Restaurant Review – Vajra

Vijay Kavuri

Pounding rain didn’t keep Indian food fans from packing Vajra on a recent Saturday night. The restaurant opened earlier this year in Chicago’s River West neighborhood. Me and my family visited this bustling restaurant to celebrate my parents 45thwedding anniversary. As we entered the restaurant for our 7:30 p.m. reservation, we were promptly greeted by the hostess and seated a few minutes later. Our server was very friendly as once we were seated he went over to where my parents were sitting and wished them “a very Happy 45th Anniversary, and we hope to make this a great night for you.” It was great to also look around as we were seated and see the unique art work they had on the walls, as it mixed in well with the table decor and the entire vibe that the restaurant was giving out.

We first ordered drinks. Everything on the menu was unique and original. Some of the drinks we had at our table were “The Rubicon,” a Patron Reposado-based drink and “The Chesterfield Promontory,” which was a single malt whisky-based drink.

Next up, we ordered a couple appetizers. After asking our waiter what he recommended we ended up going with the “First Class Momo:Cha,” which was a delicious take on dumplings filled with goat and had a great Indian flavor. The other appetizer we went with was the “Goat Seekh Kebab,” which tasted like a classic Indian Kebab with flavors of mint, coriander and cumin mixed in.

For the main course we went with some classic Indian dishes. We ordered the “Cashew Chicken Tikka Masala,” which was spiced perfectly in a tomato and cream-based sauce. We also tried the “Madras Curry with Shrimp,” which carried a great amount of flavor and aroma. I had never tried a curry like that with shrimp. It was a good change up. The last curry we ordered was the “Paneer Chili,” which was the Indian paneer cheese cubes in a savory garlic chili sauce.

All of the food was served in an even manner with no big lag time between drinks, appetizers and main courses arriving. I would love to go back to try the desserts as we were too full at the time to try anything further. Overall, I would give Vajra 4 stars out of 5 and would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to try Indian food or is up for a change of pace restaurant, to visit here. The only thing holding back from giving this restaurant the perfect 5 star rating, is that the tables were bunched up and you were close to the other patrons. Vajra is located at 1329 W. Chicago Ave. They do take reservations and can be contacted at 312-929-4990 and the menu can be viewed at