Chili House Reports?

Any reports on Chili House? I’m a big fan of the sister restaurant, Z&Y, and am thinking about hitting this place over Thanksgiving.

Finally made it to Chili House with the family a year later lol. Long story short, we should’ve gone to Z&Y.

The place was packed when we arrived at 5:30pm the night before Thanksgiving. We were glad we’d made a reservation and specifically reserved one of their celebrated Peking ducks. Unfortunately, the duck did not quite live up to expectations.

It looked beautiful when it arrived and was carved tableside. The skin was crisp but the meat a little dry. I wondered if it was maybe because they didn’t blow air between the meat and skin. Whatever the reason, we definitely preferred the Peking duck at Great China in Berkeley.

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This is the soup they made with the bones after carving the meat. The broth made for an excellent breakfast the next day.

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We also ordered the Beijing potstickers. Unlike your standard pan-fried pork dumplings, these were long and thin, with an almost flaky wrapper. Very tasty.

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Next up was the mapo tofu. I thought this was good not great. The flavors were on point, with plenty of Sichuan peppercorn. But the tofu was too soft and crumbled the minute you tried to mix it with the sauce.

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Finally, we ordered the the chicken with explosive chili peppers, which is their version of laziji. This, too, was good but not great. The chicken was freshly fried but had an odd, almost caramel taste to it.

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And that really sums up the meal. Everything was fine, with some dishes being good even. But there was nothing that knocked our socks off. As I say, I very much prefer the food at Z&Y.

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