Tantalise your tastebuds with one of Chi’s fluffy bao buns, filled with melt-in-the-mouth short rib Korean beef and drizzled in Sriracha mayo – and you’d be forgiven for thinking the restaurant had been around for years. Masters of Asian-inspired street food, with a modern twist, Chi produce exciting flavour fusions: think baby back ribs in a miso and pineapple glaze; panko sweet potato banh-mi with hoisin and crushed peanuts; warming Chilean coconut soup; and katsu chicken ‘big bowls’, laden with rice or noodles, and fresh, zingy veg.
Chi launched September 2019 at The Grafton’s Food Social, alongside independents including Duck Truck and Amelie, and has already attracted five-star TripAdvisor reviews.
Meet the team behind Chi – which means ‘energy’ and ‘to eat’ in Mandarin – and you soon realise why this enterprise has taken off.
Owner Aidan Tjinakiet adores Asian food; growing up, his Hong Kong-born father ran various restaurants and regularly took him to Chinatown to feast on steamed bao buns. Business partner Wendy Reddy has many years’ experience managing restaurants with husband Lamen, who was born in Fiji and ran The British Bakery in Los Angeles.
The dream team spent six months devising fresh, flavoursome, beautifully-presented dishes, free of MSG and artificial preservatives, creating scrumptious sauces and dressings, and decadent desserts such as bubble waffles and fried bao buns, with tempting toppings (try the salted caramel ice cream, crushed peanuts and popcorn!).
Having succeeded in creating a relaxed, friendly dining space in Cambridge, Chi’s since opened restaurants in Watford, Basingstoke and will shortly launch in Norwich. Besides restaurant dining, they cater for business lunches and will be serving their authentic fare at Cambridge’s May Balls this summer.
Having achieved so much in their first six months, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for these true connoisseurs of Asian street food.
Pod 3 (upper level)
Tel: 01223 322756