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  5. Logan Square
Serai - Serai, Chicago, IL
Serai, Chicago, IL
Serai, Chicago, IL
Serai, Chicago, IL
Serai, Chicago, IL

Serai

4.4
4.4
185 Reviews
$30 and under
Malaysian
Serai – Malay for lemongrass – is a hardy plant that can grow in harsh environments, full of herbal properties, and ubiquitous in South East Asian cuisine.
It's a unifying ingredient that connects all countries across the region, and adds that extra little kick to make a dish truly authentic. Also, it is the answer to your call for genuine South East Asian, Malaysian, cooking.
Currently being cultivated in Logan Square, the delightful restaurant aims to bring to you the best of traditional regional food, with a focus on Malaysian fare – specialities like Char Koay Teow, Curry Laksa and Hainanese Chicken – at the hands of a passionate chef who lives to enhance his craft.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 8 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Malaysian, Asian, Contemporary Asian
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:30pm Friday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm Sunday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
  • Phone number
    (872) 206-8368
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Private party contact
    reservations@seraichicago.com: (872) 206-8368
  • Neighborhood
    Logan Square
  • Cross street
    N. Talman Ave.
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Public transit
    CTA Blue Line to California. <br />CTA 56 Bus to Milwaukee & Talman
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Kosher, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 185 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 3.6Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

185 Reviews
  1. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    This place was once great!! The food and drinks but is going downhill fast!! Drinks were horrible, wine and mai tai (get a new bartender) worst Mai tai ever and the food subpar… sorry to see this place fail

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  2. ChristyS

    Montreal

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    I’ve been to Serai twice now and it has not disappointed. The food comes out piping hot with big flavor. The staff is always very nice and attentive. The drunken noodles are amazing and the roti appetizer should not be missed!! I’ll be back!

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  3. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Fantastic restaurant! We always enjoy our meals here. My favorite are the Roti Pratha and the Mee Goreng. I brought a group of girlfriends here this time and they loved it, as well. The biggest hit was the mango chicken. The server was very friendly and helpful. When I made an error and ordered my main as an appetizer, he immediately recognized it and questioned it, which was very helpful. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves Thai food. I feel that Malaysian food is a tastier version of Thai food. 

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  4. BlairH

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was fast. Just upset I wasn’t given fired anchovies with my Nasi Lemak. But I would be back here again.

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  5. ChrisS

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 20, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We were there on a quiet Tuesday night so it was calm in there but everything we ordered was better than the last. Our waitress had been there for years, knew and recommended the menu really well and we had a really nice evening there with delicious food. I think of it as a hybrid of Thai and Indian both of which I love so this was amazing.

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 9, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    One of my all time favorites, especially in the neighborhood and has been for years!

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  7. finznflicks

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 9, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Outstanding food! I want to come back and try everything else on the menu !

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  8. KarenR

    Chicago

    20 reviews

    2.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on November 3, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    tv in dining toom food passable service good very cold in dininh room

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  9. AmyR

    Chicago

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on September 3, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Delicious food! Highly recommend.every dish had a unique flavor. Delicious south East Asian food. It is a simple space with average service; go there for the food.

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  10. Casper

    Grand Rapids

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 19, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Very very good experience. Good staff. If you seat outside at the back you can bring your dog. Very good food. Fried chicken, curry, lamb, veggies and coconut dessert all so delicious!

    1 person found this helpful

  11. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Best margaritas in the city! The roti is the best as well.

    1 person found this helpful

  12. EarlF

    Chicago

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 10, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    The food was generally excellent. The drinks were terrible. Service was adequate. The value was excellent.

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  13. timb

    Indiana

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Loved every bite! Great location in a beautiful neighborhood. Thank you!!!

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  14. ChicagoJP46

    Chicago

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on April 16, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Really enjoyed the experience - food and service were excellent and the back patio area was great too. Been in Chicago a long time and this place is a recent pleasant surprise, and a new favorite.

