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Friday, January 4, 2008

Chicken nuggets, Indian-style, with Styrofoam

zkyka-chicken.jpg

We've eaten three Indian meals in a row. The winner by a mile was Saravanaa Bhavan, in the former location of the similarly named Madras Saravana Bhavan, long regarded as the city's best Indian (and vegetarian) restaurant.

But we also ate at Zyka, whose dish pictured above, 65 Chicken, is one of the city's favorites. Why? Because it's fried chicken nuggets that have been marinated in Indian spices, of course.

Zyka was absolutely packed when we visited and there was a lengthy wait at the counter and for food afterward. I have to say, either my palate has changed or the food has deteriorated here. The chicken dish is as irresistible as ever, but a goat biryani, supposedly the specialty of the region featured at the restaurant, was very disappointing.

The restaurant is using Styrofoam cups and plates, by the way. That is so not green.

We also had our regular Monday night Indian meal at the Standard in Grant Park. A huge bowl of chicken curry, it was as delicious as ever. Unfortunately, the pub's new smoke eaters were operating at low speed and, between the hot spices in the curry and the unfiltered smoke, I had a virtual crying fit at the table and -- gross -- a major nosebleed.

More on Zyka and Saravanaa in an upcoming Grazing column.

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