicious. Definitely different from American chili or any chili I’ve had before. It was more of a sauce than a chili. Sweet green peppers with lots of garlic and black bean. It was so flavorful! The combination of the ingredients cooked perfectly in a wok was really great! It was a little bit oily. Note the think layer of oil on the top of the dish, but that really added to the dish. The dish had two chili peppers next to it on the menu. Most of the dishes only had one chili pepper. We thought it was going to be extremely spicy, so we opted for moderate spiciness. The dish came out very weak on the spiciness level. I was expecting some heat! Some spice in my life! Next time I get this I will get with all of its spiciness! The rich taste of this dish is not something that you should miss out on.
The Pork Belly was delicious! Extremely fatty, but what can you expect. It is pork belly after all! The pork belly pieces were exploding with salty, rich, sweet flavors with a slight kick of spiciness.
My only complaint about this heavenly dish was that it is extremely fatty. The fat from the actual pork belly pieces, and also the very thick layer of oil in the sauce. I really wanted to spoon more of the sauce onto my rice, but seeing so much oil really scared me. Overall this dish was delicious! Both of the dishes were really great!
This restaurant is really fun to check out. Especially taking a look at the waiters and their uniforms. I asked to take a picture with our waiter, but he refused saying it would make the restaurant look bad if it goes up on Facebook. A great and fun dining experience. The only complaint is that the food is a little bit on the oily side, and the warm, both temperature wise and lighting wise, dining area made me feel a little sick. Other than that the food is really delicious!
Stars – 4/5