Embeya is an Asian fusion restaurant that allows patrons to taste all its offerings before they order a meal. The Embeya restaurant also offers a selection of wines which gel with the meals they order. Not only has Embeya been named among Crain's top 3 restaurants, the restaurant also graced the pages of Esquire Magazine where it was introduced as a prestigious and best new restaurant. Zagat also didn't hesitate to name this restaurant among the top 10 sexiest restaurants in its issue.
While the Asian food here is authentic, it is the unique cocktails prepared by Embeya's chefs that are well-known among the locals. A dish like tendon and lime serves vodka and fresh coconut water with citrus and caramelized coconut skewers.
Food great, service spotty. Drinks took 15 minutes to arrive and the wine arrived 3/4 though the meal. Yes I had to inquire. A final mix up at coat check sealed a "not again" for us.
My husband and I went to Embeya to celebrate his birthday and we had an excellent experience. Our waiter was very knowledgable about the various dishes - we shared the Japanese beef and cucumbers for an appetizer - a great combination of tangy and savory flavors. We had the scallops and steak for dinner, which were also excellent, and then finished off with the hazelnut chocolate brownie for dessert. Overall, a great place for a date night or for a group dinner with friends. The only small downside was that the service was a little slow towards the end of our meal as the restaurant became more crowded. But would highly recommend to anyone looking for a unique dining experience!
The menu varies by season. Small plates and large plates are offered. The chef is creative and puts together interesting and delicious dishes that please the palate. The wine list is amazing, and our service was fantastic.
Fantastic tastes; new approaches to traditional dishes; great drinks. Cannot wait to hear what the kitchen will come up with next!
Every dish had the most amazing flavors. The service was perfection, attentive and professional, yet relatable and gave us space to talk. Nothing better I could have asked for!
Went here for their set menu with my wife on Valentine's Day. Had heard lots of good things about this restaurant, including praise from Eater Chicago. Was sorely disappointed across the board. The food was bland and under seasoned. Truffle shavings were in 1 of the dishes, but you couldn't even tell as there was no trace of truffle flavoring. Also, wait staff took forever to greet us after sitting, didn't come back to take drink orders and were generally confused around which dish we were on. Most of these problems could have been from a busier then normal time, but given how many ways they underwhelmed, I can't give them a pass. Definitely would not recommend this place.
The Valentine's Day prefixed menu was very overrated, and over valued. It was nothing impressive. I only wish I saw the menu beforehand. I would have chosen a different restaurant then.
While I was disappointed that there was only a fixed/tasting menu available and that I wasn't told about it in advance, the food is excellent. I understand there was an expectation for valentines day but the restaurant didn't seem any busier than if it were a Friday or Saturday night. That being said, again the food is excellent and I guess I have to go back for the full menu options.
Was not let down.
Great atmosphere, service and food. Perfect valentines date with my pretty lady. However, I felt it was slightly over priced for the pre-fix menu that night. with a $75 bottle of wine and tip by bill came to over $300. I'll definitely be back and look forward to ordering off the menu.
Embeya is a unique experience that I highly recommend.
From the moment you walk in the sea urchin looking lamps captivate your imagination. The vast open spaces are carefully crafted to connect with community as the long row of seats and long tables connect you with beautiful strangers.
The food is exquisite but portions small. So I suggest that you slow down before you arrive and chew slowly with you eyes close in order to savor every bite. The food is like a lover's kiss where you are always wanting more.
The service was comfortable and unpretentious so you feel like you are at your rich uncle's house for dinner- familiar but extravagant.
The bar is a work of art and we'll place like a ceterpice work of art.
The short story on Valentine's Day prix fixe on the 13th was the food was delicious, but it was amateur hour service wise.
Our server was clearly in way over her head. Whether it was the awkward social skills, inability to proceed through 4 courses in order, awareness that some people prefer to have beverages with their meals or just overall or speed of service. We were one of her lucky tables since during our three hours since she literally spilled a tray full of drinks over two tables...glass and cocktails flying everywhere. After that she became a ninja just appearing to throw a bill folder on the table and then quickly pick it up with no comment. The only saving grace was a female bartender who stepped in to help the tables of our struggling server.
Not quite the Valentine's Day evening I'd expected. I'd definitely recommend the food, but perhaps try an early seating on a Tuesday to make sure their service can match the food.
Service was absolutely wonderful from the moment we arrived, were seated and greeted right on time. The place was packed and yet the noise level was surprisingly quiet which was a nice surprise. All of the courses were wonderfully prepared and as delicious as they looked. Wine was paired nicely with the meal, would not hesitate to return.
