Grabbing energy at Chi Kitchen on London’s busiest shopping street

Written by Sabi Phagura on . Posted in Restaurants

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Shopping is no menial task – especially at this time of year. It takes energy, strategy, patience, and some deep breaths. So, a restaurant that promises to give you the surge of energy to get you through whatever you plan to achieve, is a welcome break.  Chi Kitchen, a contemporary pan-Asian restaurant created as an exclusive departmental brand for Debenhams Oxford Street, does it turned out to be a perfect pick-me-up at the end of a shopping spree.

The word Chi aptly means ‘energy’ in Chinese and it’s no coincidence the brand wants to offer good food as well as provide energy to its customers. Even their Chinese symbol has connotations. Meaning ‘fire’, it symbolises how energy can be converted into fire as well as make reference to the site using a robata grill.

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Located on the ground floor of the department store in one of London’s busiest shopping streets, Chi Kitchen accommodates up to 68 guests. Upon arrival it was great to be welcomed at their champagne bar to catch my breath as well take the weight off my feet.

A look around and a chat to the bar staff, it becomes clear the restaurant is inspired by the five elements, namely fire, water, wood, earth and metal. The combination of marble, timber and leather in the restaurant, helps to create an elegant and welcoming setting. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive it would resemble a diner type setting before my arrival.

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Taking our seats, Richard and I flicked through the menu and were stumped at the amount of food on offer. The text read like a culinary journey through Thailand, China, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam and Korea. And as delightful as each dish sounded one after the other, it was difficult to make up our minds so we enlisted our waitress’s help and allowed her to order our food.

After mutual consultation, we settled for a selection of starters followed by the main courses. The crackers and dip with spicy mayo and truffle oil and sweet chilli kicked started the evening, followed by chicken satay, edamame beans, tempura prawn and Chi Kitchen sushi roll. Somehow, we managed to sneak in a sweet roti in condensed milk which is often eaten for breakfast. Great if you have an incredibly sweet tooth. It actually felt great to cleanse the palette by default as there was a real mixture of subtle flavours in all the starters, each unique in its own right. For me the clear starter winner was the prawns. I could have easily eaten a plateful of those alone.

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The mains came in the shape of Nyona Malasian chicken curry, Szechuan beef, accompanied by a side of steamed jasmine rice and egg rice. The meal was completed with grilled asparagus. The latter felt slightly misplaced with the rest of the meal as the rest complimented each other. The chicken curry was seriously good with a hint of chilli that gave it some welly. The portions were just right, however, having had a fill of the starters, we found it had to finish off the food. Eyes are seriously bigger than the belly.

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Jointly owned by restaurateur Eddie Lim and entrepreneur Stan Myerson, this department store restaurant delivered a lot more than I expected. The food was well cooked, beautifully presented and tasted divine. Did we walk away with lots of energy? Well we were certainly felt fuelled for the next 24 hours or so.

For more information on Chi Kitchen or book a table click here.

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Sabi Phagura

I am a freelance journalist and lifestyle blogger. I travel the world covering travel, destinations, hotel, spas and bar reviews and love fitness. This blog illustrates how you can lead a healthy lifestyle, travel the world and still have a life! I am also a qualified fitness instructor, Punjabi-Hindi interpreter and a champagne and rum enthusiast.

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