Chicago >Food & Dining > Hema's Kitchen
6404 N Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6064541.997850 -87.687440
Neighborhoods: Far North Side, West Rogers Park, West Rogers Park (West Ridge)
Love it, love it, love it!!! – Reading all the other reveiws... I have a few things to say. Yes the service is slow. But this is an Indian restaurant, run my an Indian family. Americans need to chill out and not scraf down their food and then run! You can't expect them to pick up on our nasty habits. In terms of the ambience... it is very "Indian", again, why do things have to look so American! Enjoy the Indian culture... us Americans could learn a lot. And remind me about what is so bad about the children running around? Again, family run restaurant people. Food is f*&#ing great!
tasty!! – The food at Hema's kitchen was excellent and i have been going there atleast once a month. The comment that "people who like it do not know indian food" isn't valid.I'm very much an indian and know authentic indian food, the food is really really tasty. I agree the place is a little congested and the service is slow but it is worth waiting for the freshly made curries and breads.
Chicken vindaloo and vegetable biriyani are my favorites in this restaurant.
This jewel of an Indian restaurant offers reliably excellent, reasonably priced fare in intimate surroundings. – In Short
This tight, but comfortable, space is known for its friendly, ebullient service and tasty Indian and Pakastani fare. Juicy tandoori chicken marinated in a bath of spices is a good start. Among entrees, popular choices include creamy tikka masala (boneless chicken in gravy) and buttery, pan-roasted aloo jeera (potatoes with onions, peppers and cumin). Everything tastes better with sides of paratha (grilled wheat bread) and rice to soak up spices.
Curry in a Hurry? – I can not believe the bad reviews Hema's getting. The food is the best I have eaten at any Indian eatery. I go atleast once or twice a month. They know us and make the effort to chat and let us know they appreciate our business. If you are expecting to be seated, order, and scrarf down your meal and leave. Don't go. This is not a fast food factory. This is a family restraurant. Family is making your food, family is serving your food, and family maybe playing around your table. The place gets packed and the food is fresh so relax be patient and enjoy.
Not Good Indian Food – I know good traditional Indian food and Hema's kitchen is not good. They don't even have a tandoor oven. The ambience was bad and the service was worse. If you want decent Indian food for cheap I would suggest Sher a Punjab's buffet. They are about 3 blocks west of Hema's kitchen on the south side of the street corner. Remember those who give Hema's kitchen a good rating do not know good Indian food. Notice you will only see white people in there and no Indian People.
Wait, Wait, Wait – After a bad first experience after Hema's online review, a friend and I decided to give it another try. We were seated but had to ask for menus after 4 other tables were seated after and received menus. Then we waited again before having to go up and ask to have our order taken. Then a 40 minute wait for a simple appetizer and 30 more minutes for entrees. We spent over three hours for a simple meal. The worst part is Hema and staff seem to be oblivious to the problems or at least don't care. If you want to leave totally annoyed and frustrated, this is your place.
Long wait – There is usually a long wait to get a table unless you get there early in the evening. The ambiance is poor and so is the service - and the owners' kids running around do not help things any. Some of the dishes are very good - try the fish fry, bhuna gosht (dry mutton), dakhni dal (lentil curry), phulkas (bread) and the seekh kabab. The owner needs to do something about the ventilation in the place as there is a strong smell of spices in the air (that sticks to your clothes) that detracts from the eating experience. Perhaps it is best to consider this restaurant as a take-out place so as not to experience many of the discomforts mentioned above.
Decent Food, Ridiculous Wait – Just because this restaurant was reviewed by PBS doesn't mean it's the ONLY restaurant in Chicago! Yes, it's good, but it doesn't warrant the 1.5 hours I had to wait for a table. And once my companion and I finally got a table, they asked if we would be willing to share the table with another couple!!! (No thanks, if we waited this long, we're going to thoroughly enjoy the table, thank you very much.)
Yes, the food is good. But it isn't phenomenal. And the true tragedy is that Hema's is located just off Devon, where there are 10s of great Indian restaurants that are cheaper and don't have a wait. Of course, they haven't been reviewed on PBS, but trust me...that only makes the experience worse. Try Sizzle India, Tiffin, or Udupi Palace on Devon or Chowpati in Arlington Heights instead.
Mixed review – I have driven past Hema's many times and finally stopped in after seeing it featured on Check Please. Yes, I was greeted by Hema. Yes, the store front is quaint. Yes, the two young boys running arouond screaming out of control were annoying. Yes, the somosas were the best I've had in Chicago. The rest of the dishes, however, were so over salted (and oily) that I would have said something had Hema not been so kind. I'll go back some day, but there's no rush.
One of Chicago's Hidden Treasures – The BEST Indian food I've had along with friendly service and great value! We recommend the Shiek Kabab roll as an appetizer which is served with two delicious dipping sauces. For dinner you should try the Mura Makhini (tandoori chicken) with a serving of rice and an order of bread, either the Phulka or Paratha. Another good dish was the Allo Bewan Matter (potatoe vegetarian dish). These are gravy based meals where you can use the bread to soak up the sauce. The cheap food is quite flavorful and the small casual setting, along with the personal service makes this a spectacular dining experience. However, if you arrive at a busy time you will be stuck waiting at the door which could become quite frustrating.
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