    1 person found this helpful

  15. Susan

    Chicago

    17 reviews

    4.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on April 4, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    We went to Serai after seeing it featured on Checks Please!, a restaurant review show on PBS's WTTW station in Chicago. The food lived up to the reviews. We were a party of 6 and decided to order a variety of dishes and share them with the table. We started with appetizers: Roti Pratha and Cumin Lamb Skewers. You HAVE to order to Roti Pratha! The pancakes were out of this world and such a great accompaniment to the stew. For entrees we ordered: Serai Curry Laksa, a curry milk soup with chicken and noodles, a favorite of everyone; Rendang Beef and Lamb, with Lamb being the favorite of the two; Mango Chicken, chicken with mango in a spicy sauce. We loved the Curry Laksa and Rendang Lamb the best. We had no room for dessert, but the table next to us had the coconut milk pudding , served in a coconut shell - looked very appetizing. Service was OK. They brought entrees out as they were ready which gave us an opportunity to get started on one before the next came out. They could have been more attentive to our desire to share by bringing serving spoons, and extra dishes without us having to ask. We were there on a Tuesday evening, so it was not crowded or loud. The website does not show that they offer alcohol - looks BYOB - but they do offer drinks - beer, wine, mixed drinks. We will definitely come back, if for nothing else, the Roti Pratha and to try the dessert! Parking can be a challenge as much of the side streets are permit parking and Milwaukee has bike lanes.

    1 person found this helpful

  16. SteveF

    Chicago

    6 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Excellent food and value!

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  17. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 29, 2022

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always great food

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  18. middlegeo

    Denver

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wow! We love Malaysian food and Serai hit the mark for us! Definitely will be coming back.

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  19. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    6 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on June 13, 2022

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Quality of food going down

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  20. NVP1

    Chicago

    10 reviews

    2.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 2
    I only loved the servers having professional treatments for their craft. The food is ok but Chicken Satay was a hit and the Crab Rangoons.

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  21. OpenTable Diner

    New York City

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 5, 2022

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Best thing I’ve ever had. Delicious.

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  22. WestLooper

    Chicago

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on March 19, 2022

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Always love serai! They did kind of forget about us on the patio but we were there at the end of the night and we’re in no rush. Love the food!

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  23. LauraF

    Chicago

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 24, 2022

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Delicious!

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  24. Dessertphile

    Hawaii

    17 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on November 6, 2021

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Overall, on a scale of 1-10, I’d rate the food an 8 for authenticity and taste. My favorite was the roti prata and curry chicken- very authentic roti prata and delicious curry with chicken & potatoes. The chicken satay was disappointing- chicken skewers were dry and the peanut sauce was too thick/not authentic. The gado gado salad was good served with braised egg. The char kuay teow (fried chow fun noodle) was quite authentic and delicious with lap cheong, fried pork lard, shrimp & calamari rings. The nasi lemak with beef rendang was also quite authentic with anchovies, sambal, deep fried egg, acar pickled vegetables and big piece of keropok (shrimp cracker) - served with a generous side of delicious beef rendang. It’s a little expensive but the nasi lemak big portion size is sufficient for two people. Ended our lunch with the black glutinous rice with coconut milk dessert which was very authentic and yummy. Overall, we enjoyed our Malaysian/Singapore lunch. Thanks to Eric, our server, who seemed rather new, not from SE Asia, and didn’t quite know the food well, but he more than made up with his friendly demeanor and attention. Terima kasih! P.S. The Teh Tarik needs to be tarik/“pulled” more to create milk froth on top of the teh… ;-)

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  25. AnnaL

    Chicago

    5 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on October 20, 2021

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Our friend from Malaysia has been wanting to bring us here and we LOVED it. We were all so impressed with the food. Truly unique flavors (to me an american who has never had this kind of food), and delicious. SO GOOD. We can’t wait to go back!!

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  26. OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 16, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Incredible food

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  27. LauraF

    Chicago

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on October 11, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    The food is so good! Get the Drunken Noodles or the 3 chili Chicken. You won't be disappointed

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  28. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 25, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Plenty of delicious shareable apps. Mango chicken is top notch!!

