This weekend I needed to pop to Oxford Street to visit the department stores there. After some hectic shopping it was time to grab a bite to eat. Previously I have eaten at a few places near here and there were options to to visit Ed’s Diner in Oxford Street and as ever there is a Nandos also close by.
For some reason I noticed the Chi Kitchen on the ground floor at Debenhams. Usually I don’t like the look of restaurants in department stores however this one had both sushi and tempora so I went against my usual dismissal and decided to give it a go.
We were welcome quickly and taken to a lovely table for 4 near a window. It was only the two of us so it was a nice touch not to be put on a table for two when there was plenty of space in the restaurant. Menus were given to us and two drinks were ordered – A Thai Iced Tea and Virgin Pina Colada.
The food offerings were very mixed. Definitely a ‘pan-asian/asian fusion’ menu with Sushi, tempora, Chinese and a curry on there. The waitress confirmed that the dumplings came in portions of 4, the nigiri served in 2 portions, and the sashimi in 3 portions. Based on this we chose a mixture of items to share.
- Prawn and Chive dumplings
- Salmon Nigiri
- Prawn Tempora
- Broccoli with Hoi-Sin
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Smoked Chicken
They were all brought out as they were ready and this meant we had a steady selection of food coming in. The first item brought out was the Salmon Nigiri. Completely unexpected was that this was served with a smoking pot of dry-ice. This was an impressive piece of dining theater that really got us talking.
Next out were the Prawn and Chive Dumplings and the Broccoli with Hoi-Sin. The dumplings had a very strange roe looking topping but they tasted amazing. The broccoli was a little al-denti but was on the right side of it. I also loved the garlic oyster sauce they came with. It was a drizzle over the top rather than swimming in it and it meant it was a supporting flavour rather than overwhelming one.
The final 3 dishes were brought out together. They contained probably the only disappointment of the meal – the sweet potato fries. They did seem a little out of place on the menu and I suppose this should have been a give-away that something might not be right. As you can see from the pictures the sweet potato fries were in a tempora batter. This made them too doughy and although it made more sense as part of the menu, they really let the meal down. Luckily the tempora prawns and smoked chicken brought the bar back up high for the rest of the food.
4 large prawns with a perfect tempora were a joy to eat. The smoked chicken didn’t have the usual over-sugaring that takeaway smoked chicken has. They, with the last of the broccoli, were a great end of the meal. There was plenty on the menu we’d have loved to have tried however as this was lunch we didn’t want to stuff ourselves trying all the wonderful dishes.
The bill arrived and it was more than I’d usually spend for a quick bit to eat for lunch (a reasonable lunch in London can be had for £30-£40) really really enjoyed the food and it was of an excellent standard.
Would we go back? Definitely!
Would I recommend it? Yes, but be prepared to pay a bit more than needed for central London
An unexpectedly nice lunch that made you forget about all the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street.