I’m a huge fan of sequels.

After every movie, I always speculate about what happened to the characters I have just spent two hours watching. Did they end up happily ever after or did they break up after the first fight about talking to friends of the opposite sex? Was the business a success or did he blow all his savings on a high stakes game of Blackjack?

I know that most food lovers were left with a desire for more after the epic Canley Crawl saga. So, I decided that it was time to revisit my one of my favourite stops on the crawl.

Allow Chi & Co of Canley Heights to reintroduce itself.

(Disclaimer: I was invited to dine as a guest of Chi & Co but the opinions are still very much my own).

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Chi & Co was easily the most eye-opening restaurant during the Canley Crawl. Considering how communal and low-key most of the restaurants in Canley Heights were, the slice of Surry Hills that Chi & Co offered stood out like me at a One Direction concert.

Love the open brick

Love the open brick

I was so keen to try some old favourites and to dig into some items I had eyed longingly on the menu. Let’s start with a something fresh:

Smoked trout on betel leaf with galangal, roasted chilli and fried shallots

Smoked trout on betel leaf with galangal, roasted chilli and fried shallots

The waitress that served us this dish told us that it was best eaten with our hands. I immediately threw my cutlery to the side and embraced my inner Neanderthal. This first offering was deceptively heavy as the filling was quite firm.

This was an awesome start. The betel leaf offered a great crunch which contrasted with the soft filling it encased. It offered a really nice smoky after taste that I really enjoyed.

Grilled scallop with Nam Jim and fried shallots

Grilled scallop with Nam Jim and fried shallots

Ah, an old favourite. These scallops have been scalloping through my mind ever since I last departed Canley Heights.

These were cooked to perfection. Something I didn’t note in my previous review was the soup base that the scallops came in. The soup dynamic almost turns it into a scallop dumpling (full disclosure: I stole this observation from my dining partner). According to my calculations; great flavours infused into a perfectly cooked scallop equates to success.

Chicken Lettuce Delight; san choy bao with lup cheong, mushrooms, water chestnuts  and crispy glass noodles

Chicken Lettuce Delight; san choy bao with lup cheong, mushrooms, water chestnuts
and crispy glass noodles

I almost never have san choy bao when I eat out with my family. I decided to opt for it since my parents were nowhere near Canley.

This was a brand new take on something that really hasn’t seen much innovation. The crispy glass noodles on top added a completely new layer of crunch to it. It was a huge offering already and the noodle topping made it quite an effort to eat. The filling was nice and hot and may have resulted in me tearing up as my tongue wondered why I would do this to it.

My tongue forgave me straight away as the flavours started kicking in. The MVP of the filling was easily the lup cheong (Chinese sausage) as its flavour shone through. I loved all the textures and flavours in play. I highly recommend this dish to everyone.

Just don’t tell my parents.

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Braised pork belly slider with cucumber

I’m an unabashed fan of pork. I might even rate it above beef (don’t take my foodie license away).

This was an automatic selection for me as I was perusing the menu and I did not regret it. The bun was very soft and didn’t turn to mush as there was quite a bit of sauce within it. The pork had a peppery kick to it that I was a big fan of.

The benchmark for this type of bun is Ippudo’s and it didn’t quite live up to that standard. Let’s be real though, only Ippudo can make Ippudo style buns.

Awesome fried stuffed eggplant with pork and prawns.

Awesome fried stuffed eggplant with pork and prawns.

I swear it was actually labelled as ‘awesome fried stuffed eggplant.’ There is absolutely no way I can resist choosing a dish if awesome is within the title.

Side note: Something I’ve failed to mention thus far is that the tapas come out really quickly at Chi & Co. I love friendly and efficient service.

Building on that side note, these eggplants came out hotter than Megan Fox in the first Transformers movie. I really liked the coating they used as it was rather light but still provided the crunch everyone loves with fried food. Eggplant is one of my favourite foods and I always have high expectations for it. It doesn’t have much flavour by itself and is highly reliant on its supporting cast to add some substance.

Thankfully, this eggplant was……awesome.

The eggplant was very soft and the ginger sauce that it swam in accentuated all the other flavours in play. This might’ve been my favourite dish of the night. It’s way harder than when a parent is trying to pick their favourite child (my parents said it was me. Sorry, sis).

 

Fried crispy skin salmon and green papaya salad with Vietnamese mint and fried garlic

Fried crispy skin salmon and green papaya salad with Vietnamese mint and fried garlic

I know they say you don’t make friends with salad but I’d un-friend fools who didn’t like this salad.

Cooked salmon is such an underrated dish. Everyone loves sashimi (as do I) but fried salmon is no joke. The sour and spicy dynamics in this salad had great synergy and kept me on edge the entire time. The crispy salmon skin was the star of the show, I had never had salmon skin that crispy before. It had a Pringles like texture and was simply on point.

I love it when they show some skin.

Chi’s Coconut Tapioca Shot with seasonal fruit and sesame seeds

Chi’s Coconut Tapioca Shot with seasonal fruit and sesame seeds

Another old favourite!

This is still one of the most unique desserts I’ve ever encountered. The tapioca is buried within the coconut custard and topped off with pomegranate and sesame seeds. It’s incredibly tasty and the perfect way to top off a great meal.

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Here’s the TL;DR for anyone who wants to stuff my eggplant (I don’t know what that means):

- Heh, here’s a reward for everyone who actually reads the text. Thanks to the kind folk over at Chi & Co, I have a $50 voucher to give away to one lucky reader. In order to win, simply come up with the best Vietnamese food pun you can and the voucher is yours. Make sure it’s original or I’ll put you on blast pho real.

- Best to go with a large group and order as much food as you can.  There are a tonne of things I didn’t get to try (the soft shell crab, son-in-law eggs) that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

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Chi & Co, Fairfeld

Entrance On Derby St
Shop 3, 264 Canley Vale Rd, Canley Heights.
Opening Hours:

Closed Mondays
Tues to Sun 5pm to late
Open Fri to Sun 12pm- 3pm

Chi and Co. (Chi Chi) on Urbanspoon

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