Serai’s brick exterior is pretty nondescript, so it’s easy to miss the entrance and end up halfway down the block—which is what we did on our first visit. But the food at this Logan Square Malaysian spot is worth doubling back for. Inside the dimly lit space you’ll find two dining rooms: one with a bar, and a cozy annex that's perfect for a date or low-key dinner.

The menu has Malaysian specialties like char koay teow and nasi lemak, plus a bunch of Chinese, Thai, and Indonesian-influenced dishes. Most are well-balanced, toeing the line between sweet and spicy. For example, the flaky roti pratha comes with a mild (but flavorful) curry of tender potatoes and chicken, and the sambal eggplant has a pleasant, slow-burning heat that’s never overwhelming. For more aggressive spice, get the three pepper fish which comes heavily dusted in black pepper, red chilies, and jalapeños.

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