Lunch for Two at Chi Kitchen Birmingham
Today we lunched for two, my Mum and I and boy what a treat we were in for. Neither of us had been to Chi Kitchen before so we had no idea what treats they'd have in store. Chi Kitchen Birmingham is situated on the third floor of the Bullring's Debenham's store. If you enter the Bullring on the 3rd floor next to TK Max you will see it on your right hand side.
It seems like only yesterday MasterChef contestant, Ping Coombes, won the popular television series after continuing to wow the judges with food inspired by her Malaysian heritage. Now, having taken on the role of Executive Consultant Chef for pan-Asian restaurant Chi Kitchen, Ping is bringing her authentic South-East Asian cuisine to the people of Birmingham and I for one was so excited to be trying it out today. Eeek!
We were greeted on entry by a rather lovely man, the Assistant Manager Farhan Muzzafar and given a choice of tables to sit at. There were dimly lit booths along one side and more formal tables over by the large windows with the view. We opted for the comfy booth and sat down. Our Waitress was lovely too, she laid the table and brought us a bowl of Prawn Crackers with a sweet chilli style dip which was lovely to start off with for our lunch.
The Menu's were very extensive, the clipboard style menu was very cute but came filled with so much choice in all shapes and sizes. We were struggling a little to choose what we wanted until Farhan kindly stepped in with some suggestions for us. He pointed out some of their 'Star' dishes and which he loved the most. In the end we decided on several of the smaller dishes so we'd get to taste a little bit of everything. We were very spoilt.
I need to point out that our portion sizes were smaller than the 'normal' portion size as we were trying so many dishes, the lovely chef made them a little more manageable for us.
The Summer BBQ Sharing Platter was delightful to look at and eat.This is there special from now until August 31st. It's a fab sharing platter for two filled with all sorts of flavours and tastes. There was fish balls, sliced chicken thighs , BBQ wings, Sea Bass, Beef skewers and Prawns too. The Sea Bass was delicious but does have a bit of a chilli kick to it and the chicken thighs very juicy too. My Mum loved the prawns (I'm not a fab of prawns) and the BBQ chicken wings were a little spicy but full of brilliant flavours to enjoy.
The Aromatic Duck spring rolls were amazing. They were chunky and jam packed with delicious duck inside. I loved the fact that they only contained duck and no other vegetables or surprise as anyone who knows me, knows I don't like vegetables - oops.
We got to try three different types of skewers. The first ones were their Chicken Satay which were covered in a lovely crunchy peanut sauce. Out of three, these were my favourites as the sauce was just perfect. The chicken was cooked really well so it was juicy and then the peanut sauce completed the taste and then textures that went along with that were superb.
The second ones were their Beef Kushiyaki which were cubes of marinated beef in a sweet soy sauce. My Mum loved these ones but I found them a little under cooked for my liking but then again I do tend to eat everything served 'well done' which spoils the taste a little.
The third ones we tried were the Chiken Yakitori which were pieces of chicken served in the same sweet soy sauce as the beef. They were lovely and cooked just right but they didn't really compare to the Chicken Satay ones as they stood out a mile as the best to me.
Last but not least in the picture above, my Mum tried some rather stunning looking King Prawns in a Peanut style sauce which she loved. I think these were the highlight of her lunch as she kept telling me how great they were every five minutes, bless her.
One of my highlights was their Lamb Curry which was amazing! The Malaysian style lamb curry came with potato, herbs and spices and tasted so good. Both my Mum and I really enjoyed this dish, it was a little spicy but not too much so. The flavours were so nice and I even ate all of the potato's that came in it which is a huge compliment as I rarely eat those.
The dish next to it shown above was supposed to be their Sambai Prawns but as I don't eat prawns the chef kindly replaced the prawns with chicken for me. This dish is filled with peppers and chilli's so it isn't one for the faint hearted as the heat was a little over whelming. Luckily I had a nice cold glass of water to help wash it down. It was very nice but a little too hot for me. My Mum agreed with me on this dish as it was a little too hot to enjoy.
My Mum and I had such a wonderful afternoon lunching at Chi Kitchen but there was one dish that really stood out for both of us and that was their amazing Sea Bass with Chilli and lime. I never ever order fish when I eat out, I tend to stick to the chicken dishes but today I decided to live on the wild side and try something new, and boy am I glad that I did. The Sea Bass was cooked to perfection, the flakes just fell apart in your mouth. The chilli and lime flavours were amazing too. They weren't too intense but just right, the combination of the two flavours just worked so well together and both my Mum and I really enjoyed it.
The atmosphere in Chi Kitchen is very relaxed, it's the perfect place to lunch whilst you shop. Nestled in the middle of the Bullring shopping centre the shops are right by your side. The staff are so friendly and cannot do enough for you, no problem is a problem to them.
The food looks fantastic and tastes great too. It's the prefect place for a light lunch with friends or a romantic treat for two. It was really exciting to watch our food being prepared in their lovely open plan kitchen. The Chefs work really hard but still have smiles on their faces. My Mum and I were made to feel very welcome and really were looked after this afternoon. My Mum enjoyed herself so much that she couldn't wait to tell my sister all about it hoping that she would take her back again one day. One of the little things that I also loved is that because we had some food left over, the waitress offered to put them in containers for us to take home with us. As the food was all freshly prepared, it was all suitable to be warmed up again later at home so nothing went to waste which was a lovely idea.
Thank you Chi Kitchen Birmingham for making my Mum so happy today and for looking after us so well. We had a wonderful time and will surely be back again real soon.
As well as their Birmingham restaurant, Chi Kitchen also have a London Oxford Street one.
I would happily recommend Chi Kitchen to anyone and everyone that I meet.
Disclosure: We were invited to enjoy a complimentary meal for two at Chi Kitchen today. All the opinions expressed within this review are 100% honest and entirely my own.