Thursday, 1 October 2009

Cah Chi review - London New Malden Korean food with a homely feel


Cah+Chi+review+London+New+Malden+Korean+restaurantCah Chi comes highly recommended by a Korean acquaintance of mine (W). We were dining at Korean Kitchen and I began to bug him for his favorite Korean restaurant in London. After deliberating for quite some time, he came up with just two, Cah Chi and Jin Go Gae, both of which are in the vicinity of Raynes Park train station. Not only that, he very helpfully sent me an email detailing the directions to get to both and what to order for each restaurant.

Armed with his email, we were determined to try out both restaurants in on a Saturday - Cah Chi for lunch and Jin Go Gae for dinner.

I called Cah Chi to make a lunch reservation for three at around 11am and a Korean lady picked up the phone. She sounded genuinely surprised that anyone would call to reserve a table and it was only after I hung up that I realised that she didn't ask me for my name or contact number. Anyway, the train ride from Waterloo to Raynes Park (£4.70 return) took merely 20min and Cah Chi was a further 5min stroll from the station.

According to W, Cah Chi has been in business for the past 15 years and it was only recently been given a modern furnishing by the two sisters who took over from their mother. With its simple furniture and some children drawings adorning one wall, Cah Chi did have the feel of a home run business.

Cah+Chi+review+London+New+Malden+Korean+restaurant
a complimentary spread of traditional Korean starters


Though W did mentioned to me in passing, we were still stunned when one of the Korean sisters came over and took our orders in perfectly crisp Mandarin. But we regained our composure soon after and ordered what W recommended.

Cah+Chi+review+London+New+Malden+Korean+restaurant
Tang-Su-Yuk

The Tang-Su-Yuk (sweet and sour pork) - £9 was done really well. The pork was thinly sliced and lightly battered before being deep fried. It was evident from the taste that the oil used was fresh. Probably we were among the first customers but I'm going to give Cah Chi the benefit of the doubt. Even though sweet and sour pork has become almost a staple Chinese food in western Europe, we all agreed that Cah Chi did it better than a number of