Southern (India) Comfort Food: Sankalp Restaurant

I should come right out and say that I am not very experienced with eating Indian food. I’ve tried Arya Bhavan on Devon St., an Indian Vegan and Vegetarian restaurant, and had a great experience with their buffet-style service. All food was delicious, and the employee made my entire family feel as if we were guests in her own home, advising us what to eat, making small talk, and even sitting down with us.  However, other than that, I have never REALLY tried Indian food. So, on Saturday, my brother encouraged us to go to this restaurant in Mount Prospect called Sankalp.

To my surprise, I found out that Sankalp was a chain. The food was so authentic and delicious, it did not seem to fit the definition in my mind of a chain. However, it started in Northern India, and from there expanded into England. Eventually, they expanded into the U.S., with locations in Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, and Canada. There are Sankalp restaurants in Schaumburg and Mount Prospect, Illinois, and we chose the Mount Prospect location.

The atmosphere at Sankalp was very friendly, and the waiters were extremely helpful. We asked for recommendations since we are novice eaters of Indian cuisine, and ended up with some pretty delicious food. To start, we were given a spicy soup, which I’m afraid I don’t know the name of, but I tend to always enjoy getting food before the entrees. I regretted not getting an appetizer, but it turns out the dishes were filling enough without it. We decided to order several dishes and share them, for the sake of diversity in our dishes.

Craving something spicy, I ordered a curry, the Chettinad Kurma. Luckily for me, it wasn’t too spicy, but had just the right amount of kick to it. It embodied what I love about Indian food, their ability to use spices for flavor rather than more fattening or creamy toppings to make it delicious and healthy. Also, it is nice to eat a food that doesn’t NEED meat to be delicious (in my opinion: because I find other cuisines don’t taste complete without that added flavor of chicken, fish, or other meats). I had the opportunity to try three other dishes: The Cheesy Spring Dosa, a Pineapple Uthappa, and their Malabari Masala dosa. All were delicious, and had just the right amount of spice for me, as I am a spicy fiend. They also had various sauces to dip the dishes in, from coconut to more spicy varieties.

The prices were reasonable, and when we got there around seven it wasn’t too crowded, but as the night went on, the restaurant became more packed. The prices were very reasonable, and the service was good. All in all, a great place to try for Southern Indian cuisine, and opened the door for me and introduced me to the food.

After we were finished with dinner, we went for dessert at Capannari Ice Cream in downtown Mount Prospect. I must say, it is some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted. I would recommend trying it for those in the area. A contrast to the spicy curry, it helped balance it out. All in all, a great eating night, and introduced me to a great local restaurant.

-Lisa

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