I’ve been wondering about Silver Seafood ever since I first saw it. That was probably right around the time I started dating Empanada Boy because it’s just across the street from the Broadway bus stop where I would wait on my way back from his house. Since then, I’ve heard a number of positive reviews from reliable sources, so Empanada Boy and I finally decided to check it out on Thursday night.
Silver Seafood stands out from other Chinese restaurants because it focuses on fresh seafood. It’s also distinctive because it’s one of the few Chinese restaurants located in Chicago’s “new Chinatown,” which is actually mostly Vietnamese. If that was too confusing, here’s the bottom line: This is a great restaurant with friendly service and distinctive seafood dishes, as well as many other options. It uses fresh ingredients— at least on its encyclopedic, Chinese menu— and avoids most of the the gelatinous pitfalls of bad Chinese food . Most importantly, it manages to keep the vast majority of entrees below my $12 price limit.
Feeling adventurous as usual, Empanada Boy and I ordered an appetizer of fried intestines from the Chinese menu. (The other menu features Chinese-American options like pot stickers and fried rice, but it also includes more interesting options like crab with ginger and onion and braised red snapper.) These ended up coming after both entrees, but that didn’t matter much. Unappealing though they may sound, fried intestines are delicious in just the way that things you know are bad for you often are. Their texture is similar to the crackly skin of a Chinese fried duck. We dipped the rings into a slightly sweet sauce for the perfect, decadent treat.
For our entrees, we stuck to seafood and to the Chinese menu. I saw someone at the next table eating the clams in black bean sauce (pictured above) and knew I had to try them. This was a phenomenal dish— tender clams coated in the smoky sauce made of fermented black beans, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a few other ingredients. Thin slices of hot pepper gave it an extra kick.
There were even more of these hot peppers in the seafood medley that Empanada Boy selected. This dish included shrimp, squid and large tender scallops, along with snow peas and thinly sliced cucumbers in a spicy oyster sauce. Luckily we had two cold Tsingtao beers to de-spice our palates. EB and I both enjoyed this dish, but we were more impressed with the clams, which we devoured.
We left the restaurant feeling like we had made a great discovery and eager to come back and bring some friends to help us sample some of the myriad other dishes on the voluminous menu. I, for one, am looking forward to sampling one of the lobster dishes, if only for the chance to see my dinner snatched live out of the dining room’s tank.
4829 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640