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Halal Prime Brisket and Fried Chicken Pop-Up’s Owner Has Big Plans For More

Wazwan Supper Club should have news in August

Wazwan’s tandoori fried chicken sandwich.
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The lines were out the door last month during Wazwan’s Tandoori Honey Fried Chicken two-week pop-up in West Town with customers queued up for the chicken and tandoori brisket. The demand was so high for the brisket that the pop-up ran out of its supply after three days. Now chef/owner Zubair Mohajir hopes to soon have another big announcement on where he’ll hold his next run of pop-ups in August.

Mohajir had fun slinging wings, brisket, and fried chicken sandwiches at last month’s pop-up. The latter’s a smoky, spicy, and tender mix of dark meat that should be among the city’s best. Mohajir also had to make a special phone call to a meat supplier in Toronto. Halal beef brisket is difficult to track down, but finding prime grade halal beef is even tougher.

But he yearns for more, as Wazwan started as a fine dining pop-up with composed courses. He’s in negotiations with a restaurateur who enjoyed Michelin-starred success to take over a vacant space. Mohajir didn’t share many details as he didn’t want to jinx the talks.

Any deal would include room for Wazwan Supper Club’s tasting menus and THC’s casual fare. Wazwan refers to the multi-coursed meals served in the Indian province of Kashmir. Traditionally, the meal includes 32 courses. As Wazwan Supper Club is about to turn 2-years-old, Mohajir hopes to serve 32-course meals by the end of the year as means of celebration. The meal would take about three hours, he said.

June’s pop-ups became a cultural event for many Muslims traveling from the suburbs to try Wazwan’s creative halal fare. More restaurants are using halal ingredients in American food, but it’s still a rarity. Wazwan continued the momentum earlier this week with pop-ups at Kimski in Bridgeport and at a Loop space.

More news could come as soon as next week, so stay tuned.