Chiko

What a fun meal! I had dinner at Chiko with my girlfriend Ruth on 8-9-2017. The restaurant is fast casual (read: order at the counter, seat yourself) but they actually do a tasting menu as well!

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Love the bold colors and design.

Speaking of design how awesome are these neon signs? They also had the DC skyline!

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This is the view from the front door looking across the restaurant. Up front are the tables where you seat yourself after ordering at the counter. This is right around opening and by around 7pm there was a wait to sit down.

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This is the chef’s counter where they serve the tasting menu. You can actually see chef/owner Danny Lee right there! Hiiiii!

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Since reservations for the chef’s counter are booked for the foreseeable future we actually did the tasting menu at this side table and it was totally awesome! I would definitely recommend doing the tasting menu at least the first time around. It was basically smaller versions of everything on the menu so it was a great way to familiarize myself with everything they had to offer.

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Plus then you get to have Danny Lee serve you all the food and talk to you about it!

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Top right, clockwise:

Chilled Marinated Littleneck Clams. The sauce on these was sooo good. It reminded me of gyoza sauce with sesame and soy.

Peel & Eat Shrimp (Garlic XO Sauce, Chili Lime). The sauce was a little sweet and  fantastic. At Danny’s suggestion I ate the shells, which was fun.

Potato and Egg Salad. There was a chili paste aioli on this that was really good.

Napa Cabbage Kimchi. Best kimchi I’ve ever had. It wasn’t as sharp as some and had a richness/depth of flavor that was new. Loved it!

Sichuan Spicy Cucumbers. These were pickled and spicy which was fun.

Turmeric Pickled Daikon. This was very vinegar-y (yum) and a great palate cleanser.

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Top left, clockwise:

Chilled acorn noodles (Diced Kimchi, Gochujang, Egg). This kind of reminded me of cold sesame noodles.

 

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Top – Double-fried chicken wings. Man were these good. I actually liked them more than the orange-ish chicken but both were great. They were perfectly crisp and just the right saltiness.

Bottom – Orange-ish chicken (Candied Mandarins, Crispy Garlic, CHIKO Salt Blend, orange dipping sauce). This was more tender than the wings, which were a bit more crisp. This had great flavor but for texture I’m choosing the wings.

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Left to right:

Black and Blue Fried Rice (Sichuan hot smoked blue catfish). This was really smoky and I liked the catfish a lot.

Wagshal’s Chopped Brisket (Soy Brined Soft Egg, Furikake Butter, Rice). THIS WAS AMAZING!! My husband said it’s the best leftover I’ve ever brought home. The butter plus the rice and the beef were out of control good. I want more right now!!

Rib Eye & Rice Cakes (Bulgogi, Bean Sprouts, Shiitakes). This was very mushroomy, which I love. The rice cakes had a chewy, spongy consistency which was unexpected but good.

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The Fruit Bowl (sour orange sorbet, donut peaches, blackberries, candied basil seeds). This was perfect after that meal. It was really light and refreshing. Chiko worked with Dolcezza to make their sour orange sorbet and it’s great– a little bitter and so good. Also, I’m now obsessed with basil seeds; they reminded me of smaller versions of passion fruit seeds.

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What a great meal! It was so fun that owners Drew Kim and Danny Lee were just right there in the middle of everything. Thanks guys!!

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