I was invited to review the Chi Kitchen flagship restaurant in Debenhams on Bond Street, and I’m very glad I was. Of all my foodie adventures through blogging, this Chi Kitchen review is my favourite by far. From the awesome smells as you walk in past the open kitchen, to the friendly staff greeting, it started as it was to go on.
We began – as you do – by perusing the menu over a glass of Hibiscus Fizz. A champagne cocktail – gorgeous hibiscus flower and bubbles – perfection, and a great aperitif. We decided to start with Chicken Yakitori from the Robata BBQ and Duck Rolls. Because we were there to review, our server insisted we order an extra starter, so we went for the Wagyu Beef Siu Mai dimsum – and she ended up also bringing the Duck Watermelon Salad and the Popcorn Shrimp! So much food!
Anyway. The Chicken Yakitori was delicious – sometimes chicken on a skewer can be overcooked, and get a little tough, but these ones were just right and deliciously tender with just the right amount of sauce. Yum.
The Duck Rolls were also just right. I didn’t know it but my friend Lottie, who was my date, didn’t like duck. I couldn’t understand why this might be, but apparently it’s because she likes mallards. I assured her it was quite unlikely that said duck had been hoiked off a lake in the park and strong armed her into trying one. Her quote: “I was convinced to try the duck, and I’m glad I did. Huge servings of succulent, beautifully seasoned duck in perfect thin crispy pastry I’m a convert!”
The other duck starter, the Duck Watermelon Salad, was sublime. I’m not a fan of watermelon at all and would tend to avoid it, but pair it with crispy, salty duck and it’s an absolute sensation, I loved it.
I felt really bad when the waitress put down the Popcorn Shrimp, because I don’t like seafood and Lottie is allergic to most of it but I forced myself to try one. Oh. My. God. LOVE. I would go back just for that – it was so tasty, really light and tender shrimp in batter with wasabi mayonnaise, I ended up eating all of it. So much for not liking prawns hey!
The last starter we tried, and Lottie’s favourite, were the Wagyu Beef Siu Mai – little dumplings filled with gorgeous, tender beef and steamed perfectly. A delectable mouthful, with a pretty scattering of roe on top (which I may have scraped off…sorry!)
The main courses were Chicken Katsu Curry and Chicken Cha Keow Teow. Lottie had the chicken noodles and said they were outstanding. Loads of vegetables, barely there but very tasty sauce, and just the right amount of kick from the chilli. The dish was very fresh and among the best vermicelli noodle dishes she’d tried. Her only complaint is the portion size was too big to finish after the impressive starters (she did take the rest home in a doggy bag though!)
I’ll admit to being disappointed with my main course – mainly due to fussiness. I like my sauces to be quite thick, as I would usually expect from a Katsu, but Chi Kitchen’s is a thin sauce with the vegetables left whole. The flavour and the heat were lovely, but it didn’t do it for me. I was also a bit full after the starters!
We complemented dinner with several (ahem) cocktails, which went down very well. We especially liked the Mojito’s, I enjoyed a strawberry one and Lottie had this to say for the Lychee: “the lychee makes for an interesting twist on the traditional mojito. Light and refreshing, with a good amount of rum! Light on the sugar too, which can be the downfall of a mojito for me. I’ll definitely be looking out for Lychee mojitos in the future”
As you may be able to see in the background of this cocktail shot, we were also strong armed into pudding…ok, ok, I was very easily persuaded despite Lottie saying she couldn’t possibly squeeze in another bite. We both squeezed in several bites and a few more of the Baked Green Tea Alaska (in the picture above) and the Chocolate Sphere! Both were super, super tasty and the latter came with a little theatre which I’ll save for the end of the post!
If you are shopping down Oxford or Bond Street then I would 100% recommend popping in to Chi Kitchen for something to eat. It’s an informal, relaxed atmosphere and the food is delicious – I really had a great time, and will definitely be going back for more of that Popcorn Shrimp!