Chicago >Food & Dining > Mulan Restaurant
2017 S Wells St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061641.854808 -87.632676
Neighborhoods: Armour Square (Chinatown), South Side, Armour Square
Hidden Gem – This restaurant is swanky and trendy with excellent food. For the appetizer, I had the Grilled Wagyu Beef with Lemon Grass Marinade ,and it was absolutely delicious- the flavors had an Asian flair, and the beef was grilled to perfection. For the entree, I had the Wild Striped Bass with Spicy Tomato Basil Soy Poaching Liquid and Petit Salad. The sauce was sweet and tangy and quite tasty.
Mulan has some innovative and exotic items on their menu, so my friend got the New Zealand elk with panko scallops, lotus root with carrot-coconut-miso sauce. Although I was a little skeptical at first, this dish was delicious- I thought it tasted better than my sea bass. Elk tastes very much like a light beef- the flavors are much more subtle, and it was served in a delicious peanut sauce. My friend also ordered white rice to go along with it- I highly recommend this dish. I would get it again.
Unfortunatley, since this restauraunt is located in Chinatown, a lot of people either don't want to go due to the location, or they just don't know about it. When I went there on a Friday night, there were only 2 other parties seated in the restaurant, and it was such a shame, because if this restaurant was located downtown, it would definately be one of Chicago's premier hot spots. Apparently this restaurant was rated one of the top 5 new restaurants in Chicago Magazine.
I hope that this restaurant gets a following, because they deserve it- great food, and great service- they are just in a not-so trendy location right now.
Wed nights, they offer 25% off of the bill, and Thursday nights, they offer 50% off of everything at the bar (if you sit at the bar). They also have a coupon on their website that you can print out for 10% off your next meal on other days of the week (the expiration date says the offer expires on Feb 28th, but the general manager said that they would still honor it). Call first on the specials to make sure they are still running the promotions. Bon Appetit!
Terrible Service – The man that sat us we didn?t know if he was a Sommelier/Manager/ said someone would be over to explain the menu. 10 min later he came back with water, and said the waiter was caught up so he went over the menu, told us the bass which is what Chicago mag said was their best entree was sold out. We ordered some apps and then the waiter came over to take our order- we let him know we had already ordered appetizers. He took our dinner order App's came out then when our meals FINALLY arrived, they brought out 4 of our entrees, & did not bring my mom?s Lobster. The waiter and other Manager kept saying was coming 20 min later when it still wasn?t' there the rest of us were done with our meal, this other woman who was supposedly the Manager brought it out & said she would pay for it, & that it takes longer to make & someone should have explained that to us. The waiter said the kitchen was just so backed up,., there were probably 8 tables occupied- After entrees they brought out dessert menus, no one asked if we wanted coffee Desserts were ordered, and the 1st one was brought out, then 5 min later the 2nd those were the two most difficult desserts, the others were just choc/ van gelato. The 'Manager' brought out a plate with 2 scoops of choc and 2 that was not vanilla. He says to us oh they must be out of van so they gave you Mango, the kitchen staff speaks Chinese and I don't I can't understand them. How do you just bring out something different, don't you say Im sorry were out of vanilla, here are our other options? we said how disappointed in the service, & he says to my Dad, we made a mistake, like you have never made a mistake in your life. We were all appalled my Dad asked for the Manager & he said that he was. The lobster and our desserts were off the bill, the service was horrible- we would never go back or recommend. The 'Manager' needs to go back to Hospitality school; he took no responsibility for all of the shortfalls, and has no recovery skills
Chinese flavors are smartly applied to contemporary American dishes at this modern Chinatown restaurant. – The Scene
The electronic soundtrack and hip vibe are departures from the typical Chinatown eatery. The L-shape separates bar from dining room--the former a small section featuring glass counters displaying wine and a few tables where groups graze over cocktails. An exposed kitchen overlooks a darkened dining room lined in sueded bench seating, punctuated by glowing light columns and dotted with table-top glass sculptures.
Classic Chinese ingredients replace western ones, the result less fusion than graceful innovation. Seared scallops are anointed with sweet Chinese bacon and its drippings, and sticky braised pork sits on crisp rice cakes--both lip-smacking appetizers. Entrees favor seafood-meat pairings. A pan-roasted duck breast is fanned over krill-flavored noodles. Another pairs black pork with oversized crab ravioli. But it's not the rule; bass has a dark, sweet soy glaze and is delicious topped with no more than pea shoots and zingy tomato vinaigrette.
Could be Better – Went to Mulan on a Friday night. Locating it is tricky, parking trickier.
Maitre 'd did not greet us. Rest. 50% full.
Appetizers very good, not great (Scallops/Salad - wife said that the salad needed more careful preparation -culling) Entrees just average (Duck had an atypical onion savory character and salty, Angus steak had too much soy and salt. Desserts were better (chocolate cake very good, cheesecake almost very good.
As we were leaving maitre 'd came running up to us to thank us and say good-bye. Note: All of the wait staff admitted their lack of time on the job - not a good sign. The sous chefs were the youngest I have ever seen (Maybe I am just getting old!). Service was slow.
Mulan is very innovative, which we liked. The interior is chic. But the execution is lacking.
Would we come back - probably not. Too many other places in town.
Best new place!!!! Great concept – I was impressed walking towards Mulan! New, hip, cool new place with an innovative menu and great service. Everything from appetrizres, salads entrees to deserts weere amazing!!! I look forward to sharing this new find with others.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Mulan Restaurant on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.