photo credit: Jack Li
Plattered By Niki
One not-terrible thing about 2020 is that it gave us the opportunity to eat food from incredible restaurants while sitting on our couches. This (pretty much daily) habit that we developed means we’re constantly on the lookout for exciting new pop-ups and carryout-only spots. That’s how we discovered Plattered By Niki, a fantastic Indian restaurant in Lakeview from former caterer Nikita Dhingra. She opened in October, with a set menu that’s available once a week (right now on Fridays), that you need to pre-order at least a day in advance. And while you can order dishes a la carte, don’t bother - you should really just get everything that chef Niki is making that day (usually about four or five dishes) and create a feast for yourself.
The menu changes every week, but you might find fried butter chicken and naan waffles. Or, an outstanding pindi chole served with puffy bhature. You could get a relatively straightforward raj kachori, or a rich pineapple and saffron sheera. The menu is unpredictable in a good way, and one thing you can count on is the flavors being incredible - from the layering of warm spices in the rich chickpea stew, to the balance of sweet tamarind chutney and savory mint-cilantro yogurt in the kachori. And everything is thoughtfully packaged, so you can enjoy the crispy poori shell without it turning into mush on your way home.
We’re not alone in our love of this place. When we went to pick up our order, a line of eager people slowly grew behind us waiting for their chance to be handed their bags full of deliciousness. And along with your meal, you’ll also be given careful instructions from the chef. Because one thing is clear the moment you walk into her kitchen - this is a woman who really loves sharing her food with people. Almost as much as we love eating it.
Plattered By Niki’s menu changes frequently, but here is an example of some dishes you might find.
Butter Chicken And Garlic Naan Waffle
Lamb Galouti Kabobs And Saffron Roti
Beetroot Peas Pulao