It’s not easy to find Chinese food made with cheese, let alone soup dumplings that come in several colors of the rainbow -- but you can get both at Chicago’s Imperial Lamian, the first American outpost of a famed Indonesian chain. At the River North restaurant, CEO Vincent Lawrence serves traditional dim sum with a Midwestern twist, and the results are as tasty as they are photogenic.
The menu offers orange dumplings stuffed with crab meat, green dumplings filled with roasted duck, black dumplings dripping with truffle oil and pork soup, and, a bestseller, shiny yellow creations packed to capacity with melted Gruyère -- it's like deep dish and dim sum, all at once. “You know, we live in the Midwest so you gotta have cheese,” he says of the peculiar multicultural dish. “People love their pizza, people love their pasta. We gotta have cheese.” Keeping with tradition somewhat, the dough is hand-rolled, and each serving is steamed to order.