A year ago, I travelled to Shanghai. I was blown away by the food that I found there; it is inexplicably different from any Chinese food I’d ever had in Chicago. Until I discovered Double Li. One of my dear friends, Steffi, hails from China. And her husband, Anthony, is a foodie extraordinaire. So when they told me they’d found a restaurant in Chinatown that I had to try, well… they didn’t have to ask twice. This is how I was lucky enough to discover Double Li. Steffi clearly speaks Mandarin, and her ability to negotiate our dishes with the waitress made the meal more special. The dishes we shared were:
Dry Chili Chicken This dish is crispy, light, moist and fiery, on a good night. It was simply scrumptious.
Pocket Tofu The first time I ever had a really great veggie burger, I accused the chef of rubbing it with steak. This tofu will make you wonder if it’s somehow related to the finest buffalo mozzarella. The texture is light, and so, so close to cheese. The mushrooms in the dish were particularly scrumptious.
Black Pepper Garlic Beef Oh, this beef. It is tender, buttery, peppery, and let me tell you: it packs a whollop in terms of its garlic content. I just loved it.
Peapod Leaves I first had this vegetable in Shangahai, and loved it. At the time, I asked my host what the vegetable was, and she didn’t think there was a word for it in English. Now: I finally have my answer. Peapod leaves. They’re super-tasty. House Made Bacon If you know my husband, you know he loves few things more than he loves bacon. So of course, we had to try this dish. It’s tasty, but only for true bacon lovers.
Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab I thought this dish was delightful, but Anthony and Steffi say it’s better prepared with chilis. They’d never had it this way, so we went for it. It was delicious, but when I order it the next time, I’ll go for the chilis. I’m not about to argue with Steffi and Anthony after following their advice on the rest of this meal. I am nobody’s fool when it comes to taking good food advice.
If you’re looking for photos of these dishes and more opinions of Double Li, it’s discussed here in detail.