I first saw Chi&Co on one of my Pho adventures out in Sydney’s south west when it was still called Chi Chi. I thought hmm, that place looks packed, I need to check that out. Fast forward a few months and here I am!
This hidden gem is located off the busy Canley Vale Road strip of Vietnamese noodle joints, chemists and supermarkets in Canley Heights but once you step through the sliding door, it’s like you’ve been transported to trendy Surry Hills or Darlinghurst.
The interior design is very industrial with an urban warehouse feel that is all the rage. Exposed brick, metal sheeting, neon signage and bare lightbulbs against a long marble bar give this restaurant a high quality feel, and the food maintains that level.
When we arrive on a Friday night after a long week at work we are quickly greeted and taken to our table. It’s not too busy at 630pm and we order a bottle of red to share amongst friends.
I’m not a huge seafood fan but the soft shell crab ($15.80) is a house speciality and starts us off. I’m told it’s delicious with the right amount of salt and pepper seasoning and crisp batter.
Stir-fried braised pork belly with house XO sauce and snake beans (mild-med) $19.80
The meals come out quickly and we savour the beautiful flavours. The XO Pork is my fav with a great kick of chilli and the fat to meat ratio is just right.
When our plates are cleared our helpful waiter suggests the dessert menu.. YES PLEASE!
We decide to share a few desserts.. I’m a sucker for a creme brulee and suggest we try the Kaffir Lime Brulee with Coconut Sorbet ($10.90). It has a (very) subtle lime taste and thicker custard than usual but I love the tap, tap, tap as I crack into the caramel top.
The sorbet is nice but tastes a little artificial to me.. it reminds me of Malibu liquor? (Although on a sidenote, it could also be that I’m comparing it to Gelato Messina’s Bounty gelato which is out. of. this. world!)
Keeping on a sweet caramel theme, we also go for the Fried Banana Sesame Roll with housemade caramel sauce and salted nut ice cream $9.20 which is another sweet treat – the caramel sauce is delish!
All in all, a great new place to have a special night out with friends away from the city. A few things:
- Price – this isn’t the usual bare bones vietnamese restaurant so don’t visit expecting the usual prices, it is dearer but not exceptionally and the food and service is good quality.
- Tapas? It’s fusion people, so don’t expect traditional Vietnamese food. There’s a bit of this, a bit of that.
- No BYO – boo!
- Parking – These suburban streets get seriously busy on Friday and Saturday nights so all I say is goodluck! ;)
- Book a table on busy nights – better to be safe than sorry.