I remember going to Canley Heights for temp work a few years ago when Holy Basil just opened. The restaurant life was mostly your old school Vietnamese eateries and there was barely any other options when you weren't in the mood for Viet food back then (surprising right?). How times have changed! Now there are so many late night restaurants in Canley Heights where you can decide whether you want a bowl of pho, fried ice cream or waffles for dessert, or a degustation of Asian-inspired tapas! With the addition of the modern Asian restaurant 'Chi and Co', it's one step closer to bringing out the "Surry Hills" foodie melting pot into South West Sydney.
I purchased a voucher to try a 6-course meal for two at $39 where I get to have a taste at a selection of dishes from Chi and Co's expansive menu. The dishes were inspired from different Asian cultures (Vietnamese, Thai, Laos, Malaysian) but with a modern kick. Some of the dishes were a bit similar to the ones I've noticed at Chin Chin in Melbourne, which is good if the lines were too much hassle for you.
Berry Rose Cake ($16.00)
Although the drinks weren't complimentary, we were so thirsty after a long day out. I was instantly attracted to the Berry Rose Cake cocktail, which was described on the menu as a "Black Star Pastry-inspired cocktail". This was no surprise since it contains strawberries, watermelon, vodka, strawberry liquer and finished with a rose foam on top. It was quite sweet but not overwhelmingly. The vodka didn't taste strong either which is good for a chilled and relaxing night. And it really does feel like drinking BSP's signature strawberry and watermelon cake hehehe.
While I couldn't remember the name of this mocktail, it looked very appealing especially with the abundance of strawberries and lychees clouding around inside the drink.
Chicken Lettuce Delight ($11.00)
The dishes arrived to our table very quickly especially the entrees that arrived at the same time. The first dish I tried was the chicken lettuce delight, which was basically a san choy bao consisting of lup cheong, mushrooms, water chestnuts and crispy glass noodles. The lettuce and the glass noodles delivered a nice crunch to the fillings. While the overall flavour wasn't as flavoursome as I preferred (it was CC's fave dish though), it ended up being a relief since most of the other dishes were quite spicy.
Pulled Beef Sliders ($9.00)
The pulled beef sliders (pulled beef rib, steamed bun with mint and house pickles) was actually one of my favourite dishes out of the six courses. The steamed bun was soft and fluffy while the pulled beef was very delicious and tender. Did not expect this to come from a beef rib at all but it's very succulent. Pricey though considering the serving size.
Son in Law Eggs with house XO sauce ($7.90)
The son in law eggs was the dish I was looking forward to trying from Chi and Co the most out of all the other dishes. The yolk and filling was well cooked with the sambal and XO sauce placed on top. CC wasn't a fan because of the spices and the strong flavours but I enjoyed this dish because of the unusual ingredients, the runny egg yolk and the crisp and fried outer casing of the egg.
Smoked Trout on Betal Leaf ($8.40)
This may look like a simple dish but the smoked trout on betal leaf was another flavour kicker from the shredded trout pieces to the roasted chilli and galangal. Especially when you eat the whole dish in one go. While the roasted chilli wasn't spicy, it was still loads of excitement to your taste buds. Again, it is pricey given the size of the dish but I am still keen to try the spanner crab version on my next visit.
Shaken Beef ($23.80)
Our main dishes arrived starting with the Shaken Beef. Between two people, the serving was a tad smaller than we expected but decent enough for our stomachs with all the other courses we've had. The tender beef scotch fillet cubes were seasoned with aromatic garlic and pepper sauce to give off that caramelised and tangy flavour kick. Reminded us of our own families' version of Bo Luc Lac at home and this version is certainly very delicious.
Fried Salmon Salad ($20.80)
We also got the fried salmon salad for our main dishes, which was equally delicious. This consists of chunks of fried salmon fillet with green papaya, Vietnamese mint and garlic. The papaya salad was made Vietnamese style so it's milder than the Thai version. The salmon fillets were well cooked and juicy with a crisp exterior but the biggest hit of this dish has gotta be the crispy salmon skin. It was so crunchy that it was harder for us to share this between two people. Goes really well with the fresh, sour and tangy papaya salad too.
Stir-fried greens ($8.00)
We also received a plate of stir-fried greens and steamed rice along with the main plates. The stir fried greens consists of broccoli, snow peas and bok choy. It was a nice change from the other flavour-intensive dishes though it again it felt very similar to the one that mum cooks up at home. Still liked the flavour and texture of this classic dish.
Steamed rice ($4.50)
I haven't eaten steamed white rice as much these days but I enjoyed Chi and Co's version especially with its fluffy yet firm texture. Great to have with the Shaken Beef.
Kaffir Lime Brulee with Coconut Sorbet ($11.90)
The Kaffir lime brulee caught my eye immediately since I haven't had creme brulee for a long time. The brulee topping was a bit too thick so it was initially harder (but hey at least it wasn't too thin :p) to crack but it was nonetheless a lovely dish especially with the smooth custard the overall light flavour. I would say that this brulee is good to have on its own. Was getting full by this point so I didn't have much of the coconut sorbet - though it did felt heavy and dense when I had a few bites. It was also cold that evening so I could imagine this would be lovely to have on a warm day.
Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Compote and Honeycomb ($11.90)
The panna cotta was creamy but the mixed berries were too sour for CC's liking. Surprisingly, the honeycomb ended up balancing the overall taste of this dish.
Since we only need to pay $39 for a 6 course meal for two people, this was actually a bargain compared to paying the full prices from the A La Carte menu. Considering the serving size, the prices are expensive especially with all the cheaper options in the area that will get you full instantly. However, I was pleased with the dishes they offered as well as the friendly service. And it's good to see a slice of Surry Hills in Canley Heights with its chic and funky layout, atmosphere, and the modern approach to classic Asian dishes. While it isn't a restaurant I would return to very often, it is a good local place for a special occasion with a group of friends especially with the attentive service and atmosphere.
Chi and Co
Shop 3, 264 Canley Vale Road (entrance on Derby Street)
Canley Heights NSW 2166
(02) 9727 2068
Tue-Thurs: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Fri-Sat: 12:00pm - 3:00pm, 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm - 3:00pm, 5:00pm - 10:00pm