Chi Kitchen takes residency in Debenhams Oxford Street in London and Debenhams in the Bullring in Birmingham. Mad as the shopping mecca these cities are, the restaurant provides a cosy little place of sanctuary and sustenance in between spendage. The menu boasts contemporary pan-Asian delights from Chinese dimsum, to Japanese sushi and robata, to Thai curries and and Malaysian fare. Plus the Executive Chef is no other than Masterchef 2014 Winner Ping Coombes.
As far as Christmas goes, Chi Kitchen has launched a special menu with an Asian twist.
Starters include Christmas party regulars like chilli prawns. I thought this was the best of the starter platter, with the prawns super succulent and the batter surprisingly light and crunchy.
The minced turkey slider needed a bit more refinement, I thought, as it was a bit bland. The brioche was slightly dry, too.
The sweet potato fries came with berry mayo which I thought was quite unusual but it was rather moreish and I really liked it.
The mains came and boy, I was rather surprised at how generous the portions were. I think, this was when our food trip started getting Christmassy for me because all the dishes reminded me of stuff we’ve had for our Noche Buena in the Philippines.
The Yuzu Salmon was a huge portion! It’s actually a good piece of fish although overcooked. The Japanese mayo was a nice touch though not unusual. One of my favourite celebratory Asian dishes is a baked lapu-lapu dish we would have at Christmas parties and Chinese lauriats.
I was excited to see turkey inasal on the menu because inasal is one of my favourite Filipino dishes although usually it’s made with chicken on-the-bone. I feared the turkey would be a bit dry, because this dish is usually cooked on the grill. Chi Kitchen’s offering came in a filleted portion of turkey and though the flavour was quite okay the meat was indeed, as I feared, dry.
My favourite of the mains was the plate of choo chee prawns. The prawns were massive and cooked nicely but the sauce was everything. Thai choo chee curry is the less popular cousin of red curry and I tell you, I devoured Chi Kitchen’s sauce like mad.
The dishes were served with egg fried rice.
As for dessert, we were given a hefty slice of walnut brownie served with clotted cream, blood orange and star anise custard. I thought the brownie was okay in a sense that it wasn’t so sugary but I would’ve liked a bit more intensity on the chocolate. I thought I’d hate the custard as I hate aniseedy stuff, but actually it was quite comforting!
We also had some of their cocktails: Bangkok Fizz (too sweet), Whisky Sour (too sour) and their Christmas offering which was creamy, smoky and damn right delicious.
Overall, I think Chi Kitchen’s Christmas menu is definitely one of the your festive bargains of the year at £28. With a bit of refinement, it definitely has a lot of potential!
Chi Kitchen’s Christmas Menu will run throughout December. Go shop then go eat!
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