Hema's Kitchen – Lincoln Park

January 04 2008 - 8:27 PM

I recently went to Hema’s Kitchen in Lincoln Park and had a pretty fabulous meal.  I’ve been to Devon street several times and even tried some Indian restaurants closer to the city, but I’d have to say that Hema’s Kitchen is a great find in Lincoln Park.  The food is very flavorful and spicy; it’s reasonably priced; and for me, it’s in the neighborhood!

Our party of 3 dropped in on a Friday night in December and even though there was a line, we were quickly seated.  In fact, there was a line the whole time we were there but I don’t think anyone waited more than 15 minutes for a table.  The restaurant moves along at a good pace without any pressure as you dine!

We ordered Tandoori chicken as our appetizer.  It only came with 3
pieces; I would have expected more but it was an appetizer potion.  The
Tandoori was good but not a stand-out.  We should have tried other
appetizers.

For one of our main courses, we ordered lamb vindaloo, which came
with a thick, dark sauce that burst with flavors and even provided a
hot spiciness near the end.  We also ordered chicken tikka masala which
was good but my favorite was the chana murg.  The chana murg seemed
like a combination of chicken tikka masala and chana masala but was
even better – a thick sauce and more flavor than either masala alone.
We ate every single bit of that dish, soaking up the sauce with our
naan!

For side dishes we ordered sag paneer and matar mushroom.  The matar
mushroom was really, really good – I had never had it before and it is
now another Indian staple for me!  It consisted of mushrooms, peas and
onions in a tomato based sauce.  We were fighting over who got the last
spoonful! 

While I personally am not much of a fan of Indian desserts (too
sweet), our dinner guest raved about the kheer (rice pudding with nuts)
as well as the gulab jamun (milk, riccotta and butter), which he
described as the dessert form of a mini corn dog….

There isn’t much to say about the decor – other than it feels like
sitting in the middle of a pint of orange sherbert (in fact the ladies
bathroom goes so far as rainbow sherbert). And if you are tall, you
might want to watch your head on the low hanging chandelier in the
middle of the restaurant.  That said, you probably won’t even notice
any of it, given how good the food is!!

Service could have been better but it was a really, really busy
night.  Our biggest issue was around drink refills but you can solve
that problem yourself by taking advantage of the BYOB option and
bringing your own.  Beware, the S&S Liquor Store down the street
does not have many options so bring your own Gewürztraminer or Riesling.

I will certainly be heading back to Hema’s Kitchen and even ordering
in.  I liked it better than Raj Dabar due to its selection and flavor
of the food.  While the original restaurant is on Oakley Street, I
prefer the more closer and just as good Clark Street, Lincoln Park
location.

Hema’s Kitchen
2411 N. Clark

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