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Ken Kee, Himalaya, Noli's, Trotter's To Go

Ken Kee, Himalaya, Noli's, Trotter's To Go
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  • Ken Kee, Himalaya, Noli's, Trotter's To Go

    Post #1 - July 26th, 2004, 10:25 am
    Post #1 - July 26th, 2004, 10:25 am Post #1 - July 26th, 2004, 10:25 am
    Some more material recycled from the LTH list-serve and inserted into the LTHForum database for the benefit of future searchers...

    Ken Kee (February 12, 2004)

    I have been too busy to eat well but I did drag another freelance slave out of the house today. Initially we were going to go to my Guatemalan place, which I'm still waiting for other people to try. But instead, he needed some Chinese hot sauce, and so we went to Chinatown. I saw a couple of posts on Ken Kee and took those with us. It was pretty good, I admired the authenticity of three separate menus, plus lots of signs on the wall. But it was not quite the place of my dreams, I mean, I wasn't wowed, but I was satisfied so shouldn't complain. Anyway, here's what we had:

    $1.50 bowl of HK soup-- chicken broth and salt, hot and cheap and huge. It is what it is.

    Hot and sour soup-- Wyatt said just passable, it tasted and looked like it had ketchup in it (!). I'm not sure where there's good hot and sour soup, it's one thing Moon Palace has never impressed me with.

    Chiu Chow duck-- pretty good though hard to eat just hacked into fat-covered, bone-filled chunks. But for $3.50 to get half a duck, well, I guess I'm saving the boning money, that's for sure.

    Rice noodles with XO sauce. Not sure what XO sauce was here but big thick noodles rolled into pillows had a nice panfried taste.

    Chicken with black bean sauce-- one traditional pretty gringo dish, pretty good.

    Ken Kee
    Chinatown Mall
    2129 S. China
    (312) 326-2088

    Himalaya, Noli's, Trotter's To Go (March 8, 2004)

    - In the same mall [at Golf and Milwaukee in Niles] as REI and Le Saigon de Manila there's now a place offering "Indian and Nepali Food" called Himalaya Restaurant. Liam and I couldn't resist and so we popped in for the buffet, aiming for the items that seemed less familiar and more likely to at least half reflect actual Nepali food. Only one, a brown mutton stew which tasted exactly like any brown mutton stew, actually said it was Nepali but some other dishes seemed at least less usual, reflecting a heavy use of coconut milk and tending to be sweetish, and not very heavily spiced (but still satisfying). As buffets go, pretty good, I am kind of interested to investigate actual Nepali food further.

    - Same day as Liam (who is 2-1/2) added Nepali to his list of countries, I took him and his brother to Noli's (Albanian place amid the middle eastern and Korean restaurants on Kedzie N of Addison) for pizza, deciding to finally try it (though Dad ordered a spinach byrek again too, sheesh, they're so cheap and huge). Pizza was just okay, I mean, as slices available at lunchtime away from the Loop go, well above average, but my hopes that their "New York style" crust would be impressively Italo-Albanian in some interesting Satko-like way just weren't really realized, pretty standard bread-like crust and not terribly exciting. Oh well, it fed the kids for a couple of days. And no complaints about the byrek, boy, nothing wrong with freshly baked bread and good strong feta.

    - Last night, unwilling to cook, I popped into Trotter's to Go. Big pretty pork leg on the counter, after Moon Palace I had to compare and contrast. Nicely done, not fall off the bone but richly flavorful and I admired their instructions to reheat with some of the cracklings on top-- that's right, America, use the fat to add flavor and juiciness! Don't hide it and pretend you're not eating it! However, same problem I had before with TTG, which is, you reheat their stuff and you can't help ruining it a little. I very gently warmed the pork and it still toughened up, the best bites I had were the coolish ones I scarfed while preparing it to go in the oven. They should open a little cafe there where you could just eat the stuff fresh. Or even a fine restaurant.

    Himalayan Restaurant
    8265 Golf Road, Niles
    Tel: (847) 324-4150
    Fax: (847) 324-4153

    Noli's Pizza
    4839 N. Kedzie, Chicago, IL
    Tel: (773) 588-0400
    Fax: (773) 588-0850

    Trotter's To Go
    1337 W Fullerton Ave
    Chicago, IL 60614
    Phone: (773) 868-6510
    Last edited by Mike G on September 25th, 2004, 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - July 26th, 2004, 10:34 am
    Post #2 - July 26th, 2004, 10:34 am Post #2 - July 26th, 2004, 10:34 am
    Mike G wrote:As buffets go, pretty good, I am kind of interested to investigate actual Nepali food further.

    Have you tried Mt. Everest in Evanston? They serve both Indian & Nepalese cuisine. I would rate everything I've had there as above average. I especially enjoyed the Momos (Nepalese Dumplings).

    The staff is very helpful with recommendations and the prices are very reasonable.

    Mt. Everest Restaurant
    618 Church St., Evanston
  • Post #3 - August 7th, 2007, 7:23 pm
    Post #3 - August 7th, 2007, 7:23 pm Post #3 - August 7th, 2007, 7:23 pm
    We went to Himalaya tonight -- because I'm traveling on my 24th anniversary (sigh), we needed something relatively close and open relatively early. We opened the place at 5PM, and ordered the non-veg Thali for 2.

    The menu lists fewer items than were actually provided to us! A huge amount of food for two:
    Mutter Paneer -- we ordered spicy, and it was indeed spicy. Lots of sweet peas in a creamy sauce
    Lamb Curry -- the menu didn't say what dish this was. Also spicy, tasty, but nothing to write home about.
    Naan - terrific chewy puffy bread
    White Rice
    Mixed tandoori: leg and breast of chicken (and the biggest leg I've ever gotten of tandoori chicken), were moist and tasty. Boti kabob was 2 nicely spiced large cubes of lamb. Four large pieces of chicken tikka, and four small pieces of sheesh kabob (spicier than I expected, makes me happy). The tikka and sheesh were a bit dry, the raita helped. Lots of peppers and onions on the platter, and a big wedge of lemon.

    Finishing it off was a dish of kheer: I liked the cocanut/cardamom flavoring, but it was more cocanut than MrsF likes.

    At $26.95, quite a bargain, as it's at least 3 $11 entrees plus the starches, dessert and raita. We took a fair amount of the two sauced dishes home (or at least MrsF did, I'm sitting waiting for a plane at O'Hare).

    This place needs a little more love: it's more reasonably priced than Buffalo Grove's India House, better atmosphere than Des Plaines' Cuisine of India, and there's not much else in the near NW burbs. Admittedly I don't get here much either, as I tend to gravitate to Periyali or Pita Inn.

    One other note: Saigon de Manila is no more -- another Korean place has supplanted it.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - August 14th, 2007, 5:05 pm
    Post #4 - August 14th, 2007, 5:05 pm Post #4 - August 14th, 2007, 5:05 pm
    out of the 8 or so indian lunch buffets ive had, i would have to say the Himalaya is the best... fairly consistent and flavorful for a buffet meal
  • Post #5 - August 26th, 2007, 6:05 pm
    Post #5 - August 26th, 2007, 6:05 pm Post #5 - August 26th, 2007, 6:05 pm
    Thumbs up (as long as Roger Ebert allows them) for Ken Kee. Remarkably quick service on a busy Sunday afternoon, with excellent renditions of orange chicken with liberal gratings of fresh peel, BBQ pork chow mein with mushrooms, and a LSC-worthy salt and pepper tofu. The last was cooked in so hot of a deep fryer that there was hardly anything left to the tofu except the (Borg-like) cubic exterior.