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.
We went during restaurant week for lunch for the $22 pp prix fix menu. For soup I had the coconut soup which was absolutely interesting and very good. For entree I had the WALLEYE green curry, which is normally on their dinner menu for $36, and then ice cream for dessert. The green curry was a small bit of very bright green curry sauce with 2 small pieces of fried fish fillet. The ice cream dessert was a small bit of regular chocolate ice cream. Even though the ambiance was nice and all servers were friendly, I felt that I was still hungry after eating. I only weigh 100 lbs and I don't eat very much! But for the entree I felt that they could've given a little more.
Went for restaurant week - was not disappointed! Prix Fix menu was outstanding. Great service and ambiance.
Very disappointed when I went for restaurant week. They changed the menu from what was posted online and took out many of the more interesting items. Some of which was the reason that made me go in the first place.
The decor in this place is absolutely great, but that pales in comparison to the food which is just plain delicious. I went for restaurant week and the food was just phenomenal. My only complaint is the portions were way too small, even for restaurant week. I left feeling a little bit hungry and a little disappointed about it.
Great food and service, just not quite a deal for restaurant week.
Great restaurant week menu! Service was wonderful, however was a tad noisy.
Had the restaurant week menu with wine pairings. Outstanding food, service and wine.
This lunch at Embeya was enjoyable. This latest incarnation of their cooking has a little more gusto than I previously noted. It turned out to be Restaurant Week and the $22 special was a good value. The coconut cauliflower soup and the fried fish green curry were both pleasant winners.
I loved Embeya under the old chef and was initially put off by the menu. The appetizers sounded really good, but not the entrees. The 4 of us ordered about 4 different appetizers and one of the entrees. The flavors were wonderful. Not sure how I'd describe the cuisine-not typical Asian fusion, but that's about the closest I can come up with. It was expensive. $260 for the 4 of us.
In a word - disappointing. Based on a few recent reviews we were hopeful. Cocktails were original and good. Two out of four "starters" and two out of four entrees were overcooked, dry with little flavor; not well seasoned. Wine list strikes us as pricey with very limited selection under $75. Service was slow and not engaged.
This is only my second visit to Embeya. Each time my bill has been about $300, + or - $20 and it is WELL worth it for the wonderful sincere service, the caring servers, the beautiful location and the DYNAMIC food. The flavor combinations are intimidating on paper, but in person, they are executed beautifully. Don't come to Embeya if you are a shy diner, that doesn't like to take risks. Come here to break up your week of mundane foods and flavors, come here to have no rules! Delicious foods and cocktails. Impressive wine list. An overall win for me!
Cocktails, flavors and ambience are each exquisitely blended at this original Chicago restaurant with subtle Southeast Asian inflections. Service is personal and attentive. Don't be surprised when the owner personally comes to pour your wine and extend his hospitality.
Great ambiance with a asiatic/rustic flare. The food was flavorful but some of it was on the extra savory side (too much salt). Best way to go would be to order a bunch of apps and a few entrees if you're in a group. The plates are small so you'll need to order more than expected to feel satisfied. Consequently, it gets pricey.
My friend and I dined here before going to the Lyric and had a wonderful experience. The food perfectly cooked and the combination of flavors were delicious. I'd been wanting to try this place for quite some time and finally made it and I'll definitely be back again to try some other dishes.
Try the Pork Belly, and the Rock Shrimp Udon. Both outstanding. A great place, it might get loud when it is more crowded, but I would go back
Compatible and interesting flavors blend well in the beautiful dishes. A lovely and thoughtful wine list fits the food---the excellent staff offer great guidance on matches. The salmon and squid appetizers were standouts, as was the chicken thigh entree, but we enjoyed our entire meal. On a Thursday evening this lovely room wasn't very busy but even if it had been, the tables are well-spaced. It can accommodate couples wanting privacy and quiet as well as groups that would enjoy sharing creative but approachable food. Nice bar area too. Host and servers were knowledgeable and warm. This is a well thought out dining venue that offers unusually delicious food.
