Restaurant Review: All Roads Lead to West Town’s ROOH

With Chicago Restaurant Weeknearly upon us (January 20-February 5) it’s time to expand your horizons and palates with new tastes and new adventures! 

One adventure worth taking is a trip to the West Loop’s ROOH, 736 W. Randolph Street, The restaurant, which earned a Michelin star in 2021, describes itself as “An amalgamation of regional Indian flavors and modern gastronomic techniques.”

ROOH means “soul or spirit,” and lives up to its name by creating a soulful,  delicate balance of rich traditional flavors, using fresh, local ingredients, prepared with international techniques and inspirations.

To liven up Chicago Restaurant Week, ROOH has created a $59/person, four-course dinner to introduce their South Asian/Indian fusion cuisine. They start with shared appetizer of a Chili Cheese Kulcha, with Tilamook cheddar, chili, and Shishito pepper. This is followed by your choice of an Avocado Bhel, with Granny Smith apple, potatoes, and puffed black rice, or a Sabudana Cutlet with potato, tapioca pearls, and mint chutney.

The ‘main events’ to choose from (sadly, only one to a person, but my recommendation is to share with your guests) are a Kerala Fried Chicken, spiced with curry leaf, and podi masala, and a Tandoor Smoked Pork Belly with a lsweet fig and ginger sauce A Grilled Prawn is paired with a Ghee roast sauce and dill. 

For the third course, you choose between Bagara Baingan with baby eggplant, and seasoned with tamarind, sesame, and peanuts, or a spicy Paneer Pasanda, with red pepper makhani, cashews, and fenugreek seeds. Tandoori Cauliflower has Kadai gravy and cilantro cress. And reviewers have raved about their Butter Chicken with red pepper Makhani, cashews, and fenugreek seeds. Or… your final choice is Scottish Salmon Pulusu, with a coconut ginger sauce and mashed potatoes. All are served with your choice of rice or Naan.

For ROOH’s final course, a choice of sweet sensations: Saffron Cheesecake, which is a white chocolate cheesecake served with a saffron ganache and pistachio crumble, a Molten Chocolate Cake, lively and colorful with fresh berries and salted jaggery ice cream, or a vegan, house-churned Mango Sorbet. 

Reviewers waxed rhapsodic over ROOH’S fine fusions. Just two weeks ago, a Google reviewer wrote, “Nice family time here with great food and service. We ordered the fish in banana leaf and butter chicken. Avocado bhel and sweet potato chat were delicious. Meal ended with Saffron cheesecake which had different textures and main cheesecake was airy and had nice hint of saffron.”

ROOH is open Monday- Thursday: 5pm- 9:30pm, Friday-Saturday: 5pm – 10:30 pm, and Sunday: 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm. For reservations and information, click here

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago