Chicago >Food & Dining > Bhabi's Kitchen
6352 N Oakley, Chicago, IL | Directions 6065941.997409 -87.687579
Neighborhoods: Far North Side, West Rogers Park (West Ridge), West Rogers Park
In defense of the outstanding Bhabi's – Fair warning: years of saturation have made me a gigantic Indian cuisine snob.
I can't speak to the service...I've always found it attentive, but I've always gone on off-peak days. So go on an off-peak day, and maybe you avoid those problems.
I can, however, speak to the quality of the food, and the ignorance displayed in some of these reviews blows me away. The campbell's reference pushed me over the edge... I can say with confidence that I have not been to an Indopak restaurant where more attention is paid to the quality of the ingredients, and it shows. If you cannot taste that, reconsider your palate.
There are seven variations on the traditional breads, each centers on a different style of flour from Indian cuisine. Each is a unique expression of the grains, and it is absolutely worth ordering a couple of different ones just to experience the difference.
I'm never a huge Chicken Masala fan, but even with my cynical attitude I was fairly impressed by it: that's not tomato soup, that's what happens when a dish whose chief ingredients are fresh tomatoes and quality butter *isn't* buried under a ham-fisted melange of spices. But to understand this place, order one of the goat or beef dishes, particularly the chef's beef speciality, and pair it with the pistachio na'an. The sweet and savory combination is so good it’ll make you giddy.
There was no ice in your water, because ours is one of the only countries in the world where that is standard, in Europe and most of India it is avoided. The same choice is made in European restaurants, but no one seems to treat that as a failing.
The portions may seem small relative to the ridiculously massive ones doled out elsewhere, but no one would make this criticism if Bhabi's was French and not Indopak; the portions are as large as any restaurant in River North, our expectations have just been conditioned to expect enormous troughs anywhere but the highest-class spaces. If you order the way you should to appreciate an Indian meal, you will walk away as stuffed as you can be.
The prices are a couple of dollars more than most of the places on Devon ($12 chicken is still cheaper than Tiffin), but again that is a myopic objection born of the food’s nationality…go east to the acclaimed Uncommon Ground and $18 for chicken is common. For the quality and care, it’s still miles cheaper than equivalent mastery in any other cuisine I've had in this city.
Bhabi really bad. – This was one of the worst dining experiences I have ever had. The restaurant is not very clean, the glassware was marginally clean, the water had no ice and was tepid. It was about 85 degrees outside and about 90 degrees inside, with only a window airconditioner to attempt to cool the place.
The portions of food were ridiculously small for the price. Several dishes consisted of a couple of chunks of meat in a bowl of gravy, nothing else- for 12.00! Not even rice was included. The flavors were good, but there was little food for the price. There is no way that a person could eat one entree and be even close to satisfied. We also had the rice entre with shrimp. It consisted of a dishful of rice with shrimp that were so tiny they could almost qualify as brine shrimp - ridiculous - and that was 12.00 also. I really can't believe this place has received good reviewers from Check Please or from other visitors. Perhaps they are people with money to waste.
Additionally, to add to the ambience, a homeless person with a bottle of wine in a bag kept walking back and forth in front of the window at which we were seated.
I truly believe that this place, despite the good flavors of some of the food, is a complete rip off!
skimpy portions, sauce made with canned soup and surly service, don't go! – service was abrupt and odd, the restaurant atmosphere sweltering and the food was extremely overpriced considering the locale and down trodden appearance of the place overall. "entree" items are a la carte, reminiscent of k rations in portion size and don't even come with rice! that's extra. my friend and I ordered a house special chicken dish for $12, it was ONE 5 oz chicken breast on the bone cut into 4 pieces. we also ordered something called shrimp in butter sauce. Let me tell you that the "sauce" was Campbell's TOMATO SOUP!!!! with butter and some sprinkling of Indian herbs and spices, also priced at $12 and contained about 12 nickel sized shrimp. My guest and I were horrified and amazed that a restaurant featured on check please could possibly have fooled so many people. absolutely overpriced beyond belief considering many other indian restaurants in the neighborhood give complimentary bread and condiments to start things off, as well as more generous portions, and much better service. Rice is not included with entrees and is billed extra! can someone explain that especially when entrees are overpriced to begin with?
