Serai

4.6
110 reviews
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$30 and under
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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.
What 110 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.1
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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f
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and service

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food and the service was very warm and welcoming. Will dine here again.

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p
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Authentic

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RC
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was wonderful; our server was attentive and friendly. Low key environment. Enjoyed the whole experience.

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D
London
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 2

Serai was very good overall, the wonton soup my wife got was pretty bland but the Roti is fantastic. Service was great and the food came very fast.

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DK
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Nothing fancy but delicious food. Be sure to try one of the rendang dishes.

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LT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A most memorable experience in dining -- our expectation 'at best' was a pan-asian fare, but were pleasantly surprised -- we came to Serai to sample specifically Malaysian cuisine and that we did, thanks to our knowledgeable and exuberant server -- one in our party had an egg allergy and the chef was able to modify his dish without compromising on taste -- our food was beautifully presented, with just the right amount of heat and flavor - heavenly... we will surely be back for more...

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M
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Nice place to have a conversation. The food was good but not what we expected. Our waiter was nice and knowledgeable about the food

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 1

Friends visiting from Malaysia and craving comfort food. The Chinese style lemak was almost inedible . The decor badly need updating. The decor looked like an old bar dive converted to a restaurant. Head over to Bingo tea on Argyle street for much cheaper and better Malaysia food or drive way north to Penang fir real authentic Malaysian food. Very disappointed .

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BN
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We ordered 5 plates and all large portions and delicious. Very tasty

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food! If you call, you may be able to get a time not available on OpenTable.

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OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good traditional food!

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommed Hainanese Chicken and Roti Pratha!

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L
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Very slow service. Food is good, but portions are small.

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OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food!I love the coconut pudding and that fried chicken leg with fried rice! The curry here was soooo great! Strongly recommended

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SY
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

We have been to Serai numerous times. The food is great and service is typically always great.
This time however we did not get good service. It was a Sunday afternoon, with the Restaurant half empty...not sure if they were understaffed, but it took forever for them to take our order and then food took a long time to come as well. They forgot to bring us some appetizers we ordered as well. I am not sure what went wrong that day!
But overall the food is great and we will keep going there no matter what.
Cheers!

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FS
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

My coworker and I were so excited to try fusion food. Enjoyed parata with chicken, nasi goreng, 3 chilli chicken and kankun. The food was delicious.
The only downside that spoilt our meal was the rude hostess. We were given a small table, so without thinking much of it, we joined the table next to us. She spoke to us in a loud condescending manner about asking permission before moving the table, and that the restaurant gets more customers on Friday; not to do this again. It was 5.30p and we left at 6.30 p.m. There were two other customers. We did not like her attitude and rude behavior.

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RR
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to experience another dining culture

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food

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KK
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Serai! A great neighborhood spot, excellent food & flavors!

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing!!! Great food! Authentic! Try the laksa soup!

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j
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I can’t give them a “Wow” rating because it wasn’t. Seemed like most of the dishes are like of other cuisines. Nothing really out of the ordinary but not bad.

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a
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 1

The food is amazing but the service sucks, especially the amount of time it takes them to bring drinks or even water.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 3

Food was not good. Gave a feedback and they were v nice about it

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food! RothIi pratha was amazing although wasn’t able to purchase extra bread. Server said a change to menu was coming soon

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D
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Serai was s wonderful experience. The food choices and flavors were exceptional. Service good and drinks satisfying. Highly recommend for any occasion.

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O
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Waitress was very helpful and suggested what we should order. The food was very tasty. We will be back.

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l
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I was here a few months back and had the best meal so I returned. This was one of the worst. We were seated at 6:15 and didn’t start eating until after 7:30. In fact, we left after 8:30. The first thing I ordered was soup and I can’t believe hot and sour soup takes an hour to make. Had the drunken noodles which were good and then the sizzling tofu and Hainanese chicken which was terrible. The temp in the chicken was inconsistent with some bites being cold and some being luke warm. Curry vegetables were fine.
I would have told the server but nobody was even coming to our table to see how it was. At the end we did say something and were told the kitchen was busy and did we want pudding.
Skip this place. It’s a Saturday night and I can’t imagine on this random weekend in March that they are more swamped than usual. I wish it was as good as I remember.
We also sat in the second room across from the door so it was freezing cold.

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S
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Had a reservation but still had a long wait - they need to work on their system but everyone was lovely’

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JG
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Best chicken stay ever. Chili chicken was fire. Mango fried rice super tasty as well.

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OT
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food with great service.

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TD
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

I wouldn't go back here. It's a hole in the wall and the food is questionable. We got their most recommended items - the spicy wontons, lamb rendang and come authentic chicken curry and lamb skewers. The food sounded better than it tasted. Not sure if the meat their source is actually from that animal. The place was unclean and we ditched most of our food. My husband's tummy was upset immediately and I ordered a cocktail, the brought me the wrong one - I corrected my server and 2 minutes later he brought me the same cocktail saying he got the name wrong. This place needs a health check by the city.

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a
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 3ambience 3

Food was extremely flavorful and authentic but all 4 of us ended up getting sick. It’s unfortunate because I would have definitely went back and referred this place to friends.

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JO
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

This restaurant is NOT BYOB. Very useful information I wish I had known prior to going here. Also, the food is not very good. My food was burned and called "smoky." It also had no flavor. There are much better restaurants to have dinner.

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LT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A hidden gem. Our server was great. She offered suggestions and explained a lot concerning the food. Food was excellent tasting with large portions. We definitely will be returning.

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SR
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

My wife and I were very disappointed with Serai in our experience at dinner last weekend. We had read a lot of great reviews about the food, but the service was next to awful. We waited almost 20 minutes before our server came over (I had to flag) and when they took our order, it was next to impossible to get their attention the rest of the meal. Perhaps they were short-staffed that night, but it was not a good service experience.

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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Authentic Malaysian cuisine. Consistent standard and service is always friendly!

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S
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and excellent food!

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D
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We arrived almost half an hour earlier but the table was already set and they sat us ahead of our reservation so that was great. Food came fast and were all good, one of the dishes we ordered was lamb but it didnt smell! Everything was a bit on the salty side but not too bad. Overall great dinner

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JD
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing Chinese Malaysian cuisine. Must- char kuey teow, hainanese chicken with ginger rice

Spectacular service. Our waitress was amazing. Highly recommend this place

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