Go 4 Food's Chili Crab | Chinatown, Chicago

A new version of an old favorite at Go 4 Food

On a recent trip through Chinatown, we revisited an old favorite: chili crab from Go 4 Food.

Happily, we discovered that the meaty, sauce-slathered crab dish ($25) had undergone a transformation that inspired even more finger licking and shell sucking than before.

The original sweet, spiced, tomato-based sauce that once coated the crustacean has been replaced by a new formulation, fragrant with curry powder.

The process begins as a live Dungeness crab is plucked from the dining room tank. It's fried in a wok with a parade of ingredients: onions, curry powder, ketchup, sweet Indonesian shrimp paste, chile oil, butter and house-made soy sauce, to name a few.

At the table, break into the legs with metal crackers, pull out the sweet meat and suck the complex, aromatic sauce from the shell. This is a dish that engages all five senses (and easily serves two to three people).

Pair it with more fresh seafood, like whole scallops ($7 each), or newly offered razor clams ($19) steamed with cellophane noodles, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.

More additions are in the works, like banana ice cream and house-made ginger soda. There's talk of another location (Uptown, perhaps) and even a seafood-focused food truck.

Here's to old favorites with new tricks.

Go 4 Food, 212 W. 23rd St.; 312-386-7278 or go4foodchicago.com