Chinatown - Traditional Chinese

Cai Fine Dining & Banquet

Monday, May 18, 2015 –

6:30 pm

2100 S. Archer Avenue, 2nd Floor (above Citibank)
Chicago, IL 60616 ~
Monday, May 18, 2015

Reception & Dinner 6:30 pm, promptly
Event Price $135.00 per person, all-inclusive
Dress Code Smart casual; decorations for members
Parking Metered street parking available

Part of our Dining Around the World Series


Cantonese Cuisine at Cai


On May 18, 2015, fifty-eight members of the Chicago Chaîne feasted on regional Chinese cuisine at Cai Fine Dining and Banquet in Chicago’s vibrant Chinatown. Diners were transported to the Guangdong (formerly Canton) province on the South China Sea coast for a menu highlighted by incredibly fresh seafood, much of which was harvested from Cai’s wall of aquariums.

Diners ascended to the second-story restaurant to find an enormous banquet room typical of establishments in Guangdong or Hong Kong. Guests sat at large circular tables for a family-style lauriat, a Chinese multi-course meal served at special celebrations. Cai is renowned for its dim sum, and five varieties served as an impressive start to dinner. Peking duck arrived two ways: in a steamed pancake with crispy skin, breast meat, spring onion, cucumber pickle; and in a lettuce wrap with minced duck meat stir-fried with vegetables and crunchy fried-rice noodles. The culinary highlight of the evening was undoubtedly live Alaskan king crab served three ways: shoulders and crabmeat steamed with cellophane noodles; a tower of crab legs pan fried with salted egg yolk breading; and crab tomalley sautéed with crispy egg noodles served in the carapace. All were impressed with the sophisticated meal and its focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared simply to extract maximum flavor from each ingredient.

A diverse array of bin-end wines and beverages from the Chicago Chaîne cellar complemented the thoughtfully fashioned menu, enabling attendees to determine favorite pairings with the bountiful assortment of dishes. Oenophilic highlights included 2011 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard, 1996 Château la Croix Saint Louis Lalande-De-Pomerol, 1994 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve, 2009 Domaine Maume Gevrey-Chambertin En Pallud, and 2001 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume.

Bailli Mon Roldan thanked Manager Elaine Tong and her team as dinner concluded. Members departed with a deeper understanding of Chinese gastronomy and an appreciation for Cai as a popular celebration destination to experience authentic and quality Cantonese cuisine.


Dear Confrères and Consœurs,

For the last leg of our Dining Around the World culinary adventure, we invite you to feast on classic southern Chinese cuisine in Chicago’s Chinatown.

Chinese gastronomy, widely regarded as one of the top three cuisines in the world, is extremely varied in style, sophistication, lavishness, diversity of ingredients and cooking methods.  Its culinary history stretches back for thousands of years and has changed from period to period and region to region according to climatic conditions, natural resources available, imperial fashions, local preferences and even the historical, political and cultural conditions of the country.  For our “food trip,” we will sample the regional cuisine of Guangdong (Cantonese), well known for its use of a great variety of ingredients ranging from birds or fowl, pork, fresh and saltwater fish, crustaceans and bivalves to vegetables.  Its cooking preparation emphasizes freshness and tenderness achieved by frying, steaming, stewing and baking. 

Cai Fine Dining & Banquet, located in Chicago’s Chinatown, is a quintessential traditional Chinese restaurant that one will expect to find in Guangdong or Hong Kong – a ballroom-sized space with closely spaced tables and the ubiquitous aquarium with live sea creatures ranging from lobsters, fish, shrimps, crabs, etc.  Well-regarded for its extensive and award-winning dim sum selection, it is also a favorite banquet and family celebration destination for many in Chicago’s Chinese and Asian-American communities for its authentic and quality Cantonese cuisine.  It specializes in highly elegant dishes utilizing fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared simply with the primary object of extracting and presenting the maximum flavor from each ingredient.

We will be enjoying a delicious Chinese “lauriat” (multi-course meal) served family style, so there will be a bountiful array of dishes from which to choose – from seafood, fowl, meat, vegetables and everything in between.  A selection of bin-end wines and beverages from our cellar will complement our especially crafted menu - part of the fun will be determining which libation you prefer with each course. 

We’re very excited about this opportunity! Please join us for this journey!


Mon Y. Roldan