The second location of Hema's Kitchen (this one in Lincoln Park) isn't quiiite
the equal of its Devon sister
. Indeed, if held at gunpoint to choose which is better, we'd choose the original, hands down. But that only goes to show how amazing the food at the original is, because on Clark Street, it's also pretty fantastic.
Indian food can be an acquired taste for ye American brethren used to apple pie, hot dogs and ... other stateside cuisines, but it's hard to imagine anyone having to "acquire" a taste for this particular Indian food. First of all, the service is incredibly friendly with every waiter, waitress or miscellaneous staff person smiling brightly whenever you lay your eyes upon them, and that goes a long way to forget about how long it'll take you to get your food. Thankfully, so too will the complimentary naan that comes with almost every meal.
Onto the menu, which is almost identical to the original's. Appetizers include vegetable samosa (a flaky, homemade pastry shell stuffed with a combo of potatoes, green peas and coriander leaves), spinach pokaros (onion, bell peppers, spinach and green pepper dipped in chick pea flour and deep fried), potato cutlets (deep-fried patties made from potatoes) and tandoori chicken (baked chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, chili pepper, ginger, garlic and more) for $3-$4. Seafood includes Indian fish fry, green curry fish, shrimp shah jaham (shrimp and onions cooked in tomato-based gravy) and sag shrimp (shrimp with fresh spinach simmered in various spices and gravy) for $11-$14. Vegetarian entrees are plentiful, 23 in all, and are each priced at $10. For carnivores, lamb and chicken dishes are available, but in less quantity and at higher prices ($12-$13).
And did we mention they have naan? Seriously, the naan here is incredible. Heck, if all you wanted was naan, it's $2 and they refill it for free.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Benjamin Andrew Moore