5039 N Broadway St.
Chicago, IL 60640
websiteAlthough it stays relatively quiet in Chicago’s uptown neighborhood along the Broadway Street corridor, Sun Wah BBQ has been around town for a very long time. Once you sit down at this restaurant, though, you’ll see why pretty quickly. The menu, inspired by Chinese grilled meats and many things like it, is simply unique even in a city of this size. While the restaurant seems like it might be like many other run-of-the-mill places around the city, this is going to be one that you will want to remember.
The worst-kept secret on the menu has to be the place you’ll want to make a first impression: The Duck Roast! Let’s go though it.
- Roast Peking Duck: A whole duck — yes, literally an entire duck — is delivered to your table where it is then carved into bite-sized slices and served with bao dumplings. You can then eat them like little sandwiches. Why is it cut up you ask? So every piece has some of that fine crunchy skin. The thinner the slice, the better as far as Peking Duck goes. But don’t start digging into it yet; there’s more.
- Duck fried rice: Once the duck is carved, the parts that can’t be easily cut are chopped into a fried rice that is served at your table a bit later. It’s just extremely filling and pleasant and wonderful.
- Peking duck bone soup: After the meat is picked off, the rest of the duck, the final bits of meat and the bone, are stirred into a nice broth to become Peking Duck Bone Soup. This soup is a delight; it’s mostly about the broth, which is packed with flavor; with duck meat, potatoes and onions adding to the flavor.
The restaurant is pretty spacious inside, though it might not have the most amazing visual appeal. It’s cavernous on the inside and well suited to a ton of people coming in at a time. Which is great. This is Chicago we’re talking about. It’s always a struggle to find a table at some of the best places. But this one does it pretty well. The prices are a bit elevated, which is fine, because the experience here is pretty unique.
I wouldn’t suggest it as a place to take a date. I get how nice the photos look, but the ambiance just isn’t there. This is more of a place you want to take a group of people or a friend. That’s the perfect way to have your first duck roast.
- The restaurant is good for a big group, or for a gathering of lots of people. There’s plenty of room. Just make sure bigger groups get a reservation.
- The roast duck has been called this place’s worst-kept secret. You really have to try it.
- Be ready to take some of your food home. Servings? Huge.