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Golden Chef in Wheeling

Golden Chef in Wheeling
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  • Golden Chef in Wheeling

    Post #1 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:17 am
    Post #1 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:17 am Post #1 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:17 am
    Searched and did not see any previous posts about this place other than to mention it in passing,
    so I'm opening it up here....
    Daughter and I had dinner at the Golden Chef the other night and were pleasantly surprised.
    Now mind you it IS very retro.
    Plastic plates with the old red green pattern , year of the whatever placemats.
    Had a very powerful nicely mixed $4 maitai
    followed by well prepared shrimp toast app- 6 pieces instead of the more usual 4
    For dinner we had the crystal shrimp with walnuts which were a standout-
    really nicely done, crunchy and not too overly sauced, on a bed of steamed broccoli,
    (which wasn't mentioned on the menu)
    (a HUGE portion)garnished with a very pretty carved turnip.
    BBQ pork fried rice- really tasty- one of the nicest renditions I've had in a while,
    and a just OK Orange beef- again very generous portion over steamed broccoli, garnished with another turnip,
    but a little on the sweet side, and lacking in any noticeable spice punch.
    Had I known ahead of time how big the portions would be, we would have down-sized to one entree,
    but what the heck, lunch for everyone for the next day or two....
    I'm not sure if it will top Schewan Kingdom in NB for us, but we will definitely add it in our rotation.

    As a side note, a little girl, maybe 10, at another table was celebrating a birthday, and (I think it was the owner)
    brought out a plate with cookies and candle, and after they sang she gave the girl a bag of jelly beans,
    and said this is a present for you from my husband and I, and I would like to read you this verse in Chinese,
    and from a pair of chopsticks wrapped in red, read off a verse about happiness and prosperity and made a gesture towards the girl,
    like moving the good luck onto her, and gave her the chopsticks.
    Anyhow I thought it was very sweet, and unlike most restaurants these days.
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #2 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:27 am
    Post #2 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:27 am Post #2 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:27 am
    It's been mentioned a couple times, but thanks for the more detailed review.

    I've been there a few times, and they do a decent selection of dim sum, and their kung pao doesn't load up on the wrong veggies (celery is EEEVIL), so it's a place I'll go back to on occasion. Their lunch specials aren't the cheapest, but still a good value, especially with much more expensive neighbors like Chinn's and Tuscany.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #3 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:31 am
    Post #3 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:31 am Post #3 - July 23rd, 2008, 10:31 am
    We used to go here quite often when I was growing up. We are somehow related to the owners by marriage. Anyway, she is a certified nutritionist so she will help prepare meals for you in a more healthy way if you request. I believe she used to teach classes at the restaurant too - not sure if she still does. We haven't been back in years.
  • Post #4 - July 23rd, 2008, 2:16 pm
    Post #4 - July 23rd, 2008, 2:16 pm Post #4 - July 23rd, 2008, 2:16 pm
    I haven't been here in ages. I was here upwards of 8 years ago for a pre wedding rehearsal dinner. I can't remember that the food struck me or stood out but I would say that the owners were very kind and the service was very good.
    One Mint Julep was the cause of it all.
  • Post #5 - July 23rd, 2008, 2:19 pm
    Post #5 - July 23rd, 2008, 2:19 pm Post #5 - July 23rd, 2008, 2:19 pm
    Don't know why, because it's both fairly good and very convenient, but I haven't been there in ages. However, irisarbor's write-up has me very much interested in a return visit.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #6 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:30 pm
    Post #6 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:30 pm Post #6 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:30 pm
    We were going there for dim sum for awhile because my father in law likes this place. Sometimes it was somewhat busy for dim sum and other days dead, and I never figured out why. Not a destination but it's worth trying if you're up in the northern burbs. As the OP said, don't expect much for atmosphere.
    "things like being careful with your coriander/ that's what makes the gravy grander" - Sondheim
  • Post #7 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:45 pm
    Post #7 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:45 pm Post #7 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:45 pm
    I had one utterly forgettable meal there about 5 years back and have not returned. Maybe it's time for a do over.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #8 - July 25th, 2008, 5:56 pm
    Post #8 - July 25th, 2008, 5:56 pm Post #8 - July 25th, 2008, 5:56 pm
    We were there for dim sum not long ago. (It's order from a menu, not carts.)

