It's been far too long since I shared a blog-post with you guys. Life has been
more than a little crazy recently - but I'm back and I've got a cracking restaurant recommendation for you.
It also happens to be located somewhere which you totally wouldn't expect: Debenhams.
Yep. My new favourite restaurant is located inside Debenhams...in Oxford Circus.
Now I'll admit when I first heard that was the location, I didn't have the highest of hopes but oh-my-god, what do they tell you about not judging a book by its cover.
The restaurant is called Chi Kitchen and it specialise in pan-Asian cuisine (one of my favs), all led under the watchful eye of Executive Chef and former Masterchef winner, Ping Coombes.
The menu is a wonderful mis-match of dishes with flavours and ingredients hailing from every corner of Asia and incorporating Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and Malaysian influence.
Upon arrival, and in the interest of providing you all with an in-depth review (and nothing to do with us being greedy) we proceeded to order
most a lot of the menu.
The chicken satay (£5.95) was just incredible. Succulent pieces of chicken skewered and marinated in lemongrass and coriander in a thick, creamy and oh so addictive peanut sauce...
and you see those little white sprinkles. Coconut. Which provide just the perfect hint of sweetness to balance out all that gorgeous spicy flavour.
The duck spring rolls (£5.95) also deserve a special shout-out. What can be a traditionally greasy dish, was so fresh with bold aromatic flavours.
That's what I loved so much about this restaurant. There's no MSG, there's no grease, it's just seriously tasty food.
Presentation skills are just next level here too. I mean just LOOK at the soft shell crab.
If you're going to order the sushi, you have to order the Mixed Maki platter to share (£28.95). Not only do you get a whole mountain of sushi, but it parades its way to your table amidst a cloud of smoking dry ice!
You might be feeling a little full by now but we're only half way - stick with me.
This was one of my favourite dishes. Just so much flavour! Make sure you load them up with peanuts and a good squeeze of lime juice and just tuck in.
There's a good amount of heat running through each one and the textures from the peanut and glass noodles give it the right amount of crunch against the lettuce - so so good.
This next was also a recommendation and definitely not something I would think to order. It kind of reminds me of a plate of food that a really fussy eater might put together, but it's actually a really popular and traditional Malayasian dish: Nasi Lemak.
The idea is that you eat each bit of the dish together to help marry up the flavours - you've got the sticky and slightly sweet coconut rice, salty anchovy, crunchy nuts and thick, rich curry. I can't say I loved this dish but was an excellent opportunity to try this dish - the way it's meant to be prepared.
I really loved the Korean steak (£19.95) though - which was cooked perfectly medium rare and nestled on top of heap of creamy cive mash and smothered in a rich Bulgogi sauce - perfect for mopping up with the fresh asparagus we'd ordered as a side. You can't really go wrong with Thai curry in my eyes but the curry (£14.95) at Chi Kitchen really was something else. SO thick and creamy and just the right amount of spice that hits you in the back of the throat - you know what I mean - one of the best I've had in London for sure. We finished our meal off with a Mango cheesecake (£5.95) which I can't say I loved but I think was probably too full to enjoy properly! I did get spot an amazing looking chocolate sphere on the menu which looked amazing so that's on the list for my next visit!
Oh and don't just take my word for it, because Chi Kitchen has also been awarded an OpenTable Diners Choice Award. Make sure you give it a 'chi' (...sorry I couldn't resist) next time you're near Oxford Street!
Ground Floor Debenhams
334-348 Oxford Street,
London, W1C 1JG
* We dined as guests of Chi Kitchen
Our food was complimentary but opinions are 100% honest