One of the restaurants in Chicago that I’ve kept hearing about but somehow never had a chance to visit is Ruxbin, an acclaimed BYOB restaurant from chef Edward Kim known for the ingenious mixture of seemingly incompatible ingredients into truly unique dining experience. Even for this short weekend trip, I didn’t get to Ruxbin as it was only open during dinner hours and I’ve had two places (Arbor and Roister) that were higher up on my list for my two dinner spots. For my second brunch in the Windy City, though, I saw that the Ruxbin team opened a second project with creative takes on pan-Asian food a couple of years ago that also happens to serve weekend brunch. I was definitely intrigued to see what kind of Asian fusion brunch dishes the kitchen would come up with and decided to make this place the last meal of my weekend trip in the Windy City. Overall, I had a lot to like about the creativity of the kitchen’s take on brunch dishes with Asian flair.
Mott Street is not really bound by one particular country or region. There is a diverse range of flavor and texture and it is this lack of boundary that also makes the food shine. The spicy Issan sausage, looking at the northern Thai region known for the spice in its food, had a nice combination of pork, fermented rice and black peppercorn that made it a perfect snack to start the meal. Both of the main dishes didn’t disappoint other than the portion issues. I didn’t see a ton of pork belly on top of the English muffin benedict, but otherwise, the combination of meat along with onsen egg and oyster mushroom was quite delicious. It is definitely not an everyday eggs benedict you’ve had at a boring brunch place; the addition of Asian flavor definitely made this dish quite fun. Similarly, I was a bit peeved that there were only three pieces of grilled kalbi ribs, but otherwise the sweet marinated meat worked beautifully with two eggs and kimchi potato hash for nice balance of flavor without any overseasoning. Both dishes really showcased the possibility of how the addition of Asian flavor and texture can make an ordinary brunch into a special one. For dessert, lychee panna cotta with coconut and seasonal fruit was serviceable, but not particularly memorable.
Getting a reservation at Mott Street for weekend brunch wasn’t difficult, and getting a walk-in table didn’t seem like an issue either on my visit, especially if you’re willing to sit at one of the outdoor tables during the gorgeous summer hours. There is full bar with some creative Asian-inspired brunch cocktails that would nicely complement your meal. I was a fan of the casual, hip vibe of the dining space that seems to work for just about every type of crowd. I would definitely love to re-visit Mott Street or check out Ruxbin for dinner to further explore how the experimentation with different ingredients can add something special to a dining experience.
- Creativity: 8.5/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 7.5/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 1401 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622
Telephone: (773) 687-9977