It was a perfect dinner; it started out with a little wine and we opted for the Valentine's day menu.
The Tuna appetizer was very good with just the right amount of heat. The salad was fresh; the octopus add was nicely done.
Embeya is famous for their duck with this reviewer; Valentine's day dinner did not disappoint. The other meat dish as tender and tasty; I just cannot remember the name. Clearly dwarfed by the duck! LOL
We had the cake desert with a bit of ice cream; so good.
It was all well presented; and as always it was the perfect amount of food.
Thank you to Embeya for making this Valentines' Day memorable for years to come.
We were disappointed with our experience. The menu was limited. The staff acted like they were doing us a favor by seating us. The food was overpriced. When an entrée was sent back because it was undercooked (duck) no follow up ever occurred. In fact, the waiter seemed annoyed at our displeasure and never asked if the problem was solved. I have no problem paying for food and service when its deserved. We simply were baffled by the good reviews we read which caused us to make our reservation. Never again.
Embeya has everything going for it, except possibly for enough word-of-mouth praise, although that may be changing. We dined there just after Restaurant Week, when Embeya was still offering its four-course tasting menu for $44, served family style. We were served two menu items for each course, and each was distinctive and delicious. From the cuttlefish noodle pad Thai to the cacao nib brownie, the meal was a delight. The chef has a knack for pairing interesting flavors, such as the grilled Chinese bacon with caramelized parsnip puree. The restaurant is elegant, with decorative dividers and floor-to-ceiling windows. Our server was extremely helpful, as one member of our party had some dietary restrictions, and the kitchen went overboard in making sure each item we were served complied with the restrictions, whenever possible. If you enjoy unusual takes on Asian food, you will want to try Embeya.
The ambiance is lively and fun but not at all noisy. The food is creative, tasty, and very pretty. The seafood-heavy menu gave us concerns because of my wife's shellfish allergy, but they accommodated her and all went well.
One of the best restaurants we have experienced in a long time! Great service and food. Highly recommend!
good meal for sharing
Restaurant Week menu knocked it out of the park. everything, I mean, EVERYTHING was awesome. Wait staff was friendly, attentive, not over-bearing. We'll be back!!!
Food was interesting and good but portions small.
Great food and service! I went here for restaurant week and really enjoyed it! The wine and cocktail list was impressive! I would go here again for a special occasion.
I finally experienced the amazing food at Embeya during Chicago Restaurant Week. This spot is not only a very elegant and sexy space, it also has some of the best Asian flavors of any Chicago restaurant. The spicy green papaya salad is a "must-do." The crispy walleye in green curry sauce with scallions and pomegranate seeds was wonderfully exotic. Roasted banana with caramel and sliced kumquats was a gorgeous and tasty dessert. I am already planning a return visit very soon. Can't wait!
After a very long time, I had a meal this delicious that it has been 4 days, and I'm still raving about it. I had heard that the new chef had really done a great job with the menu and food, but my oh my, I didn't expect it to be this delicious.
Let's not forget the bar- my cocktail was absolutely delicious. I don't remember the name, but it was tequila based. Incredible!
And lastly, the service was top notch. The server wasn't overbearing, knew the menu, and the order was perfectly executed.
The restaurant is beautiful and management is obviously great at their jobs. Can't wait to go back.
Had a terrific meal for restaurant week Pad Thai was a standout.
Went for Restaurant Week and enjoyed a three course prix fixe lunch. Service was good, though there were no wine pairing suggestions, nor was there the offer a wine list. Food was decent. The curry sauce on the rock shrimp and udon noodles was overpowering and heavy-handed.
I went during restaurant week and the special entrees were delicious. The service is always great.
When the food is good (like the butternut squash soup they had during restaurant week), it's phenomenal. But it's inconsistent. Some things were just meh - or even questionable (like the smoked chocolate ice cream that tasted a bit like a cold, wet spoonful of ashes). But I've tried enough things that I really liked that I'll come back again. I like the three-course lunch option. And the service is very good. It's definitely worth a try.
The food was EXCELLENT! I am still dreaming about the Braised Lamb with Yellow Curry! The pad thai salad and cuttlefish noodle dishes were absolutely delicious! What a great experience!
Everything was amazing. Wonderfully creative food, impeccable service and outstanding wine and cocktails. Highly recommend.
