Surprise and delight Chayhana and Hello Jasmine
Sometimes you discover amazing things. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if I heard about a Russian restaurant near my home that was open 24 hours.
I made Google my friend. It turned out the restaurant was Uzbek, a Central Asian cuisine inspired by Uzbekistan’s location on the Silk Road. The cuisine is a fusion of Uzbek, with Chinese, Russian, and other Central Asian influences.
Chayhana is tucked away on the street level of an apartment building in the North Center neighborhood. It is easy to miss if you are not looking.
For some reason, dumplings are very popular this year. Chinese, Eastern European, and other restaurants are offering dumplings or dumpling soups.
Chayhana offers Manti, chewy dumplings stuffed with ground beef and onions. The taste is on the mild side but they are filling.
Another traditional dish, plov, is beef and lamb seasoned with cumin, rice, shredded carrots, and tomatoes. The beef and lamb chunks were perfectly seasoned with just the right hint of cumin.
The prices at Chayhana are very affordable and the portions are decent. They also offer a variety of soups and kabobs.
Last week, I read about a Taiwan street snack called popcorn chicken.
There is a food court in the basement of the Richland Center in Chinatown. Hello Jasmine is a bubble tea and food stall selling mostly fried Taiwanese street food, like popcorn chicken.
These nuggets are crispy, crunchy, and salty with a hint of five-spice powder. You can order them spicy too. They are best eaten hot.
I had to stop myself from going back for seconds. This is great beer drinking food. Too bad the food court is not BYOB.
Chayhana: 2245 W. Irving Ph: (773) 942-7720 Open 24 Hours
Hello Jasmine: 2002 S. Wentworth (312) 889-7561 Hours- 11:30 A.M.-9 P.M.