Jan 8, 2024 - News

New spot Maxwells Trading wows one scallion griddle bread at a time

lettuce wraps

Grilled mushroom lettuce wraps at Maxwells Trading. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Despite the many Eastern touches at Maxwells Trading, chef-owner Erling Wu-Bower hates the label "Asian fusion." Instead, he prefers to call his menu: "Chicago food."

What happened: Axios spoke to the restaurateur and executive chef Chris Jung at the new West Fulton Market restaurant, where we tried some of Maxwells' signature bites.

Catch up fast: Wu-Bower co-led the celebrated Pacific Standard Time (now Avec River North) after cooking at Nico Osteria.

  • But at Maxwells Trading, he'll spend most of his time running the place while Jung leads the kitchen, he tells Axios.

The intrigue: Wu-Bower and Jung spent months together crafting the delicious, hard-to-categorize menu.

bread and dip
Griddle bread with onion dip from Maxwells Trading. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Best bites: Crisp, fluffy, scallion-flecked griddle bread that Jung says takes inspiration from Lebanon, China and India. It's served with a truffle-laced onion dip ($16) and an umami-rich Japanese eggplant dip ($16).

  • Lettuce wraps filled with grilled lion's mane mushrooms, five-spiced tofu, lime and jalapeƱo ($12).
  • Black cod with fennel, endive and enoki mushrooms ($37).

What they're saying: "I was raised [eating on] Cermak, Argyle and Devon, and that's Chicago food," Wu-Bower tells Axios. "What we do is smash a lot of ideas together here while respecting their origins."

guy
Erling Wu-Bower leads the new Maxwells Trading. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios
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