Chi is the latest restaurant to hit town. In the popular Safdarjung Development Area market, next to Masala Junction, it is a cool hangout place with a South East Asian menu serving meals and snacks. Noodles and noodle soups are what their claim to fame is, but there are starters and main courses too for those who don’t want carbs.
Their best item is congee and if you have tried it in South East Asia – Hong Kong or Singapore, you will probably agree that Chi does a better job. Not only is the broth thick, it is mildly flavoured too, unlike its Chinese counterpart, which is usually too bland for Indian tastes. Whether you choose prawns, fish, chicken, pork or shitake mushrooms, the cost is RS 275 for a bowl which makes a completely filling meal for one. Light accompaniments – spring onions, crisply fried garlic, chilli paste and peanuts – enhance the taste.
The best of the Ramen section is the Mie Siam (Rs 250), a flavourful chicken broth flavoured with yellow bean, with rice vermicelli. Cold Zaru Soba (Rs 225) comes a rather distant second, but that could be because I visited the restaurant on the very day they had opened to the public, before the kitchen could get its act together vis a vis the service team.
|Kare, the Japanese version of curry, is fast becoming a novel addition to our city’s menus because of its irresistible combination of innovation and familiarity: there is the lingering whiff of turmeric and cumin after all, even if the vegetables are carrots, potatoes and peas, Japanese-style.|
Other worthies on the menu include Crispy Red Snapper With Spicy Salsa and Pineapple (Rs 300) and Sambal Sauce (Prawns) that costs Rs 325 and represents good value for money, served as it is with generously sized prawns in an authentic, spicy thick sambal sauce. The other interesting option from the Wok section is Stir-Fried Chicken with Lemongrass, Chilly and Tamarind (Rs 250). The ingredients make it fragrant, spicy and tangy all at once. The Stir-Fried Chicken with Mango and Snow Peas ought to have worked because of the sour-bland contrast, but the mangoes were not tart or assertive enough.
None of the desserts that were listed on the menu were available, and the staff walked around in a slight daze – a common enough occurrence on the first day of opening. That ought to have been sorted out by now.
C1 SDA Market
Credit Cards accepted; no alcohol served
Average cost of a meal for two: Rs 600