The aphorism that “variety is the spice of life” is truly evident in Chi Kitchen’s menu, which offers an exotic and fully halal menu of classic and modern dishes that encompasses influences from a broad range of South East Asian cuisines. If that was not sufficient, a number of new dishes have recently been added to further tantalise the tastebuds.
To begin our Pan Asian culinary adventure, we ordered the “Mixed Maki Starter Platter”, consisting of 4 pieces each of California roll, prawn tempura roll, spicy tuna roll, spider roll and Chi Kitchen roll. A great new addition to their sushi sharing platter if you want to sample a range of sushi. The quality and standard of the sushi is undeniably high, which is evident from the very first bite. Even though we found all the selection of sushi to be delectable, the most memorable was the California roll, with its deliciously creamy crab, followed closely by the Prawn Tempura, which was crispy and wholesome, with the various textures working in harmony.
From the “Tempura” section we tried the “Soft-shell Crab Tempura”. The tempura was light and crispy whilst the centre was delicate and airy, releasing pockets of juice with each bite.
From the starter section, the “chef-d’œuvre” was the “Chilli Prawns”. Two prawn skewers marinated in spicy seasoning that delivered a wondrous hit of heat, which was then caressed to submission by the sumptuous citrucy and zesty chilli lime and coriander sauce, the same elixir used in their sea bass dish that we were enamoured with during our first visit.
We also sampled some of the dishes we ordered during our original visit, which were the “Popcorn Shrimps”, “Duck and Watermelon Salad”, “Salt and Pepper Baby Squid” and the “Sea bass with chilli and lime”, so to test the consistency of the dishes. We were jubilant to discover that the flavours and taste of the dishes did not diminish, and were still as joyous as we remembered. Please see previous Chi Kitchen post for details (https://halalchronicles.com/2016/05/20/chi-kitchen/). A true testament of a good restaurant, (which in our opinion Chi Kitchen achieves) is for it to maintain its quality and standard, as many eateries do struggle to ensure consistency.
From the “Small Plates” section we tried the “Beef Kushiyaki”, “Chicken Satay” and “Lamb Ribs”. Of the three, the Chicken Satay stood out the most for us. The chicken was moist and succulent, generously coated in satay sauce with a hint of ginger emanating through and with a scattering of peanuts that added a sublime nutty texture. The Beef Kushiyaki although pleasant, certain segments were still slightly chewy, whilst other parts were deliciously succulent. The ribs, which were dry in texture, were a novel concept, however, it did not deliver the taste sensation that we were hoping for. The ribs were mild in piquancy, with the meat being flakey and brittle, and the fat content being slightly gelatinous in texture. Personally we would have preferred the ribs to be salaciously sticky from being slathered in BBQ sauce, with the meat being moist and supple.
From the “Large Plates – Robata BBQ” section we tried the “Rack of Lamb”, which was unequivocally an astounding dish. The meat was tender, moist and mesmerisingly pink in the centre and each bite was intensely flavoursome. However, combined with the Korean bulgogi sauce, the lamb was instantly elevated to a majestically divine dish. Despite the dish being outstanding, the portion size was insufficient, hence a side of mash potato or green beans would make this dish a more substantial main.
From the “Other Large Plates” section we tried the “Thai Red Duck Curry” and “Nasi Lemak”.
The Thai Red Duck Curry had a strikingly rustic sunset orange colour and arrived with an embracingly appetising aroma. The duck was luscious and tender, with segments of sweet warm pineapple juxtaposing perfectly with the gamey duck, and a mild chilli kick that seduces the tastebuds to attention. High quality halal duck curries in mainstream restaurants are difficult to discover, therefore, for that very reason this dish is a must try. For our palate, we would have however preferred the dish to have slightly more spice and moderately more heat.
The Nasi Lemak’s aroma and taste was so authentic that you are literally transported to Malaysia. The chicken leg, which was still on the bone, was a great option as the leg meat along with the bone provided a bolder flavour. The coconut rice was exceptional and the sambal sauce was intense and genuine in flavour. This dish depicts true bona fide Malaysian home cooking.
To end our exotic East odyssey, from the “Desserts” section we opted for the “Passionfruit Cheesecake”, which was sharp, sweet, velvety smooth with a mousse like consistency and visually alluring.
What makes Chi Kitchen stand out from the crowd, for us, is the high quality of ingredients and products used in their dishes, the stunning presentation and also the consistency and standard of their cuisine. Chi Kitchen’s new menu also offers unique and insightful combinations, authentically tasting dishes and some innovative fare. The amalgamation of all of these factors is what makes Chi Kitchen in our experience a true delight and a great venue for what ever the occasion.
Disclaimer: We were invited to sample the new Chi Kitchen menu.