Chicago Tribune dining reporter Kevin Pang may have put it best: “First impressions mean everything — and something clicks the moment you lay eyes on this menu.” He was referring to Mott Street, the second restaurant from Ruxbin chef-owner Edward Kim. “It’s not some ‘trendy Chicago Asian restaurant,’” writes Pang in his August story. So, what is Mott Street? To start, it's the culmination of Kim’s research trips to South Korea and Asian neighborhoods across America. The name is a reference to one of New York City’s lifeblood Chinatown boulevards and the menu reflects a curious chef with some serious frequent flier points.
On the menu there are hints of Vietnam with an appetizer of candied shrimp, peanuts, oranges, lime, fish sauce vinaigrette and fresh herbs, while oyster mushrooms are addressed with miso butter (all Japanese). Korea and Mexico get comfortable with kimchi spring rolls deep fried and accented with a chimichurri and crème-fraiche dipping sauce. Kimchi also returns in the form of a cabbage roll stuffed with pork butt, as well as a cod roe udon dish that the chef demos in this lively video from Tasting Table. We can smell his nage of kimchi juice, butter and chicken stock from here.