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Restaurant Guan - was Nine Fish Asian

Restaurant Guan - was Nine Fish Asian
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  • Post #31 - January 6th, 2008, 4:14 pm
    Post #31 - January 6th, 2008, 4:14 pm Post #31 - January 6th, 2008, 4:14 pm
    Guan is the same restaurant, same owner, same chef, same menu, except now they have a liquor license. They were discouraged from using the name by Nine Corp., which claimed a copyright. The food at Guan is absolutely fabulous. The freshest fish, the most innovative flavors, and an amazing attention to detail in the service and decor. We had sushi, tempora, and fish cakes for appetizers. Then a whole red snapper, salmon and scallops, halibut and curried seafood, all of which was fantastic. Wait until you see the pictures of this food, soon to be posted on their own website. You have to check it out.
  • Post #32 - January 7th, 2008, 12:39 pm
    Post #32 - January 7th, 2008, 12:39 pm Post #32 - January 7th, 2008, 12:39 pm
    Sadie Bissell wrote:
    Mhays wrote:I was just driving past Food for Less, and noticed a sign in the strip mall: Nine Fish, Asian and Japanese cuisine (I hope I have this right). Another sign mentions fish, Asian and French (?) It doesn't appear to be opening soon, but I'm curious if anybody knows anything about it.

    Nine Fish
    2438 Main St
    Evanston, IL


    Guan is the same restaurant, same owner, same chef, same menu, except now they have a liquor license. They were discouraged from using the name by Nine Corp., which claimed a copyright. The food at Guan is absolutely fabulous. The freshest fish, the most innovative flavors, and an amazing attention to detail in the service and decor. We had sushi, tempora, and fish cakes for appetizers. Then a whole red snapper, salmon and scallops, halibut and curried seafood, all of which was fantastic. Wait until you see the pictures of this food, soon to be posted on their own website. You have to check it out.


    Please post the a link to their website when it is up and running.
  • Post #33 - January 7th, 2008, 1:21 pm
    Post #33 - January 7th, 2008, 1:21 pm Post #33 - January 7th, 2008, 1:21 pm
    Sadie, seeing as how cuz' I'm not all subtle like, do you have some connection to the restaurant other than as a customer? You heap praise upon them but mention a website which apparently is not live as though you have seen it.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #34 - January 7th, 2008, 2:35 pm
    Post #34 - January 7th, 2008, 2:35 pm Post #34 - January 7th, 2008, 2:35 pm
    EvanstonFoodGuy wrote:Please post the a link to their website when it is up and running.

    The website is still under construction, but they have a home page already. The address is guanrestaurant.com

    Disclaimer: I have no association with the restaurant. I found the website by trial and error with various domain names.
  • Post #35 - January 7th, 2008, 6:01 pm
    Post #35 - January 7th, 2008, 6:01 pm Post #35 - January 7th, 2008, 6:01 pm
    I am a huge fan of Guan Restaurant. In fact, I'm such a fan, I'm creating a website for them entirely pro bono, as I am a designer by trade. So maybe that mystery is solved. The Guan restaurant site will be up in a few weeks - we're eating our way through the photographs! The Flash work will not be half as fun, of that i'm certain.

    I think Guan is a genius and the restaurant is an incredible value. He shops EVERY DAY for fresh fish, and grates his wasabi from the root. I don't know of another Pan Asian restaurant with such a focus on quality of ingredients, execution and service. This guy is not in it for the money - it's about a love of good food for Guan.

    And i love the culinary innovations, ie, the pairing of white tuna with truffle oil and blueberry or raspberry. Guan's philosophy is never to overwhelm the fresh ingredients, and I think he succeeds in every dish he makes.

    The menu is also great for folks who prefer beef, lamb or duck. The Peking Duck, sliced with crispy skin on and served inside a tortilla shell, is easy to eat and visually stunning as well. The red snapper in basil sauce, flash fried and served whole, is simply amazing-crisp, tender, spicy. On new year's, we had whole lobster cooked on a bed of unpeeled ginger (not steamed or boiled), dressed in a sauce of white wine, ginger and scallions, that was a revelation. I could go on and on - have lots of pictures if anyone wants to see the presentation.

    Guan also offers a number of delicious amuse-bouches from the menu and beyond. (No one leaves Guan hungry - the portions are generous.) The other day, his wife Yan (the server) brought us a juice made of Guava and Riesling in between courses. WOW, that was an amazing flavor.

    Every time I'm in there (which is quite often), the other guests say "we've got to tell people about this place." We'd like to share the joy! Go, eat, tell your friends, and write about it!

