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190 South Lasalle Street, Chicago, IL, USA
312 781 7300

Araon Chicago Reviews

zenthoughts zenthoug…
14 reviews
Asian French fusion restaurant done quite well Jun 28, 2012
I think satisfaction is always relative and in most cases conversely proportional to the expectation that you have. I did not have any expectations for this restaurant that I decided to have dinner at purely based on two criteria, one that it has to be close to the hotel that I was staying at and another was that it has to be an Asian restaurant. Having had American food for several days, I had craving for Asian flavors, especially something spicy and crispy.

When I entered the restaurant at around 6:30pm, the restaurant was not that busy and I was greeted by someone who looked like the owner or manager in charge in Korean. I do not know how people recognize me as Korean but I was pleasantly surprised that the owner was Korean and the Asian French fusion was actually an attempt to fuse Korean/Japanese/Chinese dishes and flavors with some of the French style of presentation without actually using French flavors. Unexpected offering of extra side dishes of Kim-chee was more than enough to satisfy my cravings for something spicy and crispy.

I ordered duck dish that looked somewhat like Peking duck with mushrooms and grilled greens. There was also side of Congee with shrimp and seafood. It was one of the best duck dish that I had, even better than the Peking duck that I had in Peking. The meat was very tender and juicy without being greasy and it went really well with the mushroom and greens. I offered to share my dish with my colleagues and their verdict was also the same for duck and also for the congee. The congee was very much reminiscent of Clam congee that is commonly served in Korean restaurant as main dish.

My colleagues ordered bento style dishes and each bento dish was composed of 6 smaller dishes. I sampled each one of these and they were all of high quality and very tasty, somewhat different from traditional way of presenting them as either sides or main dishes. It was like a mini full course dish in a larger bento served all at once so that you can choose the order in which you consume them as you wish.

The quality of sashimi platter was also very high, fresh and supple. I savored each one of these pieces very slowly and enjoyed the taste and texture as I was chewing them. It was good enough to make you forget about the physical stress and thoughts related to work the next day for a while. We ended up staying there for more than two hours close to the closing hour. I have seen fusion not being done right at other places in NYC but I think this one was done quite well. I will definitely frequent this place when I visit Chicago for overnight trips.
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