A Taste of Sichuan In Chicago

My friend Karina and I had the pleasure to attend the pre-opening on November 29th for media/influencers at Won Fun Chinese and 2Fun Chinese (905 W. Randolph St). Only a day before the main opening to the public. Many thanks to owner Austin Baker for inviting me to be apart of his newest accomplishment, a bi-level Chinese restaurant, bar and lounge opening right in the heart of Chicago’s Fulton Market area. What’s also cool about this new addition is that it’s neighbors to J.P. Graziano – a fourth-generation family-owned Italian grocery and deli that’s been around since the 1930’s. Judging from my amazing experience covering Austin’s first restaurant Bar Marta back in September, my expectations for his second restaurant was on an all time high.

Before Karina and I walked into Won Fun Chinese (lower level), we didn’t know what to expect. But in my mind I was preparing my eyes and tastebuds for yet another unforgettable experience. As we walked into the restaurant, the feeling of being in Chicago was left at the front door. We immediately transported into a sexy, red illuminated restaurant, feeling as if we were in the heart of China due to the restaurant’s Asian inspired decor. I’ve personally never been to China before, but that night I definitely embodied a piece of it’s culture. As we were escorted to our seats, we walked down a long aisle passing 60-seats filled with anxious diners just as excited as we were to try some authentic Sichuan dishes served family style. One other thing that won’t go unnoticed, the cute miniature red lanterns hanging from the ceiling. A perfect extension of the decor coupled perfectly with the exposed bricks, giving you that industrial feel the Fulton Market area is known to exude. Karina and I were seated across the open kitchen where we caught the chefs in action.  

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Now let’s get down to the good stuff, what’s on the menu.

BBQ Bao & Chongqing Fried Chicken Karina and I were hungry, but not too hungry to the point where we needed our own dishes. So shared plates was the route to go. We tried small plates of BBQ Bao (Smoked Pork, Chinese BBQ) and the Chongqing Fried Chicken (Double Fried, Double Spicy) – one of Won Fun Chinese’ Sichuan Classics. If you’re looking for the right amount of sweet and salty with a hint of spice to top it off, both dishes are a perfect match. The Chongqing Fried Chicken was extra crispy like I like it. The chicken was perfectly seasoned and the spices were rolling off our tongues. You know your food is good if no additional seasoning is necessary.  I will forewarn you, the Chongqing Fried Chicken is a whole chicken cut into pieces. So the portion size is pretty large for two. But if you’re anything like me, that doesn’t stop you. Ask for a to go box and savor the moment. Both dishes I highly recommend.

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Then there were drinks. Another thing I couldn’t wait to try. Especially after hearing that the restaurant had Kombucha on draft. I’m sold. Here’s what we ordered.

Pina Colada & Strawberry Daiquiri – My drink of choice was the Pina Colada (Three Rums, Pineapple, Coconut). To top off the drink, I requested the Cruzan Rum Float – a shot of Cruzan Rum that’s poured on top of the Pina Colada. My drink had a delicious frozen creaminess and you can taste the pineapple in every sip. Karina ordered the Strawberry Daiquiri (Rum, Pisco, Pineapple, Coconut) and also requested the Cruzan Rum Float to be poured on top. Both drinks lived up to its hype and we were slightly in a Caribbean state of mind.

You don’t have to order the Cruzan Rum Float for either drink, but I highly recommend it. Why? Because c’mon, it’s rum. You can never go wrong.

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As we finished our food, we made our way up to 2Fun Chinese – the second level bar and lounge. Steep black stairs led us upstairs where we were greeted by a huge red dragon that hung above the bar and red lights that continued to illuminate every corner of the space. Here is where all of the boozy cocktail action happens. The bar offers drink options including the Oolong Island iced tea with four oolong-infused liquors and popping boba, the Chengdu mule (Vodka, Baijiu, lime, ginger beer) and an array of local and Chinese beer on tap to name a few. 2Fun Chinese also offers karaoke and has a small section serving up hot dim sum for your foodie needs.

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Overall, Won Fun Chinese and 2Fun Chinese is a two for one special, covering all of your food, drink and entertainment needs. A perfect place for happy hour, a late night dinner, catching up with friends, or even a date. Well done Austin.

I found a new hangout and I’m looking forward to happy hour with my friend this Saturday for some amazing authentic Sichuan food, great drinks and a little R&R time.

If you’re in the area, swing by and come say hi!

*WON FUN CHINESE PROVIDED ALL FOOD COMPLIMENTARY. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.

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