    PS - let me know what you think about the web design
  • Post #36 - January 27th, 2008, 3:12 pm
    Post #36 - January 27th, 2008, 3:12 pm Post #36 - January 27th, 2008, 3:12 pm
    http://www.guanrestaurant.com is the website. The Lassers did a great job on the food pictures.

    We ate there again, and the food quality and service is fantastic. On the weekends, they serve a "Sushi Chef's Choice" for $45 price fixe. Guan is meticulous in his attention to detail. Check it out.
  • Post #37 - January 27th, 2008, 5:32 pm
    Post #37 - January 27th, 2008, 5:32 pm Post #37 - January 27th, 2008, 5:32 pm
    first, thanks Sadie for the kudos on the Guan website It is a dynamic piece that we will update frequently with new photos - which are taken by Rebecca R, another (pro bono) fan of the restaurant.

    The fresh specials Guan has recently been offering are really delish. We tried the skate wing, Mahi Mahi with Amish swiss cheese and kiwi sauce, and the steamed whole rainbow trout last week. Absolutely fantastic on all counts. Guan cooks his fish to the perfect temperature and the right technique for fish at hand.

    For those that are interested, Guan is doing a Chinese New Year's event at the restaurant on Thurs, Feb 7. Should be fun, good fortune and great eating.
  • Post #38 - January 27th, 2008, 9:48 pm
    Post #38 - January 27th, 2008, 9:48 pm Post #38 - January 27th, 2008, 9:48 pm
    llasser wrote:the pairing of white tuna with truffle oil and blueberry or raspberry

    llasser wrote:Mahi Mahi with Amish swiss cheese and kiwi sauce

    Am I the only one who thinks this sounds quite disgusting? :?
  • Post #39 - January 27th, 2008, 10:06 pm
    Post #39 - January 27th, 2008, 10:06 pm Post #39 - January 27th, 2008, 10:06 pm
    cilantro wrote:
    llasser wrote:the pairing of white tuna with truffle oil and blueberry or raspberry

    llasser wrote:Mahi Mahi with Amish swiss cheese and kiwi sauce

    Am I the only one who thinks this sounds quite disgusting? :?


    White tuna with truffle oil I've had (at Heat, and it was really good). The Mahi Mahi with Swiss cheese? Yeah, I'm not too sure about that one.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #40 - January 27th, 2008, 10:08 pm
    Post #40 - January 27th, 2008, 10:08 pm Post #40 - January 27th, 2008, 10:08 pm
    When the Evanston Lunch Group™ ate there last summer (when it was called Ninefish) I thought the combination of sweet fruit flavors and raw fish was interesting, if a bit odd. Not something I've sought out since, but at least they're trying something different than most of newer Pan-Asian sushi spots.
  • Post #41 - January 27th, 2008, 10:12 pm
    Post #41 - January 27th, 2008, 10:12 pm Post #41 - January 27th, 2008, 10:12 pm
    jesteinf wrote:White tuna with truffle oil I've had (at Heat, and it was really good).

    Yeah, I meant truffle oil + berry (if I read the description correctly).
  • Post #42 - January 27th, 2008, 10:29 pm
    Post #42 - January 27th, 2008, 10:29 pm Post #42 - January 27th, 2008, 10:29 pm
    Actually, the cheese - which was simply placed on top of the kiwi sauce in a few thin, cold slices - made for an interesting complement to the fish, which was fresh (not frozen), pan-fried, very tender and a little sweet. There's no way to know what a combination like that will taste like just reading it on a menu. I just trust Danny's (aka Guan's) cooking. He doesn't use much dairy in his cooking, but when he does, it's usually in an unusual pairing.

    Re the sushi, I think the acid in the fruit is very complementary to raw fish, but it has to be done right and properly balanced. The sweetness is tempered by the sea salt, and the oil helps the flavor linger in your mouth longer. Particularly nice with white tuna. Danny used to work at Heat, but the way.

    We went there tonight with friends and, for the first time, I had sea cucumber sashimi. It was still moving a bit before he cut it into sashimi. I think it's a Chinese thing to show how fresh the fish is...Anyway, it really did have the flavor and even some of the texture of cucumber. Never had anything like it. We were also treated to Muramoto (spelling?) oysters, wow, those were good, and a special sake that is served in a fragrant cedar box.

    Every time I go to Guan, there's a little food adventure awaiting. We love that about the place.
  • Post #43 - January 27th, 2008, 10:35 pm
    Post #43 - January 27th, 2008, 10:35 pm Post #43 - January 27th, 2008, 10:35 pm
    llasser wrote:We were also treated to Muramoto (spelling?) oysters, wow, those were good, and a special sake that is served in a fragrant cedar box.


