Oxford Street for me has always represented shopping, hundreds of people and if I’m truly honest, stress. It’s not somewhere I’d immediately thinking of going for dinner but, when I was invited to try Chi Kitchen my mind was well and truly changed.
Chi Kitchen is a little gem of a restaurant hidden at the back of Debenhams, it does have its only entrance but if you do walk through the store it’s downstairs past the fragrance area. What struck me when we walked in was how different it was from Debenhams itself, it’s a completely self-contained restaurant with its own décor and vibe.
You might have guessed from the name that it’s pan-Asian cuisine and after learning the menu had been created by their executive chef Ping Coombes (she was the 2014 winner of Masterchef), I knew we would be in for a treat!
Be warned, the menu is extensive and you will want everything, well I wanted everything but we decided to hold back a little because we wanted to savour every course and not get that ‘full up, food coma’ feeling half way through.
We kicked off with cocktails and edamame beans whilst trying to narrow down our menu choices.
Now I love dim sum, I think of them as little parcels of happiness so that was our first stop. The Wagyu beef Siu Mai is one of their signature dim sum and it’s so incredibly tasty also slightly unusual. Dim sum tends to mainly be seafood or pork. We accompanied this with prawn and chive, Alaskan crab and then Chilean sea bass and prawn. Each one was as tasty as the last, I could have honestly eaten them continuously all night!
I’m one of these people who gets food envy on a regular basis so given the option I like to order a number of different things rather than one big main course. I am that person who will have the starter sharing platter as a main course (to myself!) Chi Kitchen is perfect for this because they have an amazing small plates menu section which we opted for.
We chose popcorn shrimp, roasted Wagyu beefs puffs and chicken yakitori accompanied by the Chi Kitchen special fried rice.
The popcorn shrimp is deep fried tempura with wasabi mayonnaise which gave it a real kick. Not enough to blow your head off but just enough to know it’s there! The Wagyu beef has been slow roasted in honey and wrapped in the flakiest of pastry, it was literally melt in the mouth to the point I was close to ordering a second round. The chicken yakitori has been marinated in soy sauce and barbecued to perfection.
I’m not usually a big dessert person but we just couldn’t resist trying the baked green tea Alaska and the chocolate sphere. Now, the baked green tea Alaska looks so pretty but taste wise I can’t put my finger on it. It’s not unpleasant but didn’t blow me away either, it’s definitely something you need to try. The chocolate sphere, well, it was just a gorgeous indulgence but is incredibly rich and is the perfect sharing dessert.
If you’re a lover of Pan-Asian food I would definitely recommend a visit to Chi Kitchen, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
*I was a guest of Chi Kitchen but all opinions are my own and unbiased