    I particularly enjoyed the shrimp-stuffed eggplant; the fried "radish pie"; the lumpia Shanghai; and the shumai stuffed with pork, shrimp and water chestnuts. The fun rolls and shrimp dumplings, were gummy, however, and the steamed buns reminded me of Pillsbury refrigerator dough.

    It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. I have had worse in Chinatown.

    I couldn't help notice, though, that most of the other patrons were ordering egg foo yung.

    Golden Chef
    847/537-7100
    600 S. Milwaukee Ave.
    Wheeling
  • Post #9 - July 18th, 2013, 12:15 pm
    Post #9 - July 18th, 2013, 12:15 pm Post #9 - July 18th, 2013, 12:15 pm
    Apparently I've been here enough times I'm a regular (I was greeted as "my friend" at lunch today) -- it's my go-to for carry out (the off-menu BBQ Pork Chow Fun is my fave -- enough for two meals), and I've hit it for lunch specials a couple times in recent months.

    They didn't used to serve egg roll with lunch -- just soup -- but they've added a set of lunch specials that have both (it's not clear if that also happens with the standard lunch menu, I haven't asked).

    But the lunch specials have a couple of unusual items: Last time I was in there, I had mu shu chicken: two pre-wrapped, and a small pile of "extra" filling (I couldn't talk them into an extra wrapper, but they offered to bring rice, go figure). Very tasty, and having a squirt bottle for plum sauce lets me overdo it the way I like it.

    Today, I tried the "stuffed eggplant with fish." I was told the fish was snapper: whatever it was, it's light and flavorful sandwiched between chunks of eggplant, in a thick garlicky sauce (not as heavy as some eggplant in garlic versions). That's a keeper, I'll order it again.

    Their Szechuan stuff is pretty lame: I won't order Kung Pao again, but for Cantonese, it's a solid place to go. SueF likes their Honey Walnut Shrimp (essentially the same as LSC's mayonnaise shrimp). Definitely falls into the Jewish American Chinese kind of place -- I almost always overhear someone talking about a bar mitzvah or something like that, aside from the fact that they offer passover and rosh hashanah meals. They also offer "healthy" (low fat) items, and I overheard someone asking for gluten-free dishes, which they also apparently specialize in (should be relatively easy for most dishes as rice has no gluten, but this woman had asked for and received gluten-free egg rolls).

    Old school? Yes. Spice-your-face-off? No. Delicious and dependable? Every time.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - June 29th, 2014, 9:44 am
    Post #10 - June 29th, 2014, 9:44 am Post #10 - June 29th, 2014, 9:44 am
    JoelF wrote:Today, I tried the "stuffed eggplant with fish." I was told the fish was snapper: whatever it was, it's light and flavorful sandwiched between chunks of eggplant, in a thick garlicky sauce (not as heavy as some eggplant in garlic versions). That's a keeper, I'll order it again.
    wanted to add, this is a very tasty dish, I had it the other day.

    I inquired about dim sum, it is served on Sat & Sun, from 11am -3pm
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #11 - September 13th, 2014, 6:54 pm
    Post #11 - September 13th, 2014, 6:54 pm Post #11 - September 13th, 2014, 6:54 pm
    This has become my go-to place when i' home alone -- really need to get the North lunch group here. After seeing the current thread on Cantonese-American egg-rolls, had to go back again tonight.

    The stuffed eggplant with fish or shrimp is outstanding, and don't forget to ask for some chili oil. Egg rolls are very good, hot and sour soup is above average but not what I'd list as stellar.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #12 - October 20th, 2016, 7:34 am
    Post #12 - October 20th, 2016, 7:34 am Post #12 - October 20th, 2016, 7:34 am
    Sadly this place has fallen far. When the owners retired (I believe it was turned over to the younger generation), the menu was revamped as generic pan-Asian: A little Thai, a little Filipino, a couple Korean dishes, but the standards still seemed the same.

    The egg roll was still quite good... but I wish I could say the same about one of my favorite dishes, the BBQ Pork Chow Fun. The flavors were there (although they were skimpy on scallions), but the pork was cut into thick fatty chunks, not slender slices. This made it chewy, and kind of gross to eat.