    Kumamoto?
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #44 - January 27th, 2008, 10:41 pm
    Post #44 - January 27th, 2008, 10:41 pm Post #44 - January 27th, 2008, 10:41 pm
    yes, i think that was probably it - a Japanese oyster for sure. Very pretty shell, if that tells you anything.
  • Post #45 - January 28th, 2008, 8:42 am
    Post #45 - January 28th, 2008, 8:42 am Post #45 - January 28th, 2008, 8:42 am
    From perusing the website, it appears Chef Guan was not the sushi chef referenced in my original post at the top of this thread, when I had a great experience. On that visit, I thought the unorthodox combinations were subtle and worked well; they were different from what's described in the last few posts.

    From what I can see, he was the chef during the Evanston Lunch Group visit.
  • Post #46 - February 8th, 2008, 10:26 pm
    Post #46 - February 8th, 2008, 10:26 pm Post #46 - February 8th, 2008, 10:26 pm
    I must say, Guan provided quite an experience. Certainly not what I was expecting when my mother and her husband invited my girlfriend and I to eat there tonight.

    We started with the apple, olive oil, and caper salad - a little nuts but certainly delicious. Great capers, nicely dressed apples.

    We shared gyoza - filled with pork, which is not on the menu. Very good, delicate dumpling with a forward and piquant sauce.

    The gf, mom, and stepdad enjoyed the salmon with green apple roll. I liked it too, but it had a little too much salt. Seemed like a red salt of some sort sprinkled over the roll. Perhaps my piece held the brunt of the salt sprinkle but it really overpowered the fish and I was left with a salty, and tart taste with little nuance.

    I loved the egg rolls, filled with shrimp and purple cabbage and smothered in a mai ploy like sweet chili sauce.

    My girlfriend enjoyed the wonton and crab soup - with shell. It's not often that you see places in strip malls that brag about shells and serve so much fish on the bone, but this place is clearly trying to do things a bit differently.

    On to the entrees - My girlfriend had a steamed rainbow trout special, that was served whole with a scallion, ginger broth. It was very tasty and well cooked but really did cry out for some textural contrast, a whole steamed trout without any crispies is a little hard to deal with.

    My mom had the crazy swiss cheese mahi mahi. She absolutely loved it and I really did attempt to give it a chance, but it did not do anything for me except make me quickly reach for my beer to wash my mouth out. Again, my mother loved it, so apparently there is a market for swiss cheese covered fish.

    I had the star of the night though - crispy whole snapper with a high flavor slaw of of jalapeno, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, ginger, garlic, and basil with a rich brown soy based glaze. Wow was this fabulous.

    The chef clearly new what he was doing with the snapper, cutting slits down to the bone before I assume wok frying it until crispy but still totally moist and perfectly cooked. Sauce was spot on, well balanced, the kind of sauce you ask for extra rice for so you can sop it up.

    Service was overwhelmingly attentive, with a constant eye towards our table. I overtly felt like we were being watched. Plates were cleared precisely as they were finished. Water was refilled without fail. I ordered a large Asahi, enough for two glasses of beer. The waitress served my first glass and kept the bottle in a fridge. As I was finishing my last sip, she appeared with my second glass.

    Overall, quite a pleasant place with some very unique flavors. I will be back.
  • Post #47 - May 18th, 2008, 5:53 pm
    Post #47 - May 18th, 2008, 5:53 pm Post #47 - May 18th, 2008, 5:53 pm
    Be forewarned, Guan is closed until June 1 for remodeling. I'm not sure what kind of remodeling they need in a place that's been open little more than a year, but that's what the sign on the door says.

    Just when I finally go there to try it... :(
  • Post #48 - May 18th, 2008, 6:35 pm
    Post #48 - May 18th, 2008, 6:35 pm Post #48 - May 18th, 2008, 6:35 pm
    I ate here back when it was Ninefish, and I have to say that it was one of the most puzzling experiences I've ever had in a restaurant.

    The menu was three mimeographed sheets of paper stapled in the top left corner like a high school senior's term paper. I hope they at least have a laminated menu by now.

    On to the food. I enjoyed the flavors, the plating, etc., but there was one significant drawback. Everything we ate was cold. Not lukewarm, not tepid, not room temperature - cold. My mom had to send her soup back twice because it wasn't warm enough. I had the lamb; it was cooked through, but it was cold. I was really surprised.

    I didn't send the lamb back because we had already sent a couple of things back and I felt kind of guilty about it. Our waitress (the wife?) was about 14 months pregnant, and we felt awkward about making her do any work at all.

