Imperial Lamian's CEO made some rather confident claims last month when he talked about bringing Chicago the most-authentic Chinese food the city's experienced. Chicagoans can start testing those assertions on Friday night in River North when Imperial Lamian opens to the public in the former Centro Ristorante space. Chicago represents Imperial Lamian's first location outside of Indonesia where ownership runs 24 restaurants.
Though dim sum is breakfast and lunch in China, Imperial Lamian is only open for dinner in Chicago. The menu (see below) is succinct, as chefs pledged authenticity. But the menu isn't a facsimile of Imperial Lamian's Indonesian restaurants, as there's an attempt to appeal to American diners, especially in River North. For example there's a section consisting of four different fried rice selections. But that doesn't mean Imperial Lamian is dumbing anything down, as one of those items is wagyu ox tail fried rice.
The xiao long bao selections anchor the menu, giving Chicago a variety of soup dumplings seldom seen. There aren't many spots to find gruyere or truffle dumplings. Though morning dim sum isn't happening, selections include both venison and pumpkins puffs, as well as a seared turnip. The menu also features homemade hand-pulled noodles and there's plenty for those used to Chinese-American restaurants like the Mongolian beef made with New York strip steak.
Read the full menu below, Imperial Lamian opens to the general public on Friday.
Imperial Lamian, 6 W. Hubbard St., (312) 595-9440, open 5 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday; and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.