The gist: After building his culinary career at the likes of Pump Room, Napa’s Bouchon, and Bangkok’s Gaggan, chef Zubair Mohajir returned to Chicago for Wazwan, a culinary ode to Southeast Asia. Two different dining experiences exist: More casual street fare at Wazwan or a multi-course tasting menu at The Coach House, situated within one of the only coach houses to withstand the Chicago Fire.
The food: At the Coach House, choose between a five-course vegetarian menu (Thursdays) or an eight-course meat-friendly menu (Fridays and Saturdays), all of which change seasonally alongside the kitchen’s parting gift (right now that’s a small jar of Garam Masala, toasted and blended in-house). At Wazwan, opt for the house signature Tandoori Honey Chicken Sando. After marinating Halal chicken thighs in tandoori spices overnight, the team batters and fries them before stuffing them into a toasted brioche bun with gochujang aioli, house-made Achaari, and spicy honey butter. Pair it all with a bottle of your choosing (for a $5 per person corkage fee), as the spot is BYOB for now.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.
Expect high energy and bold flavors at this Wicker Park destination, where two venues welcome diners—a front space offering casual South East Asian street food, and a coach house featuring a multi-course weekend menu. Either one boasts memorable, much-buzzed-about fare from chef Zubair Mohajir, who cooked at some of the world’s finest restaurants before returning to Chicago to pursue his own ventures. With options like the Kati Roll (house-made roti bread with scrambled egg and green chutney) and the THC Sando (tandoori-marinated fried chicken on brioche with gochujang aioli and spicy honey butter), we’re sure glad he did—especially when said flavors are heightened through the help of bottles like Riesling or Gamay.