Chicago >Food & Dining > Shui Wah Chinese Cuisine
2162 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061641.853629 -87.634078
Neighborhoods: Armour Square (Chinatown), Armour Square, South Side
I love Dim Sum, but I would not eat at a restaurant that serves shark fin soup.
Shark Fin Soup outrage!!! – Shark fin is tasteless. The soup is flavored with chicken or beef broth to get flavor. Chinese view sharks as having medicinal qualities, but sharks get tumors, cancer and other diseases as well and no scientific evidence has shown shark fin soup to have ever provided health benefits. Shark Fin Soup has led to the decline of the world's shark populations by up to 90%. Annually millions upon millions of sharks are slaughtered exclusively for their fins. The sharks entire body is then dumped back into the ocean, therefore wasting the entire shark. DON'T EAT HERE!!! If you do eat here, don't order the shark fin soup and demand they remove it from there menu.
Best tasting, inexpensive dim sum, but expect a wait since it's well known and popular! – My wife and I have been to several dim sum restuarants in Chicago and San Francisco and we're generally very picky about the quality of food we get at restaurants, especially since we cook all our own food from scratch at home. We were extremely happy with the food at Shiu Wah. It's the best dim sum I've had so far. The food, service, cleanliness was far better than another well known dim sum place a few doors down. We went on a Sunday around Noon and we waited about 25 minutes for a table for 2. Larger groups (5-8 people) were waiting for 25-40 minutes it seemed like. Waiting was a litlte confusing since we had to flag down a particular waitress who had a scrap of paper she was holding with some numbers on it. Apparently that was enough for her to keep track. She actually seemed to keep pretty good track of everyone, but we made sure we still stood inside the restaurant within view of her while waiting, just to make sure we weren't forgotten. The food was well worth the wait. And the dishes (teapot, cups, silverware, plates) were all clean (unlike another dim sum place we went to nearby which had stained, cheap looking teapots, cheap chopsticks, and sweaty unkept staff). Some of the food seemed to take a little longer than I expected, but it worked out because we ordered about 5 different dishes, so we weren't hungry for very long anyway. I didn't know they ask what type of tea you'd like, so I was pleasantly surprised by that. We got the Jasmine tea and it went great with our food.
We saved a little bit of our appetite to sample more dim sum at another restaurant nearby. We were so disappointed (like I mentioned above) that we couldn't wait to leave that place. They had handmade colored pieces of paper taped all around the whole restuarant, and it seemed very amateurish and cheap.
We plan on going back to Shui Wah several times each year, so I hope our experiences continue to be as outstanding as the first time!
Shui Wah Bu Hao (SHUI WAH BAD) – Shui Wah was a disappointment and extraordinary waste of time. They took over 50 min to bring our food (most likely because we were white) and after all that time it was bland and mediocre. I've eaten at countless dim sum restaurants all over the world and have to say that this was the worst one of them all. When I told one of the many waitstaff that if our food didn't show up soon, I wasn't paying the bill. 3 minutes later 7 dishes arrive. Shui Wah shi bu hao. Tamen yingai hui zhongguo.
THE go-to place for dim sum in Chicago – Freshest ingredients by far -- the only downside is that it's always crowded, but wait is usually under 15 minutes. I absolutely love their shrimp chang fen -- crisp shrimp wrapped within wide noodles, yum!!!
Great Dim Sum, come early, or you will be waiting in line, or you will be eating elsewhere – Where does all the old retired Chinatown business owner go, when they are hungry for dim sum, you can find them Shui Wah. You can find this restaurant mostly fill with people from Chinatown. Initially, I did not go there, until some old retired business owners convinced me to go to this place, because it is always crowded in the morning, worst on weekend, and holiday. Otherwise, it was not for the food, I would have been eating next door. This restaurant is not one of those push and pull dim-sum cart that one will find at big Three Happiness, Furama, or Phoenix Restaurant, it is more of a cook to order dim sum parlor. The place is quite small, very busy, and sometime, you might have to share a round table with someone, if all the regular tables have been occupied. The dim sum is served right out of the kitchen, not sitting in some dim sum cart for a hour or two. Selection is not as wide as some of bigger dim sum restaurant, but you will find your basic Har Gau (shrimp dumpling) to your Bar-B-Q pork bun, so do not expect to find egg custard or tapioca pudding; you will not find it at Shui Wah. Take out for dim sum can be tricky, so it is best to check your stuff before you leave, because one time, they forgot one of my order, and I had to come back for it. Otherwise, it is a very nice little restaurant if you want to introduce someone to some Chinese dim sum or a treat for oneself, but if you are in a hurry, and the place is crowded, expect to wait a little, but otherwise it is worth the wait. For family, come early, or you will be eating next door.
Excellent Dim Sum, best in Chicago! – I love Shui Wah for Dim Sum. The food is excellent and prices are very reasonable. Unfortunately they have a very small dining area, so the wait can be long at times, but the wait is well worthwhile. The service is okay, but that's not what you come here for because the Dim Sum can't be beat!
The best Har Gow(Shrimp Dumpling) and Vegetarian Noodle Roll – You will get fresh dim sum at this restaurant because they are made to order. Just check the items on the order sheet. You can't go wrong even if you are not familiar with the names of the dim sum. The prices are reasonable. It is always busy on the weekends. But the wait is usually not very long. However it is very hard to watch the servers pass by you with the hot steaming dim sum while you are waiting.
Everything a bit overdone – Seems like the cook had a heavy hand the day I went. Fried dim-sum was too greasy and sat in hot oil for too long, all the dumplings fell apart at first touch -- they steamed for too long so that the skin lost its elasticity and hold. The redeeming dishes were the shark's fin and Chow Chiu dumplings; the calamari also didn't taste frozen, another plus. Based on every else's rave reviews, maybe I should have stayed away from the dumplings and fried dishes?
Shui Wah - Oh Yeah It's GOOD – This place has the BEST crab rangoon I have ever had in my life.. Hot, full of cheese and meat, and very filling.. I have had many of the Chicken and Beef dishes, and all have been good. I also think their Hot & Sour soup is the best I have ever had. I travel here weekly from Colorado, and we simply do NOT have Chinese food like this in Colorado!! I try to get over to Shui Wah at least once a month during my work time in Chicago.
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