Sun Wah BBQ Restaurant

Restaurants, Chinese Uptown
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
31 Love It
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Sun Wah BBQ Restaurant
Photograph: Erica Gannett
Sun Wah

This no-frills joint tempts passersby with lacquer-skinned roast ducks hanging by their necks in the steamed-up window. The menu is expansive but inexpensive: The Pei Par BBQ duck and the Hong-Kong–style barbecued pig are sublime in their simplicity, savory and slick with fat. Chinese broccoli arrives jade-green and crisp, and the beef chow fun comes out charred and tasting of the properly smoking wok. Even the egg rolls are notable, dotted with bits of roasted pork. Our advice? Order lots and eat the leftovers at home.

Posted:

Venue name: Sun Wah BBQ Restaurant
Contact:
Address: 5039 N Broadway
Chicago
60640
Cross street: between Winnemac and Carmen Aves
Opening hours: Lunch, dinner (closed Thu)
Transport: El stop: Red to Argyle. Bus: 36, 81, 92, 146, 151.
Price: Average main course: $10
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
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Heather P.
tastemaker

Let me tell you a little story about a girl who loves and lives for food. On top of that list of loved foods 1. asian food 2. duck. Girl meets boy. Boy hates two things 1. asian food and 2. duck. Despite their differences, they commit to each other and eight years later wind up with two kids and a never ending argument regarding the "someday they will get to go to sun wah."

During this eight years, girl tells every human being she will ever make plans to dine with about this place that does peking duck. Wanna go?!?! No, okay...I'll get there someday....she thinks to herself. Then alas a birthday rolls around, everyone asks what she wants for her birthday. She says peking duck. One way or another, she ends up with nasty chinese takeout shrimp (which has been described in all of it's dreadful detail in a previous review).

Fast forward, girl gets new job in the food industry and talks about Sun Wah to a bunch of chefs who aren't from these parts. FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY they all decide to make reservations for a post-work trip to duck dinner. The heavens have opened up, angels are chanting, she can hardly contain her excitement. The next morning, her social media and email blows up with links to the Tribune article describing Sun Wah being shut down due to health code violations. GASP! Just my luck! (True story).

The reservations are for the following Friday so what's a girl to do?! Figure, any restaurant opening up after a week of being closed due to health violations is going to be the cleanest it ever has or will be again. And thus, the show goes on.

Six of us went. We ordered two ducks, they brought out the buns, the sauce, the rice and the soup. Heaven! I was in heaven and on top of it ordered this crispy noodle dish that was absolutely killer. The ginger mojitos to top it all off. I was beyond happy!

It loses a star only for the fact that our server was M.I.A until she brought to our attention that we had miscalculated her tip. Also, this place has to be making money hand over fist the way everyone talks about it and I hear they just moved locations so it's got me thinking, do you just really not care that it has a drab, sad, ugly look or was that by design?

PK S

You haven't had good food in Uptown until you've had duck from Sun Wah. Each duck feeds four people three courses: duck soup, duck sandwiches, and either duck fried rice or duck lo mein. So come with seven friends and get two ducks for both the rice and the noodles. At about $10/person, you've got plenty left in the budget for a few drinks.

Erin Delahanty
moderatorStaff Writer

This is my go-to spot for Peking Duck in the city, because it reminds me so much of the places I dined in China. The service and ambiance are no-frills, but the duck service is awesome. As an added bonus this spot is BYOB so your whole bill is likely to be under $30 for a pair.