This is the story of a sushi titan in the making. Over the years, Macku Chan has established himself as one of the preeminent sushi sensations in Chicago, and as a result of national accolades, the country. He first burst onto the scene at Kaze, his bygone stunner of a Roscoe Village sushi restaurant, earning him acclaim from the likes of Bon Appetit and Travel and Leisure. Following the shocking closing of Kaze, Chan re-emerged with his namesake Lincoln Park sushi temple, Macku Sushi. Open for a few years now, the restaurant builds off the techniques and pristine ingredients mastered at Kaze, earning Chan credibility as one of Chicago's most reliable, boundary-pushing sushi senseis. It's with the new opening of Macku Signature that the man really affirms his place in the city's pantheon of sushi greatness, proving that superb sushi can be found in the Midwest.
(Macku Chan, photo: Andrews & Braddy)
Macku Signature fills the void at the bygone Erwin space, which previously housed Vu Sua, a Vietnamese concept helmed by Chan. The space is designed to encourage diners to eat sushi the way Chan was taught, with toppings. Not like a design-your-own-sundae bar, but more in the vein of elaborately adorned pieces of raw fish with crafty accoutrements. Examples include freshwater eel with fried basil, chives, and Laughing Cow cheese; striped bass with foie gras, ohba, and spicy ponzu; yellowtail with sautéed banana peppers and Japanese black pepper; and surf clams with butter-fried garlic and yuzu juice. Chan studied sushi-making for 10 years before calling himself a chef, so he knows what he's doing. Through his tenures at Kaze and Macku Sushi, the dexterous sushi craftsman has developed renown for his singular sashimi and nigiri preparations, fusing traditional techniques with modern touches and ingredients. All of this is out in full force at Chan's latest endeavor. The biggest difference between Macku Signature and Macku Sushi is the size of the space. The former is much larger than the latter, facilitating larger parties and private dining options.
In celebration of Macku Signature's opening, a special prix fixe will be available November 5 through November 10 for dinner. For $45 per person, guests can enjoy a succession of dishes such as carrot soup with Alaskan king crab, an assortment of nigiri, spict tuna rolls, and venison in curry sauce. The menus also include wine and sake pairings.