The hues of red, big gongs, oriental lanterns, hand fans, umbrellas; all these props which have become eponymous with the places serving Asian cuisine are missing in the Chi Asian Cookhouse. And it’s a very pleasant change, but it is also because of the word ‘cookhouse’ in its name.
A cookhouse is a large dining hall with a kitchen, something like in military camps and Chi Asian Cook-house reflects that with the use of industrial color themes & quirky installations which gives a fresh and vibrant feel. The differentiation doesn’t end here, it also reflects in the food. It takes a leaf out of the success of its older cousin Chi Kitchen & Bar, which has been serving delectable Pan Asian cuisine since 2006 and goes a step further.
The menu is a good mix of traditional and modern Asian delicacies and offers the best of Chinese, Thai, Burmese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Singaporean, Korean and Japanese cuisine. Along with a colorful section of non-regular dim sums, there is a very inviting section of Pancakes & Rolls, Roasts and Crisps. The main section is an absolute delight for carnivorous. Lobsters, Crabs, Prawns, Fish, Duck, Chicken, Pork or Lamb, you can find the majority of the meats under the sun.
The Chef special preview menu laid out for us gave the clearest indication that what Chi has in store for the food lovers. The start could have not been better than with Chang Mai Glass Noodle Soup. Simple yet full of flavor broth did invigorate my appetite. Vietnamese fish seasoned with turmeric & dill on skewers called Cha Ca Thang, was a stellar. Goi Cuan Chay, rice paper rolls with peanut relish had two variations – prawns & veg that were fresh & delicious. I especially loved the veg one which had the filing of shiitake mushroom, carrots & herbs. If you are a dim sum lover, this place is heaven for you. From the very basic Bao to the delicate Sui Mai, it has everything. But the one that hit the cords were Banana Leaf with Sticky Rice & Minced Chicken. Kimchi Spiced Vegetables and Musaman Curryin the mains did justice to the authentic flavors. They came along with Kimchi Fried Rice and aromatic Jasmine Rice with Roast Garlic & Corianderflavor. The gluten free Korean wok tossed cellophane noodles with shiitake mushrooms called Japchae is something one should not miss. I had that for the first time and loved its smooth and earthy flavors. Sweet end to the meal was with Coconut Pancake served with vanilla ice-cream.
Overall, it was a delectable afternoon with some brilliant preparations that charmed my taste buds. I am looking forward to revisiting it to try interesting oriental cocktails after the approval for liquor license. The collaborative food entrepreneur Sohrab Sitaram and Anubhav Gupta took the risk with panasian at Chi Bar & Kitchen almost a decade back and are now putting aggressive bets on Chi brand and are planning to open few more.
Chi Asian Cookhouse
68/1, Janpath, Janpath,
New Delhi 110001
Meal for two – INR1500(Approx)
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.