Canley Heights these days is where all the buzz is for some good ol’ Asian food. Especially with Holy Basil down its main strip, it’s surged up some pretty nice South East Asian restaurants, one of them being this baby:
Coming from the notorious Blue Ginger restaurant in Balmain, Chi and Co. is a modern Asian styled restaurant. With the rustic walls and a bar which seamlessly integrates itself with the restaurant vibe, I have to say, it’s once nice looking place:
Especially given the fact that it isn’t exactly on the main strip, but instead, on a smaller street you have to turn and squeeze yourself through to get that car you parked 10 years away, this place has no problems it making itself stand out.
After admiring what a nice looking place it was, it was time to order some drinks and some food of course. First up are the drinks. To start things off we got a Coco Loco and strawberry and passionfruit mocktail (that’s right, no alcohol!)
Now how were they? Pretty good. The 2 drinks you see are a bit on the opposite ends of the spectrum. With passionfruit naturally being quite sour, the young coconut juice on the other hand was very sweet. While I wouldn’t recommend drinking them both together, I would recommend them individually. The passionfruit mocktail had the crunch of the seeds and felt super-fresh. The coconut tasted like regular coconut juice…at first until you slurp up all the lychee pieces and what not inside. I preferred the second one. A great started to the dishes.
For some food they actually had some lunch specials and they were cheaper than normal so of course we went for that menu (*cough* Asian). For starters (not on the lunch special), we got some House Duck Spring Rolls and Son-In-Law Eggs:
I always hear about eating these from someone and at first I didn’t know if they were joking because the name is so unorthodox. But finally I ordered them and yep, they are indeed real. Basically deep-fried eggs (of course in some special seasoned flour), it’s also topped off with some good ol’ XO sauce. I really liked these. The outside was crispy enough and the inside was nice and beautifully soft. The sauce was sweet and salty and it went so well. I only wish that for some pieces the yolks were a bit less done but other than that, loved them (But I love eggs naturally so, a word of warning).
Next up were these delicious things. So fresh that it literally burns off your fingers when you try to grab it. They were so ridiculously crunchy and literally scolded my mouth when I tried to eat them but I regret nothing. The duck was tender and the filling was so flavoursome. Mushroom flavour seeped through the roll and just marinated that duck and misc. veggies with goodness. The sweet plum sauce that comes with it (and funny enough, with pretty much all BBQ duck) goes so well unsurprisingly. Sweet meets savoury. My favourite. Try these too!
Now onto the mains shall we:
You can’t go wrong with South Easy Asian cuisine without some delicious papaya salad. One of my favourite kinds of salad. Dressed of course with some fish sauce, I have to say, they managed to make something so normal taste so good! The sauce was much more tangy than normal nuoc mam and I really liked that. Of course the papaya and fresh basil was so refreshing and crunchy together but lets take a moment to experience the skin. So. Friggen. Crunchy. Man. Oh man. It was a bit bland in flavour but the crunch and that fish-fatty goodness was just sublime. It’s a pretty mean salad. If you want salad, do it.
Of course there’s Pad Thai. Such a traditional dish. The Pad Thai was pretty much everything I was expecting. Noodles which combine spicy, sweet, sour and salty together. The only thing I have to say is 1) it’s a shame the prawns aren’t fresh and 2) it’s a pretty small size for the price so beware.
Thai Beef salad is usually a winner for me. It’s tangy, really spicy and just blends so well with the flavours of the herbs. This one really held up its game. Had all the elements I was looking for and that dressing was just so good and flavour packed. The only downside for me was that the beef was pretty dry and overcooked. Usually a deal breaker but the dressing really was redeeming. Also quite a lot of rice is served with it in comparison to the amount of salad.
And last but not least. Clay Pot rice! Yizzz. In a nice hot clay pot, rice, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, prawns and chicken fills it and tasted so good. The mushroom flavour was just bursting in that dish and the sauce and just soaked right into the rice. On top of that, a fried egg sits gloriously with its still-runny yolk and added that extra richness to every spoonful. As you bury your way through the dish you get soft mushroom pieces, chewy Chinese sausage pieces and nice crunch rice which solidifies over the side of the scorching pot (my favourite part of a clay pot). I really enjoyed it but the only thing again is the fact that the prawns weren’t fresh. Instead it almost ruins that symphony of textures with an artificial crunch. Hopefully they fix that but otherwise, one great rice dish.
So in all, Chi and Co. is one hipster looking joint. Almost a misfit in the typical Canley Heights restaurant scene, this modern restaurant has itself some friendly service, some pretty good food and just an overall nice place to spend the night. With the only downsides being the pretty small serving size for some dishes and the lack of fresh seafood, I’d recommend this place to others. If you’re ever around and getting tired of the Holy Basil rein, pop yourself in here, it’s literally 1 minute away.