clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Logan Square Hotspot Superkhana International Completely Wows a Chicago Restaurant Critic

Plus Wherewithall’s unpredictability yields terrific results

A baked and folded naan bread pocket on a blue and white plate stuffed with orange butter chicken sauce.
Butter chicken calzone at Superkhana International
Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

Superkhana International “offers a look at Indian cuisine that Chicago has never experienced before.” Though one critic expressed disappointment with the new Logan Square spot, Nick Kindelsperger is impressed by the “playful” culinary mashups from chefs Yoshi Yamada and Zeeshan Shah. The food “seems to intentionally subvert expectations” and much attention is given to the “irresistibly puffy, crusty and tangy” naan. It’s an integral part of the butter chicken calzone, encasing chicken in a “velvety and complex sauce.” Naan also serves as the base for a lamb and beef meatball pizza, “where juicy nuggets of meat mix with creamy korma gravy, melted mozzarella and sharp pickled red onions.”

The Bombay sandwich — featuring marinated beets, onions, and two kinds of cheese — “takes loads of liberties” with the traditional recipe but “there’s no denying the intricate play of fat and spice that swirls around each bite.” Other dishes straddle multiple cuisines, such as the French fry Manchurian. It stars long fat fries bathing in salty Manchurian sauce and finished with aioli, sesame, and scallions. For dessert, there’s a “darling” ice cream creation of saffron and rose water ice cream topped with candied pistachios and sandwiched between two biscuits. In the end, Superkhana International won’t satisfy diners who are expecting classic Indian staples but its offerings are memorable nonetheless. [Tribune]

Wherewithall is a “warm, wonderful follow-up to Parachute” according to Jeff Ruby. The new restaurant from Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark offers a four-course prix fixe menu that is “seemingly based on little more than the chefs’ ability to improvise with whatever seasonal ingredients they have on hand.” This process “yields a refreshing unpredictability” and dishes like baked Atlantic hake in a vin jaune sauce reduction. It’s paired with tender French green beans and hailed as an “understated masterpiece.” Sweetbreads and lima beans are an unlikely duo but the chefs pull “off the union beautifully, playing the unctuousness of the sweetbreads off the starchiness of the legumes, with sweet-and-sour tomatoes on the side.” To finish, mint ice cream topped with chocolate mouse is both showy and satisfying. Despite all the moving parts, Ruby says “the experience adds up to something rewarding for diners.” [Chicago]

Crain’s does a review roundup of five new steakhouses around Chicagoland. The “quality of the food is good, or good enough, though unnuanced and lacking personality” at About Last Knife, but the “ungracious, snail’s-pace service and careless presentations are turnoffs.” At El Che, hanger steak and bife angosto “arrive with marvelously tasty charred exteriors and juicy insides” while “terrific” grilled Delaware oysters are topped with succotash, with corn aioli alongside. Ocean Prime “doesn’t do much to separate itself from the pack,” although its 8-ounce filet “show[s] depth, a butter-knife texture and a surprising amount of juice.” [Crain’s]

Superkhana International

3059 West Diversey Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 661-9028 Visit Website

About Last Knife

168 Michigan Avenue, , IL 60601 (312) 392-2440 Visit Website

El Che Bar

845 West Washington Boulevard, , IL 60607 (312) 265-1130 Visit Website

Ocean Prime

87 East Wacker Drive, , IL 60601 (312) 428-4344 Visit Website

Wherewithall

3472 North Elston Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 692-2192 Visit Website

The Smith

400 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 312-5100 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Chicago newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world