Christmas dinner has to be one of the best meals of the year (even if you don’t eat meat, I would argue!). However, if you’re anything like me, with work, family gatherings and different social circles, you’ll likely have more than just the one lined up this December. This calls for a bit of variation, as no matter how good a giant roast is, it’s possible to have too many in the space of a couple of weeks. So when I was invited down to Chi Kitchen to review their Christmas menu, I was interested to see if a pan-Asian meal could fit the bill of a good alternative to the traditional dish of the season. Read on to find out if Chi Kitchen is a restaurant to add to your list this December!
If you don’t already know what Chi Kitchen is about, check out my review of their regular menu to get a feel for the place. As with every time I have visited the restaurant, we were greeted with smiles and brought prawn crackers and sweet chilli sauce while we waited to order. The set menu is £21.95pp for three courses and a mixed berry bellini, a drink that was simple yet effective and brought over promptly.
To start, we tried the chilli prawns and the sweet potato fries. The former was presented beautifully and served with a chilli lime sauce that was full of flavour but not too overpowering for the fluffy prawns. It was a good size for a starter too, though I could have eaten these all night! The sweet potato was soft and coated in a crispy batter, but more interestingly served with a mixed berry mayonnaise. This dipping sauce really worked, and was the first element of the food that hinted at something a little festive!
Next up we were brought out the main courses of salmon teriyaki and vegetable nyonya curry (turkey insal is also available). The salmon was cooked to perfection, coated in a gorgeously salty sauce and served with lemon to lift out the flavours. I’ve had this dish a couple of times now at Chi Kitchen, and though it might not seem a terribly exciting option, it never disappoints. The curry was creamy and had a goood mix of vegetables, but there was nothing very interesting about this dish – as a vegetarian option it lacks anything worth talking about.
To accompany our meal we had egg fried rice with snow peas, which was spot on, and salt and pepper chips. The salt and pepper chips, though nice, were too boring to even take a picture of – think glorified McDonalds fries, which somewhat lowered the general feeling of quality the rest of the meal creates. While I’ve got my picky hat on, it’s worth mentioning that we ordered a couple more cocktails after the starters – we didn’t get these until long after we’d finished dessert, and when they came they were not worth the wait (did you ever mix spirits and squash as a student pre-drink? Well, that).
Finally we shared a couple of the desserts from the set menu: chocolate brownie and apple gyoza. Again, not the most imaginative, but certainly very tasty! The brownie was served with blood orange and star anise custard, which was a real winner and gave the pudding a Christmassy twist. The apple gyoza was clearly freshly made and the classic combination with the vanilla ice-cream went down a treat.
Overall, the Christmas menu at Chi Kitchen is really worth considering if you’re looking for an alternative meal out this festive season. Though there are very few nods to traditional Christmas cuisine, the options on the menu are real crowd pleasers, and the offer is good value for money for a city centre Christmas outing. Do remember though that Chi Kitchen shuts at 8pm with the rest of the Bullring, so an early dinner is on the cards – perfect for a post-Christmas-shopping treat. Thank you to everyone at Chi Kitchen for having us, see you again soon!