On Saturday, I was lucky enough to be invited to review Chi Kitchen in Birmingham. This is a very upmarket Chinese restaurant situated on the third floor of Debenhams in the Bullring. They also have a Grab & Go counter on the ground floor of the same shop.
I haven’t been to the Bullring much since I stopped working in Birmingham nearly four years ago, and had no idea that Chi Kitchen was there. However it is somewhere I am incredibly glad to have discovered and I would definitely go again.
When we arrived, we were welcomed by the staff and asked where we would like to sit. The layout of the restaurant is very laid back, with a large table for big groups, as well as booths and smaller window seats. We went for a window seat to enjoy the evening view over Birmingham.Once we were seated, we decided to sample some champagne cocktails. The Chi Kitchen Fizz is made from amaretto, fresh mango juice and champagne, and it has a cocktail cherry in the bottom of the glass. It was actually one of the nicest champagne cocktails I’ve had – the mango made it sweet enough to be easy to drink but without masking the taste of the champagne and amaretto. Cheers.Before we ordered, some prawn crackers were brought out. I don’t eat meat or fish, but my sisters who were with me really enjoyed these. Then the manager talked us through the menu and made some recommendations of dishes we might enjoy.
Particular attention was paid to me as a vegetarian, they let me know which vegetarian starters were available and made some recommendations. I went with the vegetarian sushi rolls and the vegetarian spring rolls. My sisters had the popcorn shrimp and the salt and pepper squid.
My starters were fabulous and the presentation was second to none, particularly of the sushi rolls, which came out with a little pot of dry ice to create a really dramatic effect. My sisters both loved their starters too, particularly the popcorn shrimp. Then it was on to the main courses. Again, the manager was happy to help with some recommendations. There wasn’t a vast amount of choice for vegetarians, but they did say they could do a vegetarian version of some of the dishes. However I decided to stick to something that was already on the menu, and had the tofu pad-Thai.
My sisters went with the sea bass with chilli and lime, a chicken curry and coconut prawns. We were all really impressed with our mains. Mine had a nice spicy flavour to it and was filling without being too heavy. My sisters both said that the coconut prawns were particularly amazing. They loved the coconut sauce, and they also said that the sea bass was fresh and cooked to perfection and the flavours of all the dishes were fantastic.
To accompany our meal, we had a lovely bottle of Prosecco. An ice bucket was brought to our table to put the bottle in to keep it cool, it was a great accompaniment to our meal. After our mains, we had an ice cream platter to share. The flavours were green tea, mango, coconut and white chocolate. They were served with some strawberries and dark chocolate. The whole thing was quite spectacular. The whole meal was was really impressive with great quality, fresh tasting food that had exceptionally good flavours. The drinks complemented it all perfectly as well. To round off the evening, we had some mojito cocktails and they were some of the best I’ve tasted.
And above all, the staff at Chi Kitchen were incredible. The service was perfect and they were also really friendly, professional and helpful. I really couldn’t fault any of them. If I could change one thing about Chi Kitchen, I would like to see a specific vegetarian and vegan menu with a little bit more choice. That said, I would definitely go again as the dishes I had were all excellent. Please note, we were invited to Chi Kitchen and given complimentary food and drinks for the purpose of a review. All views, opinions, images and cocktails are my own.*
*Sadly the cocktails weren’t all my own, I had to share them with my sisters. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.