Embeya Takes Guests on a Journey Through Asia With New Menu Format

Over the past few years in Chicago, there’s been a curious and exciting trend of restaurants completely changing their menu themes every few months, essentially presenting an entirely new dining experience. On the heels of Next and Intro, Embeya is set to become the latest example, as the contemporary Asian restaurant shifts into the ever-revolving menu format. Called “A Journey Through Asia,” the concept is for Embeya to completely change its geographic focus for each menu theme every three months. 

The culinary excursions are courtesy of chef Mike Sheerin, an impressive culinary powerhouse who has proven his mettle everywhere from Blackbird and Trenchermen, to the eclectic dumpling house Packed he mans in Hyde Park. The idea is for Embeya to give diners an exploratory deep dive into regional Asian cuisines via the menu iterations to come. Along with the food, the beverage program and even the music will round out the experience to fully immerse guests in the experience. 


Photo by Kailley Lindman

First up is Thailand, which is now in place. A far cry from the type of Thai takeout dotted throughout the city, Sheerin’s take on Thai is more akin to the type of hyper-authentic fare found at spots throughout the neighborhoods. A key difference, however, is the Midwestern lens Sheerin applies to his menu, adapting locally sourced ingredients to Thai dishes and exotic flavors. 

The menu includes appetizers like steamed mussels in phanaeng curry with sugar snap peas, red onion confit and mint, charred tiger cry beef with romaine, hearts of palm, lychee and lemon balm and Northern turmeric pork sausage with cucumber, mint salad and red chili glaze. For entrees, guests can expect dishes like shrimp pad Thai with rice noodles, bean sprouts, spicy peanuts, tofu and scrambled egg, spring chicken satay with peanut tamarind, pickled cherries, long beans and bean sprouts and grilled snapper with green tomato chili glaze, wok-fried mustard greens and green squash. To finish, there’s macerated strawberries with pandan ice cream and turmeric water or warm coconut rice with Champagne mango and black sesame ice cream. 


Photo by Kailley Lindman

To compliment, Renea Lyles Solis spearheads a Thai-accented beverage program with a focus on cocktails and beers. Think Thai beers like Singha and Chang, plus a take on a gimlet made with Thai basil, kaffir lime and lemongrass-infused gin. 

The menu at Embeya is available a la carte, or as part of a three-course dinner tasting menu for $39 or a three-course business lunch for $25. 

In the months to come, Embeya will journey to Japan in August and China in November. 

- Matt Kirouac