Second time we've gone and both times the specials were phenomenal. Embeya really kills it on the sauces, perfect balances of flavors and spices enough to feel but not overdone. A little pricey, but absolutely delicious and worth it at the end of the day.
Every single appetizer and main dish we ordered (group of five) was outstanding. Memorable were the octopus and calamari appetizers; the shrimp/udon main dish is perhaps the best Asian (or otherwise) shrimp dish! Drinks, both the vodka and tequila cocktails, were fantastic. Desserts were just wonderful! This is an extraordinary place!
Let me begin by telling you, I most certainly do not even consider using the "L" word without great consideration, especially when speaking foodie.
For me, it is uncommon to find establishments that inspire review writing.
However, to my relief, Embeya has what it takes to be appreciated amongst super selective food people and can be considered the proverbial "whole package" covering all bases of what makes dining delightful.
From the minute you walk in, you will learn; staff is present, available and helpful without being rushed, aggressive or overwhelming. I also know from experience that when you call, they answer the phone here.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed and seated promptly. Server & buser were attentive at the table.
The chef(s) were definitely on board; making things taste and look amazing, at the proper temperature. Thank you.
Lunch and dinner, both fantastic. Staff here give the guests exactly what they want and will properly pace your courses for you and modify dishes if you would like. Beautiful.
Drinks are creative and complimentary to the cuisine. The wine also works well and is served in proper, tasteful glasses.
Favorited: Grilled squid, the octopus, papaya salad, salted persimmon, Pinot noir, love seats, music fitting the mood, lemon grass tea, coffee ice cream dessert.
Three years young and it seems to keep getting better. Each time I visit, positive memories are reinforced, which is why I feel I can trust Embeya to be consistent and will offer this as a recommendation to friends.
Until next time, eat well,
Please note, Embeya may have an unfair advantage with points for being biking distance from my 'hood. But also maybe not.
I was worried that with the new chef that Embeya would have lost some of its greatness but our meal proved that it is better than ever. Overall, I found fewer things on the new menu that were appealing compared to when the former chef was in the space. That being said, what we did order was delectable! I will come back often to try more things and maybe find some new favorites.
I live in Chicago and was looking for a place within walking distance of the Opera for a pre-show dinner with my boyfriend. I was worried the food at Embeya was going to be over priced, too artsy / unapproachable and too small. I was wrong. This was an amazing, memorable meal. I think it has to be my favorite meal I've had in my two years in Chicago. I wish we weren't in a rush to leave for the show so I could have had another cocktail! The "all-inclusive" was a tropical drink infused with lavender - wow! For food, we shared the meatball appetizer and two entrees (udon noodles + walleye curry). The flavors were incredible and it was the perfect amount of food. I can't wait to go back again and try more of the menu!
It's always an adventure to eat at Embeya--it the best possible way. It's Asian, but it's not. It's familiar, but always different. Best of all, it's delicious, relaxing, and fun.
We have dined at Embeya many times and it never disappoints! With its beautiful decor, impeccable service, and perfectly executed dishes, our experience has always been exceptional. We have a vegan in the family, and often that poses a problem when dining out with limited options. Embeya embraces the special request and offers a amazing experience for everyone at the table. Thank you for another amazing meal!
Menu was unique and overall, food was pretty good (and lovely presentation). Ambiance and decor are chic - was a little surprised it closed at 9 pm [on a weeknight] and, although our server was good, the hostess needs some training. Seemed frantic, nervous, and provided misdirection about our group reservation - which she later apologized for the miscommunication (which I can appreciate) but it still made my guests [clients] on edge at the time.
The recent change in chefs has only made Embeya better and more creative. Start to finish it was a great meal, highly recommend!
Went here for my 26th birthday and everything was delectable! We tried almost all of the appetizers and the service staff was very knowledgeable and friendly. The atmosphere was upbeat, trendy, with a bit of a relaxed vibe that allowed for a wonderful and positive dining experience. Certainly a spot I will frequently dine at!