    I've never had an experience like that before or since. I would have thought that the food was cooked to order, but I doubt it was here. Were the heat lamps or the oven not working?! (I hope they don't have a microwave.) What made it even stranger is that we were the only diners in the place.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience here or anywhere else? I'd love to give this place another shot (everyone was very friendly), but I'm a little gunshy.
  • Post #49 - June 12th, 2008, 2:47 pm
    Post #49 - June 12th, 2008, 2:47 pm Post #49 - June 12th, 2008, 2:47 pm
    The restaurant remains closed, and apparently will have yet another new name upon reopening (There isn't a Guan Restaurant Group, is there?!). The "Guan" part of the overhead sign and on the door has been removed.

    The dining room looks exactly the same as it did when it was Ninefish. There were staff sitting at one of the tables, so we'll have to continue to wait and see.
  • Post #50 - June 15th, 2008, 5:32 am
    Post #50 - June 15th, 2008, 5:32 am Post #50 - June 15th, 2008, 5:32 am
    From the website:

    "GUAN RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED

    Thank you for your patronage"
  • Post #51 - June 15th, 2008, 9:57 am
    Post #51 - June 15th, 2008, 9:57 am Post #51 - June 15th, 2008, 9:57 am
    The website says closed, but the restaurant has a banner across the top saying "Grand Opening: Moon Cuisine." There are fresh flowers and plants inside, and nothing looks disturbed. The hours posted outside are 7 days a week. So far, though, there is no active new website or phone, but the banner lists it as www.mooncuisine.com and 847-328-6666.
  • Post #52 - June 28th, 2008, 3:09 pm
    Post #52 - June 28th, 2008, 3:09 pm Post #52 - June 28th, 2008, 3:09 pm
    Guan is gone. The new restaurant in its place, Moon Cuisine, is a typical Chinese with sushi place. The wait staff there had no information about Guan.

    Any information about where this talented chef ends up would be most appreciated.
  • Post #53 - June 30th, 2008, 12:17 pm
    Post #53 - June 30th, 2008, 12:17 pm Post #53 - June 30th, 2008, 12:17 pm
    I guess wasn't fast enough to try Guan. I kept forgeting to go try the place.

    Just what the world needs another same old Chinese sushi place... blah.
  • Post #54 - July 2nd, 2008, 9:27 am
    Post #54 - July 2nd, 2008, 9:27 am Post #54 - July 2nd, 2008, 9:27 am
    I heard from Danny (Guan Chen) via email...he is not affiliated with Moon, the japanese/chinese place that moved into the Main street location where Guan used to be. He says he is looking for a job or an investor with hopes of launching a new place in downtown evanston. As I manage the e-mail list for the former restaurant, I will be happy to let everyone on that list know where Danny ends up as soon as I know.
  • Post #55 - July 3rd, 2008, 8:28 am
    Post #55 - July 3rd, 2008, 8:28 am Post #55 - July 3rd, 2008, 8:28 am
    llasser wrote:I heard from Danny (Guan Chen) via email...he is not affiliated with Moon, the japanese/chinese place that moved into the Main street location where Guan used to be. He says he is looking for a job or an investor with hopes of launching a new place in downtown evanston. As I manage the e-mail list for the former restaurant, I will be happy to let everyone on that list know where Danny ends up as soon as I know.


    Hopefully he can get it together for a downtown location.
  • Post #56 - May 16th, 2009, 12:34 pm
    Post #56 - May 16th, 2009, 12:34 pm Post #56 - May 16th, 2009, 12:34 pm
    We visited Han 202 and reconnected with Guan and his wife. They remembered us as former Evanston customers. We remembered their fresh, exciting and exquisitely designed food. And if that wasn't worth the trip, his prices are half what they were in Evanston. The menu is designed as a 5-course prix fixe for $20 with portions that are comparable to his old dishes!!! We were happy to see our old favorites, Red Curry Seafood and Lemon Grass Beef salad. In addition to fish, he also still has duck and chicken on the menu. Don't be put off by the location. It is only a 10-15 drive from River North. You can take Clark south to Archer, turn right to Canal, turn left and take Canal to 31st Street (one quick jog on Canal) and turn right (or if you must, take the Dan Ryan to Exit 54 merge onto Wentworth and turn right on 31st Street). They are open for lunch and dinner.
  • Post #57 - May 16th, 2009, 12:45 pm
    Post #57 - May 16th, 2009, 12:45 pm Post #57 - May 16th, 2009, 12:45 pm
    Sadie:

    Thank you for the directions. Here is the actual street address:

    HAN 202
    605 W 31st St
    (between Wallace St & Lake Park Ave)
    Chicago, IL 60616

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