ROOH Chicago Review
Neighborhood: West Loop
- Pink City
- Patna Fizz
- Green Pea and Goat Cheese Kulcha
- Paneer Chili Roll
- Jackfruit Kofta
- Chili Cheese and Garlic Nan
- Besan Barfi
ROOH Chicago Review: Chicago has had an explosion of innovative and traditional South Asian cuisine ranging from casual Indian street food spots like Moti Café and Tikka n Curry to fancier, innovative spots like Vajra and ROOH. So what is Indian food like in the West Loop? Read below to see my review!
ROOH Chicago is definitely an upscale West Loop spot with a chic and fierce mural on the wall of a woman’s face adorned by gold jewelry and flowers with an I don’t give a “f***” attitude. The interior is beautiful, colorful and of course dimly lit. My only complaint is that the service was a little slow but our server was still nice.
They have an exquisite ayurvedic cocktail selection featuring “new world” rasa (taste) with Indian ingredients. I had the Patna Fizz, which did not disappoint because I was intrigued by the truffle salt, mushroom, lychee, and egg white. The flavors were extremely balanced and unique. Their cocktail menu helps you choose the flavor palate you are looking for ranging from sweet to astringent drinks. They put as much effort into their cocktails as they do with their food. But let me get to the food now.
ROOH’s concept is Indian flavors with modern, “new world” techniques, which is a seamless pairing. Vegans here are also included in the menu’s vast options. They have a special vegan and gluten-free menu and their menu is already super vegetarian friendly. They have a lot of shareable small plates but also some larger entrées. Everything I ate was absolutely delightful and cannot be found at any other restaurants in Chicago. Their plating is also quite beautiful and their dishes were so aesthetically pleasing.
I really loved their twist on the Papadum with an assortment of standard chutneys made in fresh and bold ways. This is not your typical papadum though. They had three different styles from light/airier ones to thicker, heavier wafers. The chutneys all tasted so fresh and I loved the cilantro-mint one.
Given how much I love any type of Indian bread, we also shared the Goat Cheese Kulcha with caramelized onions and it was just as heavenly as it sounded. The kulcha was airy while still maintaining its flatbread status and you can’t go wrong with goat cheese, truffle and caramelized onions. They are a match made in heaven. We proceeded to try the Paneer Chili Roll, which had Crispy Kataifi consisting of a lemon achar gel topped with a sweet ginger chutney. The flavors were very balanced and the texture was crispy with a moist filling.
However, the star of the night was the Jackfruit Kofta! I’ve never had such crispy jackfruit in my life! They were perfectly crispy topped with a lotus stem. The sauce was a play on palak – so a rich and very herbaceous, tempered spinach sauce that tasted extremely fresh and complemented the jackfruit kofta. It was also a delight to look at. I was impressed with every bite.
I of course had to go for a more traditional dish and love Dal Makhani so we tried the Dal and it was super flavorful. The beans melted into the buttery, tomatoey makhani sauce. The chili cheese and garlic naan were perfect for dipping in this cozy dish. And yes, don’t even get me started on how good the naan was. It tasted quite fresh and moist.
Since it was a special occasion, we decided to do dessert and I was happy we did not waste an opportunity eat dessert here. Their dessert menu is incredibly innovative. We had the Besan Barfi (Indian sweet with cardamom), which had a chocolate, hazelnut cremeaux, besan barfi ice cream, and sesame granola Every bite was transformative and it was a delightful way to conclude such an insanely delicious dinner.
ROOH is one of my favorite new restaurants that has opened this past year. You can find extremely unique dishes where so much attention is paid to detail with every bite, every ingredient, every texture. Every dish we tried was perfectly composed and insanely scrumptious – experiences like these are rare so treat yourself and try this spot because you will not be disappointed!
Interested in more Indian restaurants? See here for my reviews!