Oiistar Is a Lovely Spot for Steamed Buns on a Budget

Chef Sunny Yim serves well-executed memorable Pan-Asian-by-way-of-Europe dishes in this Wicker Park restaurant.

A dish from Oiistar

Photographs: Anna Knott
 

Clockwise from top left: steamed buns, sangría, and egg-topped haricots verts at Oiistar

There’s a little something for everyone at Oiistar. Minimalists will enjoy the focused menu and austere but cozy decor at this hip Wicker Park storefront. Maximalists will be gratified by flavors that don’t hold back. Appreciators of vintage cartoons won’t go home hungry, either: Flickering images of Popeye and others are projected near the bar all evening.

Speaking of the bar, check out the strangely compelling oversize pump bottle that sits there. It holds sangría—gallons of it—quite delicious, and well worth your $7 a glass.

Chef Sunny Yim’s dishes are from the magical land of Pan-Asia, with touches from France, Italy, Spain, India—practically pan-everywhere. Steamed buns are folded around duck breast and golden raisin jalapeño chutney ($9 for two). Oiimen soup is thick with pork loin, egg, mushroom, and housemade ramen and ablaze with spicy oil ($14). French kimchi soup ($7) is even blazier, accompanied by just-baked garlic herb ciabatta.

To finish, there’s crème brûlée with espresso caviar ($5) or a sophisticated little poached pear ($5). All lovely, executed to a high standard, witty, and memorable in just the right way. 1385 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-360-8791.

 

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