Chi Kitchen have a new Christmas Menu

Chi Kitchen has revealed a very special festive menu that has all the elements of your traditional Christmas choices, but delivers them with a Pan Asian twist. I was lucky enough to be invited along to my local branch which is situated in Debenhams in Birmingham’s Bullring, and have to say that this is a truly delicious experience.

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The Chi Kitchen menu is priced at £21.95 for three courses, and also comes with a complimentary (and delicious) mixed Berry Bellini. This was crisp and tasty, and the non-alcoholic version with an apple juice base was also very tasty.

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The starters comprise of a turkey option in the form of Turkey Spring Rolls, a fish option with deep fried Chilli Prawns, and a vegetarian option sweet potato chips with mixed berry mayonnaise.  The Turkey Spring rolls were an unusual flavour, the batter was beautifully crisp but I felt the Turkey needed some sort of seasoning to add to the flavour. In contrast, the Chilli Prawns were delicious, the prawns had been marinated in garlic but also had a sage flavour that made them taste very Christmassy. I loved these and would definitely order them again. The Sweet potato chips were also delicious, I have really grown to love sweet potato, and when the tempura style batter is added, you have a really tasty dish.

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There is a main dish to match each starter, a fish course, a Turkey dish and a vegetarian curry. The fish was Salmon, a fish I don’t usually like, but the Salmon Teriyaki, with its deep Soy flavouring was just beautiful. The Turkey was equally good, grilled and sliced in a Kalamansi source that gave it a deep, smoky taste. Surprisingly, my favourite dish was the vegetable Nyona Curry which was packed with green beans, broccoli and potatoes. This is a Malaysian curry sauce, one which actually reminded me of Katsu curry. It was a real street food style dish, nourishing and comforting, perfect for a cold Christmas day.

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The Christmas menu offers two choices of side dishes – salt and pepper chips and egg fried rice. I would suggest that if you sample this menu with a partner, order one of each and enjoy.

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No Christmas menu would be complete without dessert. As someone who hates Christmas pudding, yule logs and mince pies, I have to say I found the Chi Kitchen dessert far more appealing. The Apple Gyoza was full of soft, sweet apple cooked in a batter that was just like churros, served with clotted cream ice cream this was a real treat – my hubby is not a fan of dessert but totally loved this. The walnut and chocolate brownie was just so gooey and chewy, and again, that ice cream was a total winner.

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With wonderful, friendly service, delicious dishes, and a real twist on Christmas, I would well recommend you try out this menu before it ends on Boxing Day.

Afternoon Tea at Chi Kitchen

Chi Kitchen is, without doubt, one of my favourite places to dine in Birmingham. So when  I received an invite to try the Chi Kitchen take on afternoon tea I was super intrigued. Chi Kitchen serves a glorious mixture of dishes that can be described as Pan- Asian, whereas afternoon tea is the most English of dishes. So how, exactly, would this work. The answer is that the twist on afternoon tea, served with that Pan Asian Twist, is exceedingly good.

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Afternoon tea is always best when there is an addition of Prosecco, and at Chi Kitchen, this was a deliciously crisp variety, with the addition of a cherry in the bottom of the glass. The afternoon tea itself is served very traditionally on the three tiered cake stand, but that is where tradition ends, with the top layer containing a selection of dumplings, the second tier consisting of savoury snacks and the bottom tier designed for those with a sweet tooth.

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The dumplings were super delicious, in fact, despite the fact that I am well known for my sweet tooth, these were my favourite part of the tea. The dumpling were a mixture of chicken and prawns, as well as one which contained broccoli and chives, all were super tasty, nicely filled with plenty of filling, and the prawns in particular were large and juicy. There was also a crispy wanton that contained chicken and Chinese mushroom. I am not a fan of mushrooms, but loved the deep and crispy batter.

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The second layer was full of savoury delights. The one which was voted favourite was the Curry puff, a slightly spiced and flavoursome take on a pasty. There was also a satay skewer which was covered in peanut sauce (another of my faves), a chicken bun which reminded me of chicken and stuffing, and a very moreish spring roll that was quite literally stuffed with filling.

