Jagadish "Jack" Bhandari, owner of Taste of Himalayas, takes taste buds on culinary expeditions through India and Nepal with the help of his epicurean family and an arsenal of natural ingredients. Beneath exposed-brick walls, a menu pushes 15–20 favorite options forward onto a white-tablecloth-draped buffet. In the powerful heat of the tandoori clay oven, Jagadish's nephew preps dishes such as chicken tikka, tandoori shrimp, and freshly baked naan bread. Chef Krishna, Jagadish's cousin, relies on years' worth of experience as a kitchen maestro on a Carnival cruise ship to prepare elaborate dishes and predict sand castle property values.
The chefs in Inchin's Bamboo Garden's kitchen use fresh ingredients to craft Asian-style specialties at the time they are ordered. Mustard- and crimson-colored walls and bamboo stalks accent the spacious dining room, and the restaurant’s signature red rickshaw sits parked in front, haplessly attempting to feed the meter with Chinese yuan coins.
Home cooking can be hard to find when home is on an entirely different continent. But the owners of Himalayan Restaurant knew how to bring the flavors of their South Asian home to Chicago. They sought out Chef Bishnu Subedi, who relies on his 12 years of experience as well as his training in a Kathmandu culinary school. Befitting the subcontinent’s rich and diverse history, Chef Subedi designs expansive menus, which embrace the Northern Indian, Nepalese, and Asian subcultures that define the region’s cuisines.
This cultural fusion is readily apparent in dishes such as the momos: steamed Nepalese-style dumplings that are typically stuffed with minced chicken or vegetables and served by street-food vendors throughout Nepal. Northern Indian flavors completely shine through on certain dishes, including the tandoori chicken, which marinates overnight in spiced yogurt before the chefs quickly barbecue the meat inside a traditional clay tandoor oven. House-made paneer cheese and fluffy naan also evoke the flavors of South Asia; the restaurant further embraces its cultural roots by serving Indian beers and water from melted Nepalese glaciers.
Taj Mahal Restaurant, named for Uttar Pradesh's famed palace, celebrates India's diverse cultures and culinary styles. Its chefs focus on a panoply of ethnic recipes and regional dishes from areas such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Agra. They prepare everything from simple comfort food to meals traditionally enjoyed by the upper classes and their pet lobsters. They use traditional preparation methods such as the tandoor oven to bake and simmer chicken, lamb, and seafood with herbs, spices, and yogurt. Though they specialize in catering, they also serve dishes inside the restaurant, and they make Indian sweets in-house daily.
The Indian Harvest adorns white tablecloths with north Indian curries, pilafs, and kebabs distinguished by myriad spices such as pods of cardamom, cloves, cumin, and mustard seeds, and bowls of mint or pickle chutney. Over 20 vegetarian dishes showcase the versatility of eggplant, cauliflower, and peas, as well as their ability to harmonize with lentils and avoid getting redfaced when infused with whole chiles. A clay oven known as a tandoor sizzles lamb, chicken, and shrimp at a high temperature to seal in marinade and keep cholesterol down, and provides the bellows to puff up rounds of seasoned, leavened naan bread. Wood panels cut with floral designs screen sections of tables and booths in the dining room, whereas views of the lake open up the banquet hall.
Within Cuisine of India's modern dining room, Rahul Saigal strives to merge contemporary methods of culinary science with his family's longstanding kitchen traditions. Evidence of his success graces the eatery's crisp white tablecloths, where whole spring chickens from the tandoor oven rendezvous with curries simmered over a slow flame.
Full lunch buffets insulate plates with dishes such as spinach pakora, chicken masala, lamb curry, and alu mutter, plus garlic naan for sopping up sauce and traditional desserts for testing the severity of a budding dental cavity. Furthermore, Cuisine of India's catering can accommodate events for up to 2,000 guests with food, crystal, and linens.