Chi Chi Asian Kitchen & Bar – Canley Heights
Posted on December 19, 2012 by DL
Never eat more than you can lift.
– Miss Piggy
I have a bit of a odd relationship with Modern Asian food. On one hand I love the fact that our beloved Asian cuisine is getting reinvented, but on the other hand I don’t see why the prices need to get reinvented too! But nevertheless, I continue to give these restaurants a go and have fell in love with the likes of Ms G and cannot wait to stuff myself at Momofuku. So when I heard the news that a place called Chichi was opening up in Canley heights serving modern Asian cuisine, I was both delighted and worried. I was delighted for the fact that the food scene around Canley Vale/height is going through rapid changes and shocked for the fact that I was quiet worried that they are expecting customers to fork out $38+ per meal, when diners around the area are use to paying $12-$25 per meal.
The place feels like it belongs in Surry hills!
Instead of the usual crew, I went along with the guys & girls from Team Whatthefad (Not pictured). whatthefad is an online retailer selling various items from Asia, including cosmetics and electronics. (Note: I’ve been involved in taking product, car and apparel photography for them.) Check ‘em out at whatthefad.com.au!
We started the night with the Son in law eggs ( ‘khai luuk kheuy’) with house made xo sauce. This is a traditional Thai dish made by frying hard boiled eggs. The only real comment I have on this dish was the yolk itself, a little overcooked. I wanted to see a shiny runny centre that oozes out when you push your fork in it!
Next came our favourite dish of the night, House specialty – Salt and Pepper Squid. Some may say this dish is simple to replicate at home, but I’ve had my fair share of overcooked/undercooked squid. Thankfully, the squid here is cooked to perfection.
Smoked trout with galangal, roasted chili & fried shallots on betel leaf (For those interested, galangal is a type of ginger – but taste nothing like it!). The flavours on this dish were very strong, but thanks to it’s bite size nature, the dish was enjoyable.
Fear not, I am not repeating myself! Although this dish looks very similar to the smoked trout dish, this one is actually a Spanner crab with pomelo, caramelized coconut, galangal & peanuts on betel leaf. Now this is what I’m talking about! This dish really hit the spot for me, the mixture gave the dish a well rounded feel, unlike the previous dish with strong prominent flavours, the spanner crab produced a well rounded experience with the sourness of Pomelo, sweetness of the coconut and the freshness of the spanner crab.
Next up we had the Awesome fried eggplants sandwich of prawns & pork with ginger & shallot soy sauce. Awesome indeed! but then again, anything with eggplants is awesome.
At this point, We started to feel like we over ordered a bit. But we soldiered on. Next up, we had the Massaman curry of beef & potatoes with peanuts & fried shallots. Starting to see a trend? Yea me too, Chichi is very influenced in the flavours from Laos, Thai and Malaysia. You can give me this curry with rice any day!
We’re nearly there! Not long after the curry the Fried crispy skin salmon & green papaya salad with Vietnamese mints & fried garlic was brought to the table. To be brutally honest, I didn’t really enjoy the dish. Besides the crispy salmon skin, the dish was way too salty. Perfect for those who add salt to everything, but for me, I’d rather see a more balanced dish.
By now, we were certain we had over ordered, but it’s way too late to cancel anything. Next up we had two recommendations from the waiter, Crispy skin whole spatchcock with house sate sauce(top) & Don’s stuffed chicken wings with house sweet chili sauce(bottom).
When I first sat down to write the review, I had contemplated about not writing one at all. You see, I have this unspoken rule of “If you have nothing good to say, don’t blog it”. But the thing is, I like Chi Chi, I like the concept and the food is solid & I’ll go there again, but it’s not groundbreaking, and I think that’s the problem. We paid roughly $50 p/p (with alcoholic beverages) and for that kind of money, I expected a little more. Maybe it’s my overall perception that the food was too salty for my taste buds (If you like salty food, give it a go!), or maybe I walked in thinking it was Canley’s Ms G…Chi Chi Asian Kitchen & Bar Shop 3, 264 Canley Vale Rd (entrance on Derby St)
Canley Heights Tel: (02)9727 2068