Restaurant Review: Majani Restaurant

I had the pleasure of visiting Majani Vegan Restaurant this past summer. This visit was while I was still vegetarian, but I had always loved eating vegan dishes too. I found out about Majani through an acquaintance on Facebook and had to make a trip to the South Shore neighborhood. Majani was founded and owned by husband and wife duo Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel and officially opened in their current location earlier this year. The couple, who are residents of South Shore, had spent years catering vegetarian food and decided to open up a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in their own backyard. On their website, they stated that they grew tired of having to leave their community in order to enjoy a healthy meal which is why they wanted to open the restaurant in the location. 

In an interview with DNA Info, Tsadakeeyah, who grew up in a vegetarian diet based home due to religious beliefs, stated that he had dreams of owning his own restaurant since 2006. He and his wife even hope to expand to Englewood and to the West Side. The food is a mix of soul food, African, and Caribbean influences with a vegan/vegetarian twist and there are even a few gluten free options too. The restaurant still offers their catering services as well.

Majani is absolutely lovely inside. Unfortunately I didn't take enough pictures of the exterior, but it had a modern, industrial design with an exposed brick wall, African printed decoration pieces, including an African print column adjacent to the window, and gorgeous wood tables. There's even a display case full of sweet treats for your post dinner dessert under a chalk board menu.

I started off with a salad (with the restaurant's house made dressing), vegetable soup, and cornbread. And my GAWD. The cornbread was absolutely scrumptious. Since I've gone vegan and gluten free, it's been hard finding soul food style cornbread. It's gluten free and dairy free of course, and tastes just like good ol' Southern hot water cornbread. Honestly, I think this was my absolute favorite dish from the restaurant so far.

For the main course, I feasted on the Eggplant Parmesan dinner (made with cashew cheese if my memory serves me correctly). This meal came with a side of mixed veggies and string beans. On the side. As a side dish, I had the sweet potatoes which came with the restaurant's homemade bbq sauce. A mixture and tangy and sweet and could give Open Pit a run for their money.

The most unique part of the dinner was the vegan hot wings, which is made out of cauliflower. I had always wanted to try these because I've heard many wonderful reviews about this dish. Also smothered in Majani's bbq sauce, I made the decision that this was my next favorite after the cornbread.

I'm still more than pleased with my visit to Majani. For my next visit, I'd like to have a classic, downhome soul food meal with macaroni and cheese, greens, that delicious cornbread, and black eyed peas. My mouth is watering just thinking of it! I think Majani is an amazing addition to the South Shore neighborhood so that residents will have better access to healthier options. I'm hoping and praying the couple decides to expand in other underserved areas in the city. Much success and blessings to the Emmanuel family.

Rating: 10/10

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