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  29. kiepkath

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Serai is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The Food is always amazing. The flavors and textures are on point. I recommend this restaurant to everyone. Dishes I order every time I visit: roti pratha, calamari (even if you don’t love calamari you have to order it from serai! It is different from anywhere else I’ve had it and it is the best I’ve ever had), 3 chili chicken, rendang lamb and hokkien noodles. Delicious food!! Dishes are meant to be shared, so it gives you the opportunity to try a bunch. Servings of main dishes are large.

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  30. Snackerson

    Chicago

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on September 2, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Delicious food as always. Outdoor patio, noisy train.

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  31. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 8, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was amazing!!! A unique find in Chicago for Indonesian food

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  32. Donnie

    Chicago

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Everything was wonderful! Including the coconut rum in the iced coffee. Yum

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  33. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 11, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was delicious!

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  34. JDOhio

    Cincinnati

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on July 3, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Fabulous meal! The restaurant location has been through several rebrandings over the years and has a bit of a run-down feeling to it, but you owe it to yourself to stick with it. The menu focuses mainly on Malaysian cuisine and has a great selection. You definitely owe it to yourself to consider something new, and the staff can certainly guide you if you’re unsure. All the food brought to our table was fresh and hot, and timing was great (party of 6). Glad to see that they are emerging from the pandemic, and look forward returning when we’re back in town.

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  35. Anonymous

    New York City

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 25, 2021

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    The restaurant closes at 9pm and kitchen at 8:30pm. Timings need to be updated in Open Table. We were denied dining.

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  36. GinaC

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 5, 2021

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    The waitress forgot to send our orders for all our entrees to the kitchen, and after finishing up our two appetizers they came to our table telling us the kitchen has closed and apologized they forgot our food! Wow… I can’t believe how unorganized they were, and while we were waiting someone else was picking up food and was complaining how they forgot a dish as well. So I think there are definitely some organizational issues. We made a trip out of it since the restaurant is far from where we live, not sure when we’ll be back again.

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  37. JenniferG

    Chicago

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on June 5, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    It was our first time dining out back on the patio — loved that and had terrific food and service.

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  38. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 23, 2021

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    TL;DR: Wrong order, poor service, long wait time, hidden 20% surcharge We used to love Serai and dined here frequently, and I usually do not post negative reviews. While the food was still delicious, our last experience at Serai was quite disappointing. 1) It took them 45 minutes after we placed our order to receive our food. Other tables that were seated after us received their food much more quickly. 2) Ordering food was a hassle. We ordered the sambal eggplant (one of our old favorites) and rendang shrimp. We received a shrimp dish which we thought was our rendang shrimp and after confirming with the server that it was rendang shrimp. But after eating it, we realized it was sambal shrimp. We sent it back with half a plate full so we could receive our sambal eggplant and the server said he would “fix it right away”. The eggplant never came, and we were charged for it. When we tried to get the charge removed, the server replied “well you ate it”. 3) Without telling you on their menu or website, they tack on a 20% service surcharge when you get your bill. With the long wait time, wrong food, getting charged for a dish we didn’t eat, and the 20% automatic surcharge, our favorite Malaysian restaurant sadly has now become a place we will not visit again.

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  39. DavidF

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 10, 2021

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was our first indoor dining experience in more than a year - and it was fantastic. The food and service were terrific. We appreciated how far apart the tables were and every other element that made for safe dining.

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  40. Funsands

    Chicago

    66 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    66 reviews

    Dined on November 18, 2020

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Serai was closed for patio/outdoor dining. Disappointing given that we were not notified by OT/restaurant. A day earlier, I received a text to confirm my reservation. We opted for take out - Crab Rangoon, Spicy Wonton, Tom Yum Soup, Roti Paratha, Shrimp Sambhal & Nasi Goreng. It’s a hit or miss.

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Physical distancing

    • Extra space between tables

FAQs

Serai offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (872) 206-8368.

Serai is rated 4.4 stars by 185 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 8 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for Serai

2169 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Additional information

  • Cross street
    N. Talman Ave.
  • Neighborhood
    Logan Square
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:30pm Friday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm Sunday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Malaysian, Asian, Contemporary Asian
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Public transit
    CTA Blue Line to California. CTA 56 Bus to Milwaukee & Talman
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Kosher, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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