A friend and I went last Saturday for dinner. It is restaurant week, but we didn't go only because of that. I have been twice before and even held a private event there so I normally highly recommend it. However, from the time we sat at our table the service level was poor. We constantly had to track our waiter down who seemed bothered. We ordered the wine pairing and the the wine would come but there was about a 15-20 minute wait between courses and we had to ask for a wine refill when the food came. At one point I looked around the restaurant and no one was eating and multiple people started complaining. Only when the final bill came and we asked that the wine pairing be removed did the waiter explain that a can of coconut milk exploded in the kitchen ruining the second course. Saying that in the beginning could have possibly saved the night. It's unfortunate that the service was so poor because the food was fantastic. Unfortunately I doubt I will be returning after that experience.
I really want to like Embeya but this experience holds me back. I've been there twice before under the old chef, but this was the first visit with the current chef. We went for Restaurant Week and had a reservation but still had to wait for nearly 30 minutes for our table. The restaurant seemed to be running behind and had a lot of diners with reservations waiting. The front of house staff could have been more nice and apologetic about it--but they were not. No one apologized, and one of them even said, "it's dinner time, what would you expect?" Strike one.
Most of the dishes were very good, but the chicken course was under-cooked. We let one of the servers know when he came up to pick up our plates and he informed our waiter. Our waiter then came to ask about it, and proceeded to explain how chicken can look pink and red but still be cooked. No apologies for that either. Strike two. I think I know when chicken looks cooked or not--and when blood is coming out of it, it's not fully cooked. We then expected to have some money knocked off of our bill, but that didn't happen. Strike three.
We didn't like either dessert dish, but that's personal preference.
Dined during restaurant week. Service was a nightmare. We had a 7:15 reservation and weren't seated until 7:46. When we were finally seated, we were put at a shared table that had been open for quite a while. Food took forever - wine pairing was poured a full 10 minutes before the food for that course arrived. No discount offered, just an "extra" dessert, which really wasn't extra, but a substitute for the roasted banana option from the prix fixe menu that we requested not to receive. Really, really disappointed in the service, though the food was delicious.
Our party of 7 was seated immediately at our reserved time. We enjoyed the restaurant week menu and added the fourth course option. Our server, Rene, was excellent, assisting with wine selections and the meal was well paced on a busy Saturday night. We will definitely return again to try the regular menu.
A group of friends and I (4 of us in total) went to Embeya for restaurant week. I had originally only made the reservation for two of us, but called Embeya an hour before dinner to ask if we could make room for two more friends to join, and they were very accommodating and helpful. The food was unique and the service was good, but the fare was a bit on the lighter side. We had the three course meal but the four course may have been more filling.
Beautiful restaurant. Was there during restaurant week. Did not love the pre fixe menu. Also, took over 15 -20 minutes to get a cocktail. I confirmed a dessert for my friends birthday. It never came. Only what was on the menu.
Staff was very nice. Service fair.
Loved eating at Embeya for restaurant week- the serving method was a little weird as we had 5 people and they did "family style" which meant 3 of each dish for our table. We ran out of space since there were so many plates and it was difficult to split the food!
Beautifully appointed decor. Warm and intimate. Great for private intimate conversation. Creative drink offering.
My friend and I came with reservations for restaurant week. We were seated near the door, which unfortunately, was repeatedly left open, allowing for a less than pleasant dining experience (They don't have a winter vestibule, and people were not using the revolving door because a side door was unlocked). Lunch with a friend is always great, so it wasn't a huge spoiler, but the poor bus boy had to keep running over there because the hostess pretended not to notice. Foodwise: my friend got beef jerky - reported that it was tasty. I got cauli soup - it was tasty, but very salty, with little veggie taste -more like a cream of cream soup? We both got the walleye, which was heavily breaded and deep fried - like fish and chips fish - and served with a green curry sauce. It was tasty, but salty, and the pumpkin was actually peels - which was interesting. My friend had the fried banana (looks like they switched up the dessert offering that day from their evening menu), which she devoured, and then she tasted my brownie - that was delicious and we both agreed it was superior. It is a good value for $22 - but try something different than what I had.
Another terrific experience at Embeya! This time my three business colleagues joined me for a late dinner...and it was during restaurant week. The place was bursting with people and energy...and the hostess was able to seat us at a lovely window table after a short and pleasant wait at the perfect bar. The 4 course Restaurant Week menu is what we all ordered. The food was just so perfect. Every item was deliciously and despite the later hour...beautifully prepared. And service was exquisite. Thanks.
Restaurant Week gave me the chance I'd been waiting for to finally try Embeya. With a group of six, we got to sample 8 items and found each of them to be special and delicious. This is not 'hearty dining' and I would have liked a few more samplings, but every taste was a treat for my eyes and palate and I hope to return for more of this type of dining experience.