Duck Over to Chicago’s Duck Duck Goat

The Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) were my favorite!

The Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) were my favorite!

My anticipation was high to try Stephanie Izard’s new restaurant, Duck Duck Goat (857 West Fulton Market). Like in Duck Duck Goose as a kid, I have been waiting patiently but eagerly to get a knock on the head for my turn. Thankfully, no sprinting was involved, but I did have to book a reservation a couple weeks in advance for Tuesday at 10pm.

The interior is fun and trendy with Chinese-inspired decorations, but we focused most of our attention on the menu. One strange quirk is that the house specials — highlighted in red text — are different on each menu. I don’t know if they’re testing ordering habits or if it’s a typo, but it’s quite confusing!

The highlight of our “reasonably authentic Chinese food” was the Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumplings. They came with pork and crab, and they were delicious.

Ham Sui Gok (rice dumplings with goat)

Ham Sui Gok (rice dumplings with goat)

Another favorite was the Ham Sui Gok or rice dumplings with goat. (When you visit Duck Duck Goat, you have to try something with goat, right?) I’ve never had anything quite like this – the crust was soft but just a little crispy.
Octopus, Cucumber and Peanut Salad

Octopus, Cucumber and Peanut Salad

The Octopus, Cucumber and Peanut Salad was a refreshing break from the heavier foods with a light sauce.
Cheong Fun XO

Cheong Fun XO

The sausage and rice noodle rolls in the Cheong Fun XO dish were worth the price of admission. They may be the best noodles in Chicago, combined with grilled cuttlefish, shrimp and XO broth.
Chongqing Chicken

Chongqing Chicken

The only dish I didn’t like was the Chongqing Chicken. It’s a Sichuan-style chicken with chilis, and it’s typically quite spicy. The dish lived up to the spicy, but the other seasonings were too strong to enjoy the heat.

The service was average. We asked our server for recommendations, and she shrugged and said it’s really our personal taste. She almost forgot to ask for our drink order, and let us order too many dishes for just the two of us.

The food was quite good, but it failed to live up to my (perhaps too high) expectations of Izard. As a former Top Chef winner, she’s one of the hottest chefs in Chicago, and she opened Girl & the Goat in 2010 and Little Goat in 2012.
  • Restaurant: Duck Duck Goat
  • Address: 857 West Fulton Market
  • Price: About $40/person (served family style, so everything is shared)
  • Favorite Dishes: 1) Xiao Long Bao, 2) Cheong Fun XO, 3) Octopus, Cucumber and Peanut Salad and 4) Ham Sui Gok
  • Rating (Fun Scale): 4 out of 5 stars

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