A joint venture between chefs Yoshi Yamada (Lula Cafe, Blackbird, Babbo), Zeeshan Shah (The Biscuit Man, Old Town Social, The Bristol) and Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe, Marisol, Pilot Light), Superkhana International (3059 W Diversey Ave) opened on Tuesday, July 16. Located in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, Superkhana International is a restaurant celebrating Indian flavors, local cooking and the culinary connections between India and America.
Superkhana International reflects the culinary sensibilities of Yamada and Shah and is an evolution of their pop-up, Bombay Breakdown. The pair met while cooking at a James Beard House dinner and soon after launched their pop-up in 2014.
At its launch, Superkhana International will serve dinner five nights a week. Comprised of approximately 18 dishes, the menu is divided into vegetable and non-vegetable sections and will change with the seasons.
Many dishes are Yamada and Shah’s interpretations of traditional Indian cuisine. Examples include the butter chicken supreme, naan calzone stuffed with butter chicken and mozzarella & amul cheese, and chana chaat, a cold dish of chickpeas, scallions, cilantro, mint, jalapeño and lime with the addition of yogurt, tamarind chutney, chaat masala (Indian street snack spice blend) and sev (crispy Indian snack).
Other vegetable items include:
- Broccoli (roasted broccoli topped with coconut almond vinaigrette, curd chiles, sev)
- French Fry Manchurian (sesame, scallions, aioli)
- Kaju Hummus & Naan (kalonji, cashews, chile oil)
- Dhokla & Turnips (savory chickpea quickbread, membrillo chutney)
- Palak Pizza (naan dough, charred spinach, mozzarella, chile oil, anardana, creme fraiche, garam masala, fried shallots, asafoetida)
Non-vegetable items include:
- Methi Chicken (charred & raw chicories, achaari dust)
- Pork Belly Vindaloo (pork belly, gualjillo chiles, champagne vinegar)
- Chapli Kebob Salad (lamb and beef kebab, asian greens, yogurt dressing)
To wash it all down, Superkhana International will emphasize beverages with bubbles, a pairing with “Indian-ish” food. General manager and beverage director Colleen Malone has crafted a straightforward drink menu to feature a variety of beverages from champagne to cider, natural wines to beer and highballs to sparkling punch.
While many Indian restaurants shy away from featuring a robust wine list, Malone believes that the flavors and spices of Indian cuisine have an international appeal and pair with wine.The majority of the focused wine list is sparkling, which will allow room to showcase the breadth of expressions and styles that sparkling wines encompass.
The wine list has eleven sparkling wines in addition to seven still whites, four still reds and two still rose, many of these available by the glass. The cocktail list is broken down into Highballs & Spritzers, along with a few signature cocktails like the Superkhana Old Fashioned (ghee bourbon, jaggery, boker's) and G(reens) & Tonic with refreshing seasonal greens, such as cucumbers, sugar snap peas, mint and basil, muddled in Jack Rudy tonic syrup, with the option of Apologue Celery Root Liqueur or City of London Gin. There is a non-alcoholic version in the booze-free section.
Along with sparkling wine, the team has found the light, effervescence of highballs and spritzers to be a good pairing:
- Pimms + Sprite
- Amrut Two Indies Rum + Coca Cola
- City of London Gin + Top Note Tonic
- Los Vecinos Mezcal + Club Mate
Designed by Charlie Vinz, bright traditional Indian colors are used with a joyful, touch, with patterns and palettes. Limewashed brick and light wood paneling keeps the modern interior warm and inviting. The space features a Haveli style courtyard inside the restaurant, which opens up to the sky. The vibrant restaurant has 74 traditional seats, including 12 of those at the bar for dining and drinking and a semi-private dining room.