Saturday, August 10, 2013

Go 4 Food

Location: 212 W. 23rd St., Chicago, IL 60616
Go 4 Food on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
After several restaurants in Chicago's Chinatown disappointed me, and only one or two that kept me coming back time after time, I was a little hesitant to try Go 4 Food.  But recently, this newer restaurant, located on a side street of older Chinatown, has become the talk of the town.  After arriving at the smaller, more intimate restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter an extensive menu with dishes I have never heard of.  I was excited to try all the recommendations from my parents, but also had my eye on a couple of other dishes.  As soon as the food hit the table, I knew I would be coming back for more.  The flavors were unreal, and the portion sizes fair.  The prices were a little on the steeper side... disappointing for student's budgets, but fair for people earning a decent living.  On the other hand, it was a much cleaner restaurant than others you find in Chinatown.  I couldn't rate it has high as my favorite Chinatown restaurant, Triple Crown, but, if you look past the prices, I think a 4.5 mile rating is definitely fair.

What We Ate:

Crab Meat and Fish Maw Soup

When I was young, my mom used to make a crab and corn soup.  I still remember craving that soup day after day.  Go 4 Food offers a Crab Meat and Fish Maw soup, one that rivals my mom's.  This soup is made with chunk crab meat, a seafood broth, and plenty of fish maw.  If you didn't know, fish maw is the swim or air bladder of the fish.  It allows for buoyancy so the fish doesn't have to expend energy while swimming.  Well, for us, it allows for great eating.  The soup has an amazing salty, sea flavor.  The soup is on the thicker, corn starch-added side.  And, no one can be more generous on both crab meat and price.  A small order is enough for 4 people to have a bowl and a half each.  If I were to come back, this would be one of two dishes I would  order.

French Style Beef Tenderloin

The first dish to come out was the French Style Beef Tenderloin.  It was claimed to be the most popular dish at the restaurant... and honestly, I couldn't see why.  This dish comes with a decent amount of chunk tenderloin that has been sautéed in a sweeter soy sauce.  It is accompanied by tomato, onion, and a few other fresh veggies.  At first, I was a little disappointed in the dish.  The meat isn't as tender as the name suggests and the flavor was what... sweet?  But after a couple more bites and a change in palate from the other dishes, this sweeter-style meat dish became addicting.  When you can look past the chewier side of the meat, you find yourself come back, fork after fork full of the tenderloin.  Personally, I would have enjoyed a more savory beef dish, so for me, I would rather try something else.  But I would still suggest this dish to others.

Shrimp in Salted Egg Yolk Sauce

Now, this was the dish I was looking for.  And, all I can say is WOW.  The Shrimp in Salted Egg Yolk Sauce is definitely one of the top 3 seafood dishes I have ever tried.  We chose the shell-less option, was against my will, but after the ease of eating and the flavor of that sauce, I understand why my parents suggested it.  This dish features over a dozen shrimp caked in a salted egg yolk sauce, which is served over a bed of lettuce.  That lettuce is KEY, it soaks up the rest of the salted egg yolk and tastes just as good.  The dish seems simple, but the richness from duck eggs and with the accompaniment of a little white rice, I couldn't have tasted a better dish.  Simple, rich, delicious... unbelievable!

Poached Manila Clams with XO Sauce

And, finally, the last dish to hit our table was my choice... the poached manila clams with XO sauce.  This spicier black bean sauce is the base the manila clams are sautéed in.  Plenty of diced jalapeños top the dish.  I suggest ordering extra white rice because the sauce is "to die for."  It is hard to explain that chinese black bean flavor, but I like to think of it as a nuttier flavor with a little fermented bean taste.  I guess the best way to decide for yourself is to try.  It is an incredible dish... one that I will order again.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Listen to their suggestions.  The most popular items we ordered... and they were all incredible.

- Be aware that this place is busy during weekends.  Don't expect to get seated right away.

How far would I walk for this food?

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