It’s normally not that difficult to get dinner reservations in Chicago, unless the restaurant’s name has the word “Goat” in it. Little Goat is always crowded, Girl & The Goat has consistently been the toughest reservation to get as far as normal restaurants go, and all signs point towards Duck Duck Goat following suit.
Names aside, Duck Duck Goat has nothing in common with its siblings. In fact, Duck Duck Goat has little in common with any other restaurants in town. The idea here is high-end Chinese, but it’s done in a unique way where not a single detail goes overlooked.
The details start with the space, which looks and feels like Chinatown got a GQ makeover. It’s hip and modern, with a nod to Chinatown - bright red and green walls, paper lanterns, and Chinese lettering on the wall.
Attention to detail also extends to the playlist, which helps make Duck Duck Goat fun in a way few restaurants are. Did you just hear Nelly "Ride With Me?" The answer is yes, plus other great tunes from the likes of Missy Elliot and B.I.G. are not so subtly heard throughout the night.
It all makes the perfect backdrop for the semi-traditional Chinese food coming your way. We say semi-traditional because Duck Duck Goat pays tribute to classic Chinese-American dishes, while putting its own spin on things. Wonton soup might be traditional, but the blueberry shrimp broth it comes in is not. Lo mein noodles sound standard, but it’s goat belly lo mein here. These little nuances and typical “goat” twists can be found throughout the menu, and they are ultimately what make Duck Duck Goat such an interesting place. It all tastes great, and we encourage you to try as much as you can.
Is Duck Duck Goat destined to be an icon like its counterpart? Only time will tell. But figure out how to get a reservation so you can find out for yourself.
Two giant steamed barbecue pork buns. Great filling. Great bun. Two per order and they are easily shareable among four people.
Pork and crab soup dumplings. We wouldn't mind if they were a little soupier, but overall still great.
Shrimp and peanut dumplings. Rarely do we meet a dumpling we don't like, but these are particularly good.
Wonton soup with a blueberry shrimp broth. This stuff is interesting. It has a real sweetness from the blueberry, but we didn't find it overpowering. Definitely unique and worth a try.
Our favorite dish at Duck Duck Goat and our one must-order. The rice noodles come rolled up and grilled, almost to the point where they taste like a noodle donut. They're awesome. Pair that with sausage, grilled cuttlefish, shrimp, and some broth, and you have one hell of a dish.
Another strong noodle dish with shrimp, goat sausage, eggplant, and mushroom.
Fried rice is fried rice, and there are a few different options here. Feel free to get any of them to have on the table.
Taiwanese three-cup chicken, but one that has great flavor. The soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and spices like garlic, ginger, and basil all really pop.
Want chicken with a spicy kick? This sichuan-style chicken with chilis is the way to go.
We haven't had it yet, mainly because only a limited amount are available every night. But if you luck out and are able to get one, it's probably a good idea.