Earlier this year I was lucky enough to have been invited to review Chi Kitchen's menu. Chi Kitchen is a restaurant inside of Debenhams in Birmingham (and Oxford St, but I went to the Birmingham one) and ohmygod I fell in love with their food and just yum om nom nom
I'm a very lucky girl indeed because they invited me back to try their new afternoon tea menu! Yes, afternoon tea! In an Asian fusion restaurant. The British tradition has been asian infused and it's oh so exciting
You have the choice of regular afternoon tea, with all the tea choices possible, or a prosecco afternoon tea where you still have access to the tea choices. Of course I opted for the prosecco afternoon tea! (I just didn't have any of the tea) The prosecco arrived with a glace cherry in the bottom of the glass too which I thought was a nice touch
I even ordered a cheeky sparkling sake too as I loved it so much after trying it out on my last visit. You seriously need to have it. Prosecco is good and all, but sparkling sake is so much sweeter and just amazing
The menu is the same with both drinks options and is already set out. Unfortunately if you are veggie or vegan there really isn't any option for you at the moment, but for all you meat eaters you will not be disappointed!
The afternoon tea arrives on a metal tower and each tier is a removable plate that you can take off to better see, grab, and eat the food laid out. One thing I noticed from last time I visited was that Chi Kitchen's presentation of their food is immaculate. This afternoon tea didn't disappoint either! So damn photogenic and beautiful
The first tier is in a wooden bowl and consists of 4 different dumplings. You have one prawn dumpling, a prawn and chive dumpling, chicken and prawn dumpling, and a chicken and chinese mushroom fried wonton
Gonna be honest with you guys. I panicked about this because I do not eat seafood. But, it's a review so I bit the bullet and ate them. I was pleasantly surprised because the dumplings with prawn were not overly fishy at all! The prawn and chive dumpling was sublime as the chive gave it all a different dimension and flavour. My favourite was definitely the chicken and mushroom wonton but that is because I love deep fried food
The next tier was a chicken feast. I adore chicken. I don't know anyone who doesn't. My favourite tier by far! In this we had a Malaysian curry puff, chicken bun, vegetable spring rolls, and chicken satay
I knew straight away their chicken satay was damn good as I have eaten it before. Who doesn't love peanutty chicken on a stick?!
Chicken bun wasn't what I thought it would be. I was imagining those Korean steamed buns. I am still not sure what it is and I do regret not asking now, but in the middle of the plate was this chicken that was a little bit deep fried and covered in a dressing and pomegranates. I believe this to be the chicken bun and whatever it is it is a taste sensation! The dressing has a slight spice to it and then you get the fruity aspect of the pomegranate mixed with the spice and the meat of the chicken and the deep fried and the ohmygod can I have it again please?!
Vegetable spring rolls, everyone knows them and everybody loves them. I don't need to do much talking about these as they are damn good and if you have never eaten a spring roll then where have you been?!
The item that I think was the best? (apart from the chicken bun because it was bloody spectacular) The malaysian curry puff was so damn spectacular!! Hello british comfort food meets Asian cuisine. An amazing flaky pastry style pasty with a malaysian curry inside. What is not to love about it?! It was perfecly golden, the pastry melted in the mouth and the curry inside had a little kick, but was amazingly flavourful. I would like many of these shipped to my house now please to keep me comfort in the winter
Then, after all that it is time to head on to the bottom tier. The dessert tier
This tier features a banana cupcake, pandan panna cotta, green tea cheesecake, and coconut pancake rolls
Sorry Chi Kitchen but I can't stand banana so I did leave this item. I was also getting rather full. You never realise how filling afternoon tea can actually be until you are halfway through it!
I did eat all of the other desserts though
I don't really like green tea, so again I was panicking about this cheesecake but wow. I did not need to at all. It was beautiful. Not only did it look gorgeous but it was so fresh and refreshing. A bit of a palette cleanser. Not earthy like green tea can sometimes taste, but very refreshing and light with an amazing consistency. There was also a jelly like clear layer on the top of it also so it was jelly, cheesecake, biscuit base in design. I definitely would have again
The coconut pancake rolls were super good. Another mix of east meets west as the coconut inside of the pancake was soaked in maple syrup. Absolutely amazing as a combo and I had never even thought about it before
Pandan panna cotta. Pandan are a kind of leaves typically used in eastern cooking that are naturally sweet, and I have never had panna cotta before so I had no idea what to expect. I don't even know what panna cotta is made from or how. All I know is this was the best dessert I had had in a long while. It was a light green colour, and it had a beautiful taste of vanilla and you could see the vanilla pods inside of it also. I prefer it when people use vanilla pods in recipes over vanilla essence. It's more natural
The panna cotta reminded me of a creme brulee but without the hard sugar to crack on the top, and also slightly thinner in consistency than a creme brulee
After it all got taken away, the amazing staff even asked us if we wanted anything else. Whether we wanted stuff from their normal menu or more items from the afternoon tea. Yes, I ordered another panna cotta
Priced at £19.95 per person, this afternoon tea is an affordable and dead classy option. You'd be a fool to say no to it
I really want another one right in front of me right now....
Would you try this Asian Afternoon Tea?
The afternoon tea was complimentary, but all views and opinions are my own