Wanted to Love Bhabi's... – My husband and I decided to give Bhabi's a try after seeing it on Check, Please! Despite some of the negative reviews on this and other sites, I was fully prepared to love Bhabi's -- I'm Indian, I love naan, and I was really excited about going to eat at a restauarant that is supposed to be like going to eat at "uncle and auntie's" house. Maybe I should have known better. We did not have to wait long for a table (about 15 minutes), but when were seated at a table for 4, Mr. Syed asked if we would share with another party of 2 if needed. We were reluctant, given that there was an open table for 2 that we would have sat at if needed, and felt weird being asked, so we declined. If this had been the only bump in the road, things might still have been okay, but it was just the beginning of a rocky night. Our table top was not clean. It took about 5 minutes for us to get menus after being seated. When another party of 2 was seated at the table for 2 we had not been offered, Mr. Syed asked us again if we would share with them despite our negative response the first time; we offered to move to another table for 2 that had opened up, but he didn't seem to like that idea. The water was warm and never refilled. We got only one napkin for the 2 of us. The portions of Keema Muttor and Bagery Baigan were incredibly small (only 3 baby eggplants in the Baigan) and really overpriced for the amount that you got; the food was tasty though. The naan (pistacho fruit and onion/garlic/green chile) were good, but also pretty expensive.
I can ignore bad service when the food is worth it, but I cannot imagine a scenario where the food would be good enough to make up for the terrible service we received. When I get a craving for authentic Indian food, I can assure you I won't be seeking out Bhabi's Kitchen again.
Bhabi's = Bad – Simply put, I can excuse bad service if the food is very good. Yet, the food here would be marginal, at best. My wife ordered the Chicken Masala (Bhabi's Special) chicken with special spicy gravy. While the flavor was not bad, the portion was one small chicken leg and half of a chicken thigh (yes, 2 small pieces with a bowl of sauce) - for $12.00! I had the Palak Gosht Lamb/ Goat cubes cooked with spinach, onion and spices. Again, a small bowl of mostly sauce with four small pieces of low-quality lamb/goat - for $14.00. Did I mention that Bhabi charged us $2.00 for each can of Diet Coke we had? In addition to the tiny-portioned, marginal food, the service was atrocious: no help with the menu, an incomplete order, begging to get water and our check, poor seating and a table top that was far less than clean. Many others around us experienced the same bad service, as I could see and hear them complaining to Bhabi. Check Please's reputation is the only thing going for this place. Will not go back.
REALLY GOOD INDIAN FOOD! – Not too spicy
Not too greasy
Not too expensive
Try the stuffed naan, butter chicken and kadai ghost!
Malai kofta is top notch.
Wonderful Indian B.Y.O.B. – Bhabi's Kitchen is one of our favorite BYOs in Chicago. Butter Chicken is the star of the menu and be sure to try one of the incredibly tender lamb or goat dishes that Bhabi will surely recommend. This is a no-frills mom-and-pop with excellent food.
awesome indian!!!!!! – Bhabi's is a great place to go for authentic spicy and very flavorful cuisine! I saw the last guy to review went on a Sat night and were not happy with the service. Just so you know Bhabi is the only waiter. I am sure if you go again you wont be dissapointed.
Horrible service!!! – On one random Saturday night, I was on Devon with some of my friends/ acquaintances for a good Indian meal. Initially, we went to Hema's Kitchen which is a bit north of Bhabi's but they didn't have any table available for us. So we decided to go elsewhere. On our way back to our cars, I saw Bhabi's Kitchen nearby and remembered it from the WTTW t.v. show, 'Check Please'. So I told my friends to go there. Once we got there, even when there was a table for six available, we had to wait 20 mins just to be seated even after checking with the host/ manager/ owner of the restaurant. The reason why this was an issue was 'cause there is no standing room in the restaurant. It's like a hole-in-a-wall place. Once we got seated, it took forever to get water, let alone any drink orders. We had to ask the man who I think was either the manager and/ or the owner several times to bring us water and menus. But that didn't happen. After waiting ~20 mins to be seated, we waited another 20 mins or so to get just plates but still no water or menus. There was a couple who came after us. They got prompt service before we did. At this point, all of us were really hungry and got cranky. So we decided to just take off and not try their food. Their service was HORRIBLE to say the least. Neither the man or woman who seemed to be the main people incharge did anything to help our cause. I would not recommend this place to others. Instead go to Hema's Kitchen.
That place is better.
A Chicago must for Indian food lovers! – To me, Bhabi's is the model for all owner-run restaurants. I have eaten there many times and Bhabi is always there to greet and seat me himself. When it is time to order, don't expect to just pick something from the menu like you would at McDonalds - talk to Bhabi about what you like and ask him for his suggestions. He has a passion for his food and part of the joy of the restaurant is Bhabi sharing that passion with you. Parking is tight in the area so if you're going with friends, it would be a good idea to carpool.
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