ORD Restaurant review: Monsoon
Mon, 24 Mar 2003 21:38:24 -0800
Mmmm... definitely need to bookmark this for the next trip to Chicago:
> The kitchen does a delicious Indian turn on the popular method of=20
> butter-poaching lobster, gently poaching it in five-spiced ghee and=20
> saucing it with saffron beurre blanc on sooji (wheat grains cooked=20
> like polenta).
Indian flavors get a fresh workout in the hands of Sumanth Das. Born in=20=
Bombay and raised in Indonesia, Mr. Das was trained in French technique=20=
and apprenticed at the Hotel Swagath in Kerala as well as in New Delhi=20=
Now he's cooking in the bizarrely outfitted Monsoon, where vibrant=20
murals blend Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Chicago cityscape motifs=20
with a big dose of Salvador Dal=ED amid silk curtain room dividers and a=20=
serpentine hammered-copper bar.
Fresh crisp papadums served with three Indian sauces make an auspicious=20=
beginning. A satisfying appetizer, tuna kilawin is essentially a=20
delicate tuna tartare that gets a kick from scallions, coconut milk and=20=
ginger juice; its soft texture is nicely complemented with a crunchy=20
wakhame seaweed salad. Papadums show up again as crisp rolls filled=20
with langoustines and served with very spicy sauce made with red chili=20=
sambal, the Indonesian condiment.
A cup of pineapple sorbet made a welcome refresher before our main=20
Rack of Indian spice-rubbed lamb is served with the Frenched bones of=20
the double-cut chops dramatically intertwined above wild mushroom=20
ragout and Bombay-style potatoes blended with mint chutney.
The kitchen does a delicious Indian turn on the popular method of=20
butter-poaching lobster, gently poaching it in five-spiced ghee and=20
saucing it with saffron beurre blanc on sooji (wheat grains cooked like=20=
The most pleasing dessert was a coconut-crusted saffron cheesecake with=20=
a tomato mint compote that was almost a sweet chutney.
After this onslaught of powerful flavors, we soothed our palates with a=20=
half bottle of exquisite Hungarian-style Campbell's Tokay from=20
Australia ($22), chosen from a good international wine list.
Monsoon, 2813 North Broadway Street; (773) 665-9463. Dinner nightly=20
except Monday; bar menu to 2 a.m. Dinner for two with wine, $130.=