Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Vegetarian Options Rating: ★★★★★
Pescatarian Options Rating: ★★★★★
Food Quality: ★★★★
Overall Rating: ★★★★
Indian food is one of my favorite types of cuisines so I am always in search of delicious Indian food in the West part of Chicago since Devon is a hike. I’ve been to Cumin a few times and it’s never disappointing. I like that there is a lot of space here and it has a romantic, intimate ambience. The service is decent and they are great with the water refills. I felt a little rushed when they were taking plates away but the overall service was decent. I like having a more “upscale” option for Indian cuisine.
I appreciated that they give you a complementary order of poppadom (crispy, fried lentil wafers) served with a mint and tamarind chutney. It was crispy and plentiful! We started with an order of the Samosa Chaat and it was very delicious! Basically, the chaat part consisted of boiled chickpeas, a little raita, and chilled tamarind-mint chutney served over crispy, warm, flavorful samosas. It was a rainbow of colors and flavors! There was just a really interesting and a unique combination of flavors.
For our entrees, we ordered the Palak Paneer and Baingan Bartha. Their portions were generous and filling. The palak paneer was tasty, had thick spinach and paneer, and a great texture. I would have liked for the sauce to be more flavorful/spicy but this tasted good overall. It was a creamier version of palak paneer than what’s served at some other Indian restaurants in the area.
The Baingan Bartha was my favorite. It had minced, roasted eggplant with tomatoes, onions, ginger, and a creamy but not thick sauce. The eggplant tasted fresh and the ginger complemented the eggplant flavor very well. The spices were blended perfectly with the vegetables making it a medium-spicy flavored dish. Everything tasted very robust and it was perfectly seasoned. This definitely stood out for me.
We did need some carbs to soak up the sauces so we ordered garlic naan and basmati rice. I love garlic naan and always end up getting it at Indian restaurants. I would have liked if the naan had more garlic but that’s just my preference because I love garlic.
Overall, this was a great dining experience and I look forward to the next time I am here and can try their other dishes. Cumin is pricier than what you would find on Devon Avenue but if you don’t want to venture all the way up there and like a more relaxing environment, then it’s worth it to try Cumin. I’d like to try their Nepalese items but I just love Indian food so much that I always get distracted.