For any of you Masterchef aficionados out there and lovers of Pan-Asian cuisine; Ping Coombes’ Chi Kitchen and more specifically her Sunday morning Breakfast Club is the location for you. The entrance is tucked away in Henrietta Place and Chi Kitchen is strategically placed; a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. In essence you turn the corner and a wonderful and relaxed culinary journey through South East Asia is awaiting you.
The extremely reasonably priced four course Asian breakfast is served with unlimited Malaysian tea or coffee. For those of you who haven’t tried this both the tea and coffee is rich and inviting due to the added condensed milk which gives a depth of flavour which keeps you saying yes on repeat to the offer of a top-up. Add a breakfast Bellini or a CHI Bloody Mary to add some extra bubbles or to increase the spiciness of your breakfast.
Ping herself is as approachable and warm as she came across on Masterchef. She greets all her guests to the Breakfast Club one on one and takes the time to introduce her menu before addressing the hungry diners with an update on her latest activities. Ping explains the motivation for her breakfast club which is to make Asian breakfast food accessible and to introduce the variety of Asian breakfast food on offer during a leisurely Sunday morning to be enjoyed with friends and/or family. Ping believes that food brings people together and the ethos is there is no rush. You are able to enjoy your time and therefore enjoy your food even more.
The menu was beyond tasty and sets you up for the day. The first dish was Ping’s favourite childhood snack; a kari puff which was spicy potato filing encased in puff pastry. Just the right amount of spice and perfectly crisp pastry makes this a delectable start. Next came the Mee Rebus which Ping explained is a very popular dish in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Mee Rebus is a dish made up of yellow noodles served with gravy made from sweet potatoes and pumpkin. The gravy is sweet and spicy and served alongside lots of different condiments including boiled egg, lettuce, king prawns and pickles. The best way is to mix together all the ingredients, squeeze the lemon wedge and then just dig right in. It was delicious.
Babur Cha Cha came next, a sweet coconut based soup served with sweet potatoes, sago and taro. This is commonly served as a dessert but is also a great way to kick start breakfast. This is a very popular Nyonya dish with enriched textures and flavours. With so many elements it was sweet yet flavoursome. This was a filling dessert and I can see why you could indulge in this at any point of the day.
The finale is a carrot, ginger and orange shot. Billed as an aid to revitalise and help digestion it is small, zesty, potent, tasty and the ideal way to wrap up the breakfast menu. It slips down gently, and success, you do feel revitalised and before you know it you are truly ready to brave/take on Oxford street again.
A stop-off at the Chi Kitchen is very much recommended any day of the week. Chi Kitchen provides vital fuel to start any shopping trip or to undertake a pit-stop during any shopping excursion. The food is delicious and light and importantly you will still be able to fit into any items you choose to try on after breakfast. In fact the feeling of happiness created by Ping and her Chi Kitchen will have you ready to shop away with wild abandon.
334 – 348 Oxford Street
London W1C 1JG