A new Indian restaurant in the Loop? Sauces made from scratch with fresh ingredients and imported spices? Three local chefs with roots in Mexico City, London, and Mumbai? How do I get there and how soon can I come in?
This was the quick string of questions that ran through my head when Chef Hiran invited me over to Naansense, the new fast-casual restaurant in the Loop that serves up traditional Indian cuisine with a modern twist. Tucked under the El tracks on Wells, this tiny spot turns out some big flavors, and is the perfect place to grab a quick and tasty lunch during the week. Not only is the food great, but the colorful, urban artwork and reclaimed wood paneling make Naansense even more unique!
For lunch I had a rice bowl with a tasting of a little of everything. I love spicy food and their Vindaloo sauce definitely did not disappoint, but I was actually more impressed with the great flavors of the Korma sauce that was smothering my Paneer; the Pistachio+Ginger+Cardamom combo was spot on! Along with my bowl I had a warm, fresh piece of naan that Tandoor Chef George makes in their very own Tandoor oven!
Just when I thought my meal was coming to a close, Chef Hiran brought out a hot, crispy order of their Masala Fries and I definitely have to say that he saved the best for last! No, french fries are not usually something you would think to see on the menu at an Indian restaurant but that is just one of the many examples of Naansense’s modern twist on traditional. These fries would be great on their own but when dipped in the curry sauce that comes alongside…heaven! I fancy myself the queen of dipping sauces and this has moved right up to the top of my list as the best sauce around. We had a similar sauce served with an order of fries on our honeymoon in Bali and this brought me right back to that beautiful place!
*This post was sponsored by Naansense, located at 171 N. Wells St. in Chicago, IL. As always, all opinions are my own!