The food was exceptionally great. Ambiance, from enter to finish was great. My wife, kids and I loved the experience and food. Waitperson when he handed the menu mentioned along with menu items, the chef would come up with a menu specially for us ( i was not sure at first ), we when with chef menu for experience. Then he asked if there were any food restrictions. We got seafood, chicken and lamb varieties along with vegetarian items.
All appetizers, entree and deserts that were severed to us was great. We are all in love with lamb and cod fish they way cooked and served was best (not sure will have such good food again). The prices might be few dollars more than other restaurants considering the experience and service you get EMBEYA is exceptional. I have been twice already and every time it was great experience planning to again in few weeks.
The cocktails were superb, the wine list extensive and well chosen, the food was uniquely delicious, and the entire staff was delightful!
It is nice to have food served with brief explanation of what's in it and how it was done . Nice atmosphere , the light is just right. Very Nice wine lists :)
Made reservations for a friend's birthday. Small plates and entrees were prefect for sharing. Every dish had a great combination of flavors that married deliciously together, though every one of our dishes were mint focused. Our server was attentive and enthusiastic about our food and wine and was open to gluten free alternative suggestions. Finally, he sweetened our experience by bringing desert on the house for the table. I'd come again and I recommend it!
Food good. Service OK.
We celebrated a milestone birthday - this is the place to go for an exceptional experience!
Chef Michael Sheerin and his team prepared a sumptuous feast.
Every member of the staff was engaged to make sure our evening was very special.
Really fun menu with some standard Asian dishes updated and other fusion type dishes that blend Asian flavors to make super satisfying dishes.
We had lunch, and our waiter explained the dishes we asked about, made recommendations and had professional but friendly demeanor.
We didn't get enough info about spice levels and unfortunately the papaya salad was spicy and my guest couldn't eat it. I thought it was GREAT! The waiter kindly and quickly swapped out another dish for my guest so that was no problem.
We had the scallops and another fish dish for our main course and both were delicious.
Dessert was fine, and someone who really likes desserts, would have a better perspective than we do!
When you feel like Asian flavors in a relaxing room with good service, this is the spot.
Great place for a business lunch over the Wacker Drive selections. Better noise level and ambience.
This was my third time at Embeya. I wanted to bring my son because he loves interesting Asian food. I enjoyed a delicious gin, lemongrass and cucumber cocktail at the bar before being seated. We felt we were over-ordering, and intended to take leftovers home, but everything was so delicious that we left empty-handed and full-bellied. Two cold appetizers, including their wonderful green papaya salad, and two hot appetizers (octopus and fried squid), plus a seafood entree for two. Everything was thoughtful and surprising, not spicy but perfectly flavorful. You can't get this kind of food anywhere else in town.
We were also treated beautifully by the staff, from the host to the bartender to the server. A wonderful evening.
The best tasting lamb shank I've ever had. The curry sauce poured over it was delicious. The tandoori shrimp was spicy to perfection. Came with delicious pasta - could have used more. Service was attentive but not intrusive. The setting is comfortable but noisy enough that I had trouble hearing our friends from across the table.
This restaurant surprises with it innovative presentations of some standard--and some non-standard--menu items. The Papaya Salad was a stand-out with its crispy shallots and assertive spicing. So, too, was the delightful lamb shank with its Asian spices balancing the inherent sweetness of the lamb. While foodies will be attracted to the innovative preparations, this restaurant also will please non-foodies because there is much on the menu that they can readily relate to. And the wine list offers wonderful food friendly whites and reds. The Domaine Depeyre was a perfect complement to the lamb. Service was exceptional.
The grilled calamari and seafood soup were delicious!
Embeya is a great restaurant in the heart of the West Loop. We took a group of five, one who has dietary needs and had no problems. Our server was able to recommend dishes that would work for all of us including the person with the restriction.
Great place to share food, have a few drinks and great conversation. I would recommend this place for couples as well as for large parties.
Look forward to visiting again soon! Thanks Embeya!
It was my 5th time there and one of the best. Food and drinks are amazing. The noise level is just right so easy to have conversations.
The owner and his wife are always both present which ensures a great place and experience. Definitely will be back!