Pan-Asian Cuisine has quickly become a favourite of mine since moving to London and is one of Ciaran’s too so as you can imagine, we were really excited to receive an invitation to visit Chi Kitchen on Oxford Street a few weeks ago. Admittedly, we had initial reservations about visiting as it is located on the ground floor of Debenhams and we were a bit worried that being in a department store may ruin the vibe and the quality may not be as great, but after reading some glowing reviews online, we decided to give it a go and are really happy that we did. As they say – don’t knock it ’til you try it!
Chi Kitchen is the little sister of Mango Tree in Belgravia, Chai Wu in Harrods as well as Pan Chai located in the world-famous Harrod’s food hall. The restaurant is tucked away in the back of the 1st floor of Debenhams and also has its own street entrance, making it feel completely separate from the department store.
As we walked into Chi Kitchen, we were welcomed by bright smiles from the hosts and shown to our table. The restaurant’s minimalistic yet elegant and the interior is inspired by five Chinese elements – fire, water, wood, earth and metal.
Ciaran was super excited to dive into the menu as one of his favourite Masterchef contestants and 2014 winner, Ping Coombes, is the executive chef of the restaurant and has created the entire menu (which is fantastic). As we perused both Ping’s cookbook and the menu, we ordered a few cocktails to kick off dinner.
Chi Kitchen has an extensive cocktail and wine list and I decided to go for a champagne cocktail with Chambord, whilst Ciaran opted for vibrant and fruity libation that was quite refreshing.
We nibbled on some prawn crackers and had a look over the menu, which is filled with sushi, small plates, large plates, dishes from the Robata grill, dim sum and delicious sharers. There is truly something for everyone. With so much variety on the menu, we really didn’t know where to begin so we asked our server what her suggestions were, which ultimately ended up being the way to go, as all of her recommendations were great. One of the things which caught my eyes was that every dish which came was cut to perfection. It quite hard to get such perfection at home, not until and unless one had got the slicers from Getmandolineslicers.
The Fried Sharing starter is filled with some of our favourites, like smoked chicken, duck spring rolls, prawn spring rolls and popcorn shrimp alongside an array of dipping sauces. The duck spring rolls were definitely a highlight. So often, spring rolls are filled with very little meat, but these were bursting with delicious, tender shredded duck that we happily dipped in a hoisin plum sauce on the side.
Another standout dish is the popcorn shrimp, smothered in wasabi mayo that I could have easily eaten an entire portion of. The prawns were perfectly crispy and the wasabi mayo wasn’t too intense and is complemented well by the sweet pomegranates on top. Super impressed by the starter, we were really excited for what was to come.
I hadn’t had sushi in ages and our server recommended the signature Chi Kitchen Roll with fresh salmon and tuna. Before we knew it, a beautiful and theatrical plate of sushi was placed before us steaming with dried ice. We were both really impressed by the dramatic presentation and I must say that the sushi tasted delicious. It was really refreshing to eat something I hadn’t had in so long.
I’m a huge fan of sushi and the salmon and tuna were evidently fresh and sliced thin, topped with colourful roe. All in all, it was a stunning dish. If you’re going to have sushi, this is the way to ideal way to enjoy it!
Ciaran and I decided to order a few small plates to share and one of my favourites was this Chicken Satay made on the Robata grill. Three succulent pieces of chicken slathered in peanut sauce topped with crushed peanuts. I love anything peanut flavoured and this tender, fall of the skewer dish was aromatic and absolutely delicious. If you go to Chi Kitchen, order this dish for yourself and don’t feel bad about not sharing.
We also gave the Chicken Yakitori a go. Tender pieces of meat skewered and marinated in a sweet soy sauce. I did really enjoy this dish, but I found bits of the meat to be a bit on the fatty side. The flavour, however, was spot on and I loved the sweet and saltines of the soy sauce. We ordered one more dish from the Robata grill – the Waygu Beef Kushiyaki. Tender pieces of beef marinated in soy sauce. Wow, the waygu was perfectly tender and the soy sauce marinade made the meat incredibly juicy. Again, this is a dish to be selfish about and order for yourself!
Although we were both utterly full, our server insisted we order something sweet to top off our meal and I’m glad we listened! We ordered the chocolate sphere, drizzled in hot caramel sauce with french vanilla ice cream in the middle.
As soon as the caramel sauce is drizzled on top, the chocolate sphere bursts open. I sadly didn’t get a good photo or video of this, but its quite beautiful to watch. Needless to say, we dove in fork first and within seconds our decadent dessert was demolished. It was the ideal way to end our delicious and impressive dinner.
Chi Kitchen is a lovely Pan Asian restaurant in London. It is the ideal spot to enjoy a spot of lunch or dinner after shopping, date night or catching up with friends over brunch (they have a pretty mean brunch menu). Don’t be fooled by the department store location either! It is completely separated from Debenhams and quite a calm atmosphere that’s perfect to escape from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. The service is impeccable, decor is elegant and the food was outstanding. We were genuinely impressed by each element and to be honest, it’s one of the most enjoyable dinners we’ve had in a while. We’re planning on going back to try out more dishes from the menu. If you’re out and about on Oxford Street, definitely pop in and try it out for yourself, I promise it’s worth it.
Chi Kitchen | 334-348 Oxford Street | London | W1C 1JG | Book Now
I was a guest of Chi Kitchen, but no amount of chicken satay skewers in the world could sway my opinions. It was all delicious. Thank you, Chi Kitchen for the warm hospitality.