Chi + Co is a modern Thai/Malaysian/Vietnamese restaurant in Sydney's Canley Heights.Where is Canley Heights I hear you ask? Think Cabramatta and you're in the general vicinity. The suburb has a similar ethic diversity to Cabramatta and it's a great area bustling with vibrant street life, delicious eateries, Asian grocery stores and Vietnamese coffee shops. It's not quite as busy as Cabramatta...but finding a park close to the main street will still make you feel like you've won the lottery!
In a suburb of homely, laminate table clad Vietnamese eateries Chi + Co sure stands out! The sleek warehouse-style interior (and the modern menu) reminds me of a cross between Ms G's and Melbourne's Chin Chin...all within 20 minutes of home!
Our six course meal (all for the bargain price of $39 with our voucher) kicks off with smoked trout on betel leaf with galangal, roasted chilli and fried shallots. We both enjoyed the fresh flavours of this dish alongside the earthy smoked trout.
Course two is the happily named "chicken lettuce delight". This delicious san choy bao came heaped with lup cheong sausage, minced chicken, mushrooms, water chestnuts and crispy glass noodles. The iceberg lettuce cup were super fresh and really added to the crisp texture of the dish.
Next we had a bite-sized pulled beef slider with tender beef rib on a steamed bun with mint and house pickles. I really enjoyed this - probably barbecue it was more "bao" than "slider" and a soft, fluffy steamed bao is hard to resist.
Our last entree (and course four) is the son-in-law eggs with housemade XO sauce. These were cooked perfectly and had a lovely fried crust whilst still retraining a lovely, oozey yolk. I find it total magic how an egg can be deep fried to have a firm white whilst keeping a soft, runny yolk (I obviously have issues soft-boiling my eggs)! MAGIC!
On to the mains with the arrival of the Shaken Beef. This dish was great - so flavoursome! We loved the wok-tossed scotch fillet cubes that were cooked in aromatic garlic and pepper. The meat had lovely little caramelized pieces throughout and was served with a zesty watercress salad we mixed through the beef before serving.
I tried to claim the entire tile of crisp salmon skin that came with our final course but I lost that battle (surely the purchaser of "the voucher" gets full ownership of any crispy skinned objects that come to the table)! Course six is a fried crispy skin salmon and green papaya salad with Vietnamese mint and fried garlic. Besides the son-in-law eggs I think this was my favourite dish. So much flavour, so fresh...the total epitome of Vietnamese cooking I think. I also loved the addition of the salmon which is something I've not see a lot of in Asian cooking.
Our mains were served with a side of steam rice and a lovely plate of stir-fried broccoli, snow peas and bok choy.
I loved our lunch at Chi + Co and I cannot wait to return. The staff were very friendly and attentive, and the food was wonderful - so packed full of flavour, so fresh and vibrant. Whilst it's obvious that the menu has its roots in Vietnamese cooking I loved the modern twists on some of the dishes - like the inclusion of salmon in the Papaya Salad.
Chi + Co is at 3/264 Canley Vale Road, Canley Heights. Phone them on 9727 2068.