This weekend, we were pleased to be invited to over to dine at Chi Kitchen - a luxury Pan Asian restaurant located on Oxford Circus within Debenham's flagship department store...
A few weeks ago, you may remember I reviewed an incredible Thai restaurant within a prestigious London department store. And often with one opportunity, comes another and so myself and Jack were more than pleased to then be invited to a similar restaurant created by the same institution - Chi Kitchen. Located within the Debenhams Oxford Circus food court, Chi Kitchen is a 68 seat bar which offers a variety of dishes influenced by Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean food, made from only the finest ingredients. With so much variety and a whole range of small dishes, myself and Jack decided to share a little bit of everything...
Having browsed their menu, we started with a rather impressive selection of seafood plates. First up was the Popcorn Shrimp (pictured above) - deep fried tempura prawns served with wasabi mayonnaise and a small salad. From the menu, I assumed this would be lots of small shrimps but in fact it turned out to be several large prawns, beautifully deep fried and served in an absolutely deliciously creamy yet spicy sauce. Such we're such greedy pigs, we also tried the Soft Shell Crab and Chilli Prawn Tempura (both pictured) which were equally delicious but quite a dry dish overall. Before tucking in to our mains, Jack also sampled the Tuna and Salmon Sashimi (pictured) - the purest, most fresh cuts of tuna and salmon. Most impressive was the dry ice which really set off the overall presentation of the plate. A lovely touch!
Knowing that we were there to review, the restaurant were keen for us to try a number of plates and so besides our actual order, we were also gifted a few extra specials. One particular intriguing dish was the Duck and Watermelon Salad (pictured above) - crispy duck served with cashew nuts, mixed salad and watermelon. This seemed a bit bizarre at first but this is certainly an amuse bouche. Combined with the crispy, juiciness of the duck, crunch of the cashews and sweetness of the watermelon, it was definitely something new. Whilst I'm not sure I would have ordered this myself, it was definitely tasty. One of my favourites from our visit was the Wagyu Beef Kushiyaki (pictured above) - tender beef cubes skewered, marinated in soy sauce and served with finely cropped chives. Whilst these were only bite sized, they were absolutely wonderful. Finally, the Dragon Prawn Tempura Sushi - a sushi roll with meaty shrimp tempura both inside and outside and served with cucumber, peppers and fish eggs. Again, this was delicious but as you can imagine by this point we were pretty darn full. Jack also doesn't eat rice so this one was left for me to sample solo.
For the grand finale, we went for the Chocolate Sphere - a hallow milk chocolate sphere which melts when adding warm caramel sauce to reveal an inside of vanilla ice-cream, berry fruits with white and milk chocolate buttons. If you needed a reason to visit Chi Kitchen this is certainly it - a phenomenal dessert which was full of flavour and incredible texture. Easily one of the most delicious and most creative desserts I have ever had.
Overall, the service in Chi Kitchen is clearly fantastic, even if there were a few tiny mishaps with our order. My favourite dishes were easily the Wagyu Beef and Popcorn Shrimp and of course - that amazing dessert. Whilst I wouldn't say I was utterly blown away as I have been with some similar establishments, I would love to go back and order a variety of small dishes again. Our bill would have come to around £100 for all the dishes featured above which I think is very reasonable given the sheer quantity and quality of the food. Chi Kitchen is located on the ground floor of the Debenhams in Oxford Circus as well as the Bull Ring in Birmingham - why not give it a try for yourself?
Well, that's it for another foodie review. Have you tried Chi Kitchen yet? What are your favourite Pan-Asian restaurants? As always I love reading your thoughts so please do leave me lots of lovely ones below.
Until next time fellow foodies, have an excellent week!
*Disclaimer - This meal was complimentary for the purposes of the review. As always, all opinions are my own and do not reflect that of the brand.