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Of course, afternoon tea isn’t really afternoon tea without the sweet treats. The Pandan panna cotta was a delight, a super creamy confection that I can’t wait to try again. The banana cake was also delicious, with a custard style blob of banana cream on the top, and a lovely, moist fairy cake underneath. The green tea cheesecake was another revelation – if someone suggested it to me I wouldn’t be keen, but the tea flavour is very delicate, the sweet and creamy flavours are the ones that really come through. There was also a coconut spring roll which I didn’t get too, I’m not really a fan of coconut and I was, quite frankly full to the brim.

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You can choose from tea or coffee to accompany your afternoon tea, I opted for Malaysian pulled tea, which is actually quite milky and not really for me (I like a builders brew so should’ve chosen English Breakfast).

The Prosecco Asian Afternoon Tea cost £19.95 per head. Click here for more information about Chi Kitchen.

Review – Chi Kitchen Birmingham

Chi Kitchen is a food journey through South East Asia. A Pan Asian Fusion restaurant, the menu has dishes inspired by China and Japan, Korea, Malasyia and Thailand and is a complete culinary taste experience. I was invited along to the Birmingham Branch, which can be found in Debenhams in the Bullring, and found myself eating some of the best food I have ever eaten. This is definitely a restaurant that I could return to again and again.

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The restaurant itself is located within Debenhams, but get rid of any ideas that this is a department store food court, the restaurant is stylish and sophisticated, with a large bar and open kitchen, and you totally forget that you are in a store at all. However, the location does make it ideal for long, leisurely lunches and a dinner reservation after shopping.

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We started our lunch with a Champagne cocktail, my Kir Royal was deliciously fruity, whilst my mom opted for a champagne fizz which was dry and crisp.

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We were well looked after by the assistant manager Farhan Muzaffar. His knowledge and passion for the menu, which has been created by Masterchef winner Ping Coombs, is both illuminating and infectious – you really want to try the dishes that he suggests, and Farhan was able to answer pretty much any question about the dishes and the menu. With his recommendations, we were able to create a dining experience that covered all bases – including many different meat and fish dishes, elements of spice and heat, and lots of creamy Asian flavours which would suit those who prefer their flavours without heat.

We started with a selection from sharing platters and Dim Sum and Sashimi menus. The Barbecue starter platter is a Summer special that is only available until the end of the month, combining barbecue chicken wings, fish balls, beef skewers and the most delicious, melt in your mouth Sea bass. Everything was cooked to perfection, and offered lots of different taste sensations. Popcorn shrimp was amazing, with the Wasabi mayonnaise offering a kick that totally had the thumbs up from our party. Another revelation was the Salt and Pepper Baby Squid. I have never been a fan of squid, but this was awesome – full of delicious flavour, but not chewy or rubbery, as I usually find it.

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Farhan also helped us create a menu of main courses that showed the diversity of the menu. The Sea bass with chilli and lime had been marinated in garlic and lemongrass, so was already exquisite in its flavours, but when combined with a lime and seafood sauce it was totally delectable. The Korean Steak is another fabulous dish, especially when teamed with creamy chive mash, whilst the Udang Harimau was a success with my mom, due to the creamy coconut sauce. This is very coconut – covered in desiccated flakes, so this is perfect if you love juicy prawns with a milder flavour.

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The rice dishes offered by Chi Kitchen are a meal in themselves. Huge portions of Nasi Goreng, complete with the customary fried egg and the fruity pineapple flavour was very popular, but I also loved the Special fried rice that was packed with chicken, duck and prawns.

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One of my favourite dishes on the menu is also one of the cheapest. The Roti that is served with a Malaysian curry sauce is street food at its best – just £4.95 per portion and a really popular choice on the menu. I loved this, real finger food with the roti designed to be dipped in the curry and wiped around the bowl. When I return to Chi Kitchen this will be on my food list for sure.

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Even though we were all totally stuffed to bursting by this point, we had to try the beautiful desserts which are all created by a French chef on site. The white chocolate ice cream was sublime, it really tasted like a melted milky bar, whilst the mango cheesecake was both creamy and rich in flavour. The presentation of the desserts was, as with all dishes, simply beautiful.

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Chi Kitchen offers food of the highest quality combined with service that is helpful, knowledgeable and efficient. If your taste is for the culinary delights of South East Asia, Chi Kitchen is a place you really need to try…and soon.

Chi Kitchen, Level 3, Upper Mall West, Bullring, Birmingham, B5 4BL     |    Tel: 0121 796 5888