I finally got around to visiting the new kid on the block in Canley Heights. Although to be frank, there have been a couple new shops that have also opened recently (La Grilla, Le Caravelle) and to be opened (ahem, Noggi!). It’s quite amazing to see just how much Canley Heights has transformed over the years since the Holy Basil days.
Chi Chi is a fusion restaurant of south east asian cuisines Vietnamese, Thai and Malaysian. It’s definitely not your average restaurant in the area, but something that does look like it belongs to the streets of Surry Hills or even Melbourne.
The Boy and I decide to go for an early dinner during the week and have no issues getting seated as we are the first ones there. I felt a little too eager.
A beer and a cloudy apple mocktail is on order to refresh ourselves on a nice summer’s day.
No idea what this is? These white pillar things became hand towelettes once warm water was poured over it. The Boy and I were completely amazed! Definitely a fun and quirky idea.
Front: Spanner Crab Betel Leaf $4.80 each
Back: Smoked Trout Betel Leaf $3.90 each
We couldn’t decide which betel leaf to order so we got one of each. The spanner crab was served with pomelo, caramelised coconut, galangal and peanuts. It was a very tasty parcel that left me wanting more (note that I had only a tiny bite). The smoked trout was served with galangal, roasted chili and fried shallots. Whilst simple, it really packed a punch with the flavour. The smokiness of the trout really came through and it was delightful.
Son in Law Eggs $5.50
My son in law eggs cherry has now been popped! The half eggs have a thin and crispy batter with and is filled with house xo sauce. I was very impressed with how the textures and flavours worked together. My fork was seeking for more!
Question for readers: are the yolks in son in law eggs meant to be cooked through or slightly runny?
Don’s Stuffed Chicken Wings $9.80
The sound of this dish was very interesting that the Boy couldn’t go past it. The bones in the chicken wing have been removed (except for the tip) and was stuffed with what seemed to me to be similar to a spring roll filling. It had the same resemblance in textures and flavours with the mince, carrots, taro, fungi and glass noodles. They were served with a side of home made sweet chilli sauce.
ChiChi’s Braised Pork Belly with Green Papaya Salad and Fried Shallots $18.20
To me this salad was thai inspired but with a vietnamese style dressing. I was pleasantly suprised to see lots of pork belly pieces throughout this salad. Although on the menu it says braised, it must’ve been fried after because it was rather cripsy on the outside and chewy. We loved the fact that some of the herb leaves were left in full as it helped grasp onto the well balanced dressing.
Beef Me Up $23.80
Braised short ribs with chilli and tamarind are served with pickled vegetables. The tamarind flavour really shone through, but may have been too much to be eaten on its own. I would suggest eating it with a side of rice. It’s sticky, it’s tasty and makes you lick your lips after every bite. Some pieces of beef were a little dry, especially the smaller bits but the flavour is what keeps you going back for more.
Overall we both quite enjoyed our dinner. We thought the dishes were well sought out and the flavours really excelled. Although the portions were rather small and pricey for the area, it’s nice to know you can get a taste of Surry Hills back in the west.
Would we come back? We sure would, perhaps with a larger group next time and/or as a special treat if we didn’t want to travel the distance. We can definitely see great potential in Chi Chi.