Chi Kitchen, Birmingham
Once again, I find myself thinking about how much I have gone from dismissing Birmingham completely as a place, to now really really enjoying going there. The new Grand Central Station is certainly an excellent addition to the city. There was also a time where I struggled to find somewhere a bit different to eat, as about two years ago all you would find was mediocre chain restaurants. Now though? Now there a host of quick eats within the train station shopping section, alongside my new favourite eatery in the form of Chi Kitchen. Which is actually based in Debenhams!
I visited Chi Kitchen with my regular Birmingham Blogger pal Tereza from Cityscape Bliss. As we’d never visited Chi Kitchen before and were booked in to feature the food on our blogs, the manager ensured that we had an excellent array of food to really experience the cuisine on offer. Specialising in South East Asian food, you can find influences from Thai, Chinese, Malaysian and Korean food throughout the menu.
With friendly staff and a lovely atmosphere, Chi Kitchen is a relaxing dining experience to have in the middle, or at the end, of any shopping trip.Although there is another Chi Kitchen located in London, you still get the feeling of an independent establishment, despite being in such a central location within the city.
The first dish we were presented with was the special summer selection of grilled meats and seafood. With a combination of steak, prawns, fish and chicken, a simple selection boasted a great deal of flavour with each and every bite. To follow this, we had a variation of classic dim sum and sushi rolls. The sushi was reminiscent of our Bisons Brew cocktail experience at The Alchemist recently, with billowing smoke to set the atmosphere and dish alight with intrigue to fellow diners, who hadn’t been as lucky as to order the same.
After the feast of Sushi, Dim Sum and various other starters, we were bought over some Popcorn Prawns, served with a Wasabi Mayonnaise and some Salt and Pepper Squid. Salt and Pepper Squid is always best served fresh and the Chi Kitchen version seemed to have an added crispy crunch to the texture. Sometimes I find that dishes like this can have a slightly greasy feel to them, which makes them feel really heavy on the stomach, but these were so light I could have devoured the entire plate and more to myself.
This was closely followed by some smaller plates of the most popular main dishes, including the chilli and lime seabass. Seabass is always such a satisfying fish and I always find it so meaty, holding on to whatever flavour it was been marinated in. The seabass at Chi Kitchen stayed true to my previous findings and the zesty lime was a perfect contrast to the kick of chilli flavour. Not to mention the way it was cooked to perfection.
Although it doesn’t photograph too well, the Duck and Watermelon Salad was an absolute show stopper for me. There is nothing I enjoy more than watermelon on a salad, and the slightly chewy duck with a sprinkling of cashew nuts was like someone just made this dish for me. I’ve been craving it ever since.
Another highlight from the menu was the prawns coated in a slightly crunchy, yet spicy, coconut coating. If you can’t tell already, I love when flavours really compliment and contrast each other, so anything sweet and spice, spice and zest, sour and sweet is completely up my street, This had a really authentic coconut flavour, however I think it could have done with a touch more chilli to add a nice kick to the taste.
Ever since experiencing the Chi Kitchen menu I’ve been itching to head back and taste even more of the selection, as well as topping up my Duck and Watermelon Salad levels. It was an absolute pleasure to eat and if you’re ever close to Debenhams in Birmingham head in and take a look at the menu. You can also take advantage of choosing some dishes as a takeaway if you’re in a rush!