Cai

Restaurants , Chinese Chinatown
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(1 user review)
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Cai
Photograph: Allison Williams
Egg-yolk buns at Cai

The chef at this ornate dinner-and-dim sum spot, Xi Xin Lin, has a mystical way with creamy egg-yolk buns, delicate free-form dumplings stuffed with shrimp and dried scallop and steamed rice-noodle crêpes paired with crunchy bits of celery. This is classed up dim sum at its most traditional, mirrored by the over-the-top, glitzy, gilded look of the second-story restaurant, making it a favorite pick for Chinese wedding banquets.

Venue name: Cai
Contact:
Address: 2100 S Archer Ave
Chicago
60616
Cross street: between Wentworth and Princeton Aves
Opening hours: Lunch, dinner (dim sum served Mon–Fri 9am–4pm; Sat, Sun 8am–4pm)
Transport: El stop: Red to Cermak/Chinatown. Bus: 21, 24, 62
Price: Average dim sum: $4
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

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Joe L
tastemaker

When you walk into Cai, it feels like you're entering a wedding reception. The banquet hall style dining, waiters in tuxedos, and fancy decor make for an interesting experience. They give you a pencil and a placemat/menu that has pictures of all of the dim sum with an empty box in each corner of the pictures where you check off what you want. Everything is between $3-$6 dollars which is nice. I ordered four things and left relatively full. 


I ordered potstickers, vegetable bao, crab soup dumplings, and fried rice sticks. The bao was very good. Assorted vegetables and tofu inside of an herb bun. The rest of the food was rather oily as some Chinese food tends to be. The potstickers and rice sticks were basically oil sponges, and could have been easily drained and soaked with paper towels to make it more desirable. The crab soup dumplings were not as oily, but very tasty. When you bite it open, you get a perfect about of broth with it that reminds me of dumplings in wonton soup. 


Overall, the taste of everything was pretty good, as well as the value, but the excessive oil was a bit of a turn off.