    They've lost their whiteboard of specials -- which is where the fish- or shrimp-stuffed eggplant could be found, and there's no longer mu shu on the menu, one of my other go-tos there. This place may have to come off my regular rotation -- I just wish there was a classic Chinese place that was better and close -- Chef Ping, Asian Bistro, Ming Hin and other are all significantly better, but farther, and more expensive; and Classic China (Wheeling), Szechuan Pavillion (Northbrookish), and House of Szechuan (Mt Prospect) are all pretty bad.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #13 - October 20th, 2016, 8:13 am
    Post #13 - October 20th, 2016, 8:13 am Post #13 - October 20th, 2016, 8:13 am
    We ate here recently and had a pretty good experience.
    It was just the two of us, but soups were tasty and hot.
    Egg drop and hot and sour.
    BBQ Pork fried rice was on point- classic
    we also enjoyed the honey-walnut shrimp -
    shrimp were sizable and cooked perfectly. Walnuts were perfectly glazed.
    The orange chicken was a bit of a disappointment- more like Sweet/sour with a thicker breading than I expect on orange chicken and too much like the shrimp- we should have chosen something more savory.
    But it was a ton of food for <$50 and everything was tasty.
    We just felt like our 2nd entree choice was off-
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #14 - October 20th, 2016, 11:54 am
    Post #14 - October 20th, 2016, 11:54 am Post #14 - October 20th, 2016, 11:54 am
    In my experience many of the neighborhood Chinese restaurants will make dishes not on the menu. Worth asking, especially if you are a regular.
  • Post #15 - May 18th, 2019, 2:31 pm
    Post #15 - May 18th, 2019, 2:31 pm Post #15 - May 18th, 2019, 2:31 pm
    Drove by today, the Closed sign was showing, as it was last time I'd been by. Google says Permanently Closed.

    It used to be my favorite local, definitely not a place for extreme Sichuan, but outstanding in Cantonese dishes such as eggplant stuffed with fish.

    But when "Mama" retired, the kids refreshed the menu in ways it didn't need, losing classic dishes and adding Thai and other pan-Asian items, and the quality suffered.

    Still sorry to see it's gone.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #16 - May 18th, 2019, 3:41 pm
    Post #16 - May 18th, 2019, 3:41 pm Post #16 - May 18th, 2019, 3:41 pm
    I had meant to post...
    we had tried to call in an order recently and had no answer
    Really sad as this was our favorite place for “Jewish Chinese”
    Other good Chinese in Deerfield area I have not found...
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #17 - May 18th, 2019, 8:41 pm
    Post #17 - May 18th, 2019, 8:41 pm Post #17 - May 18th, 2019, 8:41 pm
    Sorry to hear that it's gone. Reliable Cantonese -- and the woman who ran the place was a hoot -- loved talking about how healthy Cantonese food was.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #18 - May 19th, 2019, 7:57 am
    Post #18 - May 19th, 2019, 7:57 am Post #18 - May 19th, 2019, 7:57 am
    irisarbor wrote:I had meant to post...
    we had tried to call in an order recently and had no answer
    Really sad as this was our favorite place for “Jewish Chinese”
    Other good Chinese in Deerfield area I have not found...


    I'm not a fan of "Jewish Chinese" food myself, but a lot of my neighbors swear by Wah Feng on Lake Cook Rd. near Lexington. Take out/delivery only.
  • Post #19 - May 20th, 2019, 8:56 pm
    Post #19 - May 20th, 2019, 8:56 pm Post #19 - May 20th, 2019, 8:56 pm
    JoelF wrote:Drove by today, the Closed sign was showing, as it was last time I'd been by. Google says Permanently Closed.

    It used to be my favorite local, definitely not a place for extreme Sichuan, but outstanding in Cantonese dishes such as eggplant stuffed with fish.

    But when "Mama" retired, the kids refreshed the menu in ways it didn't need, losing classic dishes and adding Thai and other pan-Asian items, and the quality suffered.

    Still sorry to see it's gone.
    I remember trying to order take out on Christmas Day for dinner. It was pure insanity. It was like it was the last restaurant on Earth. I was asking myself why did I do this, and why are all these people doing this as well?
  • Post #20 - May 31st, 2021, 3:54 pm
    Post #20 - May 31st, 2021, 3:54 pm Post #20 - May 31st, 2021, 3:54 pm
    Drove past the old favorite, and it looks like they're either tearing it down completely, or only keeping the structural steel.

    Local paper says that it will be a branch of Yu's Mandarin, which should be decent.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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