Sun Wah BBQ

For seven years the image of ducks has been of those trolling Belmont Harbor looking for sandwich scraps, or the infamous Mr. and Mrs. Mallard of Robert McCloskey’s classic “Make Way for Ducklings”. That is no longer the case.

Included now, ducks, heads still attached, hanging in the window of Sun Wah BBQ on Broadway, followed by the duck brought to our table and carved masterfully into slices. Kate and Noah, the Taste Buds most likely to try anything, and clearly having no qualms about animal consumption, immediately helped themselves, piling the thick slices onto the bao, small buns for sandwiches. Kate loved the sauce, described as “a little bit sweet and a little bit not, but not at all spicy”. Both found the duck “phenomenal”, a bit crispy and with really great flavor. The duck remains are quickly removed to the kitchen and then rushed back to the table in the form of duck fried rice, which Noah found to be “very good and not dry, like the white rice”, and duck soup, which Kate thought was “fantastic”.

Beyond the large duck, we ordered shrimp dumpling soup, mixed vegetables with tofu and pan fried noodles, and Mongolian beef. Mary, who is the soup lover, devoured her bowl of shrimp dumpling soup, and always is thrilled to find the “fancy” Chinese spoons which do, in fact, make soup eating so much more fun. She ate two helpings of the tofu and vegetables, although Noah found those difficult to eat (but still tasty), “you had to take so many”, as they were somewhat clumped together.

The “spinner” or lazy susan, was fun for all the Taste Buds, who enjoyed spinning for their food. This family style presentation made it very easy for children to make their own choices, and help themselves to more when they found something especially tasty. The novelty of a duck being carved tableside was engaging for curious minds, even if some of the excitement was given to a crowded and busy Saturday night dining room. Mary found that one side of the room was quite loud, and Noah thought they could use some music. Both Kate and Noah could see in the men’s room from their seats which they both found unpleasant. Mary liked the waiter, and commented that he was patient, liked to smile, and didn’t talk too much. Agreed, dining with four children on a busy Saturday night is made much easier with the help of a friendly, and smiley, patient waiter.

Call ahead if you would like the duck; orders can be placed when making reservations and the price, for the duck and all accoutrements, is $37.00. The duck, plus two entrees and one very large soup, was more than enough for the Taste Buds, one younger sister, and their four parents.

The large restaurant, just north of Argyle on Broadway, was a bustling place on Saturday night, even though our reservations were for 6:00. We were seated immediately which is very helpful when dining with children.  Noah did notice that Sun Wah has a bar, which his family appreciates. Kate’s final note, “dinner was awesome!”, sums up quite well the consensus of the group. Sun Wah is a great choice for families, even those with children not quite ready to explore tableside duck carving. The entire meal was excellent, well presented, and easy to sell to young epicureans.


Sun Wah BBQ

5039 N. Broadway

Chicago, IL 60640


Filed under: Restaurant Review

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