I will be the first to admit that Chinese cuisine is not my favourite. Unlike other food, I can find the flavourings of the dishes a little too potent for my palette, and often have difficulty finding enough dishes to try.
So when the idea came up to head on down to Chy in Waterloo for an early dinner one evening, initially I was a little dubious. I hate being a fussy diner, but I just wasn't sure if there would be anything on the menu that tickled my fancy. However, never one to turn down an outing, I hopped on to the website to take a look at the Set Menu to ensure there would be something I'd be happy ordering.
Thankfully I was able to hone in on several dishes that sounded right up my street and wouldn't be too overbearing or contain ingredients that are strictly off-limits for the time being. Always one to plan ahead, I narrowed my order down to the chicken and sweetcorn soup, prawn toast, and sweet and sour chicken. Excitedly nervous, and with a tummy growling for food, we headed down to give Chy a try.
South Road in Waterloo is a relatively new commodity when it comes to dining experiences. I've only ever popped in to a few of the restaurants before, and with so many on the one street, it can be difficult to pick somewhere out. Situated on the end of a parade of places to ear, Chy instantly makes it mark by looking incredibly sleek and sophisticated from the outside. The interior follows suit, with beautiful décor creating an intimate yet elegant atmosphere. It was also lovely to see quite a number of tables already full, with couples and families dining happily and chatting away in a low buzz.
We were served almost instantly, with drinks and food orders taken, and it wasn't long before our first course came out. For being on the set menu, it was a nice surprise to see such a generous size portion of soup arrive, accompanied by a bowl of prawn crackers to share (something I had to really try and remember - prawn crackers are just too yummy)! The soup was really flavourful, and unlike some I have had in the past, not too salty. I guzzled down nearly all the bowl, only leaving a bit at the bottom to ensure I had enough room for the other courses. Had this been the only starter course, I wouldn't have readily woolfed it down!
Prawn toast soon followed after our soup bowls were collected. Three pieces of delicious-looking sesame-coated toast sat waiting for me alongside a sweet chilli dip. Jam-packed full of succulent prawns, and with a crispy coating to complement, I really wish there had been more than just three portions on my plate - they barely touched the surface of the plate before they had completely vanished! I could have gone back for more and more, and were definitely some of the best prawn toast offerings I've ever tasted.
Last up from the set menu was my sweet and sour chicken accompanied by a portion of rice. Looking appetising, and smelling equally as yummy, the only downside to this dish was that I stupidly forgot to check to see if it came with any vegetables. My own mistake, I picked out a majority of the peppers and put them on Ryan's plate for him to enjoy. Although this made the plate much more appealing for me, it did mean that the plate looked a little empty. But having the rice to hand definitely helped bulk out the dish, and once again I was really impressed with the amount of flavour the sweet and sour sauce had - a far cry from that artificial flavour that some sweet and sour dishes have when you order them from takeaway menus.
You would have thought that after all that food we would have been full. But no. Instead of admitting defeat, it wouldn't be a complete meal without something for pudding. Not available on the set menu, we ordered from the main dessert menu - me opting for the cheesecake, and Ryan for banana fritters.
Rich and creamy, my cheesecake was bursting with sweetness from the strawberry sauce and ice cream, working brilliantly with the unique taste of the marscapone in the cheesecake filling. A generous size for a dessert, like with all the dishes I had ordered, this didn't last very long. Ryan in turn really enjoyed his fritters, which were absolutely ginormous.
Going to Chy really changed my mind about Chinese food. Although the early bird set menu was only a small selection, I did take a peek at the main menu choices and there were quite a number that I would go for. The prices are also really reasonable. At £12.95 pp for the set menu, and all other dishes coming in under £20 (even for the specials), I can see this soon becoming a family date night hotspot.
To find out more about Chy, their other chains in the city, or to take a peek at the menus, click here.