Sun Wah BBQ has been an Uptown Chicago destination since 1987 and in January 2018 it was named an American Classic by The James Beard Foundation. Sun Wah, which means New China, is very much a family venture. Founder and owner Eric Cheng is second from the left. To his left is his niece, Carol Mak, and to his right is his eldest daughter Kelly, and third child, Michael. Not shown is Mr. Cheng’s wife Lynda, and his youngest child, Laura, a culinary school graduate. Another sister, Cindy, is not involved in the restaurant, but her infant daughter is already a foodie. At age one, she refuses to eat anything that isn’t flavorful.
Eric Cheng learned Chinese barbecue in Guangdong Province in Southern China, home of Cantonese cuisine. He fled Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China in 1972 by swimming eight hours to Hong Kong where he apprenticed and became a Barbecue Master. He met his wife Lynda in Hong Kong, and they married and moved to New York in 1976. There, he worked for a restaurant and before long he opened the first Sun Wah on Mulberry St. in 1983. He quickly tired of the pace and people in NY and moved to Chicago in 1986.
Kelly, Laura, and Mike are taking on more and more responsibility as their father plans his retirement. “He thinks he will travel a lot,” Kelly chuckles. “We don’t think so.” Kelly is taking over much of the management, including a move to a new, larger location a few blocks away. Among the changes, they are planning a prix fix menu. Laura works in the kitchen, focusing on modernizing the menu. Mike also works in the kitchen, and the family owns Sun Hing Food, a manufacturer of tofu, soy milk, and bean sprouts, which they use in Sun Wah.
Located at 5039 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL. Phone 773-769-1254.
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Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer
With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested. Click here to read our detailed review
The Undisputed Champion!
ThermoWorks’ Thermapen ONE provides an accurate reading in one second or less. The ONE also includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight, rotating display, and water resistant seals. Don’t accept cheap substitutes. Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review
Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One
The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period. Click here for our review of this superb smoker
GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.
Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners
The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.