Friday, July 19th, 2024

Imperial Lamian Opening Phat Phat in Schaumburg

A noodle and dumpling house will open not far from Woodfield Mall, but don’t expect food court Chinese food; it’s more like “Crazy Rich Asians” go to the suburbs.

The restaurant group that owns Imperial Lamian, best known for rainbow soup dumplings and hand-pulled noodles, will open Phat Phat in northwest suburban Schaumburg sometime in July.

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“Phat Phat will be an Asian restaurant that specializes in Chinese food from the Southeast Asia perspective,” said Vincent Lawrence, president and CEO of the Imperial Lamian Group in the U.S. “There’s going to be some influence from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and a little bit of traditional Chinese flair as well.”

Don’t expect pan Asian, said Lawrence, or Filipino food, sushi or chop suey.

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While some of the signature Imperial Lamian dishes, including the traditional Shanghai soup dumplings, also known as xiaolongbao, will make it out to the suburbs, the colorful rainbow combo won’t.

“From a business standpoint, in order for us to do good quality dim sum, as you know it has to be done fresh,” said Lawrence. “When it comes to dim sum, there’s a lot of handwork and craft. With this concept we want to try to maintain our budget for labor to a minimum. We are going to see how people react and then adjust.”

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Look for Singaporean style wonton mee, the dumpling dish with flat egg noodles. Around here, we typically find Cantonese style with thin egg noodles.

“We’re also going to be specializing in Malaysian style clay pots with pork belly and lap cheong,” said Lawrence. The fatty meat and Chinese pork sausage gets baked in rice.

One dish reminds him of of his childhood in Indonesia: minced pork with preserved Chinese mustard greens. Mine too, as a Hong Kong born, Chinese American Chicagoan. That’s a classic homestyle dish of the diaspora.

“I don’t want to call it street food but it’s very approachable,” said Lawrence.


Phat Phat does plan to make one of the most difficult and dangerous street dumplings.

“We are also going to have a very traditional sheng jian bao,” said Lawrence. “We did a lot of research in Shanghai. It’s hard. They have special equipment — this big cast-iron metal skillet — and we’re still trying to source that.”

A puffier cousin to the thin-skinned xiaolongbao, the sheng jian bao is also steamed but then griddled until golden and crispy on the outside, hiding hot explosive soup on the inside.

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Dumplings will only be available during weekend dim sum brunch and in limited quantities.

The bar will offer local and Asian beers by bottles only, American wines by the glass, plus cocktails, including the Imperial Lamian Szechuan Mule inspired by its Moscow counterpart.

Phat Phat will probably feature boba drinks too, said Lawrence, but it will definitely have a dessert program based on Taiwanese shaved ice that’s more like Singaporean and Malaysian style ais kacangPronounced “ice kachang,” and translated to “bean ice,” the toppings will include sweet red beans, mixed fruit, taro and typically much more, based on my experience in hot and humid Singapore.

In collaboration with Indonesian interior design consultant, Metaphor interior transforms Phat Phat’s historic landmark building with expansive windows, exposed brick, two airy floors, an outdoor patio and casual, family friendly table service. Because it’s the suburbs, parking is available.

“The name has two meanings,” said Lawrence. “The Chinese character in Phat Phat is the same that means prosperity and luck. The English name obviously means something that is cool, interesting and sexy,” he added, laughing.

If Phat Phat makes it in Schaumburg, they hope to open in the city, possibly in Wicker Park or Logan Square, within a year.

Phat Phat, 17 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg


Source : Chicagotribune[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]