for Kee Chan, 35, chef-owner of Mulan (2017 S. Wells St.; 312-842-8282), Chinatown’s exciting (and expanding) new spot for innovative Asian cuisine
|Photograph: Adaptive Easel|
D: Can you describe Mulan in 40 words or less?
KC: It is based on the fact that my partner is not crazy about seafood. We came up with the idea of trying to put land and sea together, which means crazy ideas like Kobe beef steak with a lobster crouton.
D: Is Mulan going to become an entire complex?
KC: Yes. We’ve taken on four spaces in the Chinatown Square Mall. Upstairs is Mulan. The first floor we are going to do a raw bar lounge. Serve things like sea urchin, clams, and small dishes. People can come in, sit down, and be entertained. Live bands. Winetastings. Wine seminars.
D: When will that open?
KC: Early next year. I’m calling it Temptation. Also downstairs, next year, we are doing a global noodle bar and lounge. And then, upstairs, a 7,000-square-foot catering venue and wine gallery. We want to do a chef competition up there, get a cool kitchen in there, have local chefs come in and hold competitions there.
D: Sounds fun, but why?
KC: We have so many great ingredients in Chinatown that so many great chefs in Chicago don’t use yet. A lot of roots and Chinese herbs, like ginseng. We want them to come over and start using them and play around with it.
D: What’s your favorite dish at Mulan right now?
KC: I love the dish that I did with the elk and the scallops with carrot miso. We want a combination of sexy and out-of-control food.