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Chi Kitchen Case Study: Fine dining

Chi Kitchen Case Study: Fine dining

Chi Kitchen is a contemporary pan-Asian restaurant created as an exclusive departmental brand for Debenhams

Chi Kitchen has recently opened on the ground floor of Debenhams on London’s Oxford Street, as well as the third floor of Debenhams in the Bullring, Birmingham.

Chi Kitchen is jointly owned by experienced restaurateur Eddie Lim and entrepreneur Stan Myerson. The word chi in Chinese means energy. The aim, therefore, is to build a brand that is going to offer not only great food, but also provide energy to Debenhams’ customers, as well as new customers that Chi Kitchen will attract.

Strong meaning

The brand has also chosen a Chinese symbol, which again has a strong meaning - fire. Chi Kitchen has managed to link the word chi and the symbol together, as fire can be converted into energy. Fire also relates directly to the restaurant, as a robata grill is being used in all sites.

Chi Kitchen has a relaxed and welcoming feel. All restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and their open plan nature invites guests to witness the chefs at work, as they freshly prepare the sushi, sashimi and charcoal grilled delights.

The interior design of the restaurant is inspired by five elements - fire, water, wood, earth and metals. The mixture of marble, timber and leather create an elegant and welcoming setting, inviting customers to enjoy a fantastic experience, both in terms of environment and the exotic food on offer.

Chi Kitchen on Oxford Street accommodates up to 68 guests and in Birmingham can accommodate 98 guests, plus a welcoming champagne bar in both.

Eddie Lim says: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Debenhams on this exciting new project, Chi Kitchen. Our aim is to build a brand exclusively to Debenhams, which is going to offer not only good pan-Asian food, but also good energy to Debenhams’ loyal and new customers. The food will be exotic, colourful and incredibly tasty.”

Mark Jordan, Debenhams’ UK director of space planning, says: “We’re delighted to be broadening our food offer and partnering with a fantastic brand such as Chi Kitchen to offer our customers an exceptional new dining experience.

“We are very proud to be working with Chi Kitchen exclusively on this new concept and look forward to introducing it to our customers in the coming months.”

Culinary journey

Chi Kitchen offers colourful, tasty and exotic food to the discerning customers of Debenhams. Influenced by Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean food, it offers a culinary journey through South East Asia.

MasterChef 2014 winner Ping Coombes has been appointed consultant chef of Chi Kitchen. Since winning MasterChef, Ping has embraced the opportunity to spread the knowledge of her native Malaysian cuisine, working around the world as a Malaysia kitchen ambassador.

Ping’s signature plates at Chi Kitchen will include noodle dishes such as Laksa Kahwin, a spicy noodle soup with seafood and bean curd, and small plates such as grilled Wagyu beef with enoki mushrooms. For dessert, guests will be able to enjoy coconut and pandan pannacotta with mango and starfruit.

Breakfast and brunch will also be available, with the addition of Ping’s Nasi Lemak, a traditional Malaysia dish of coconut rice with anchovies, sambal, peanuts and a fried egg.

“I am proud to announce my involvement with Chi Kitchen,” Ping says. “I love that they share my approach to food and dining, which is serving fresh ingredients in a warm and inviting environment.

“Asian cuisine is my favourite type of food. It can be simple, yet so flavoursome and delicious. I have lots of new ideas, so I can’t wait to get started.”

Chi Kitchen is Ping’s first restaurant project. She will work closely with the Chi Kitchen team, be adding her unique style to the diverse menus and inspiring guests with her passion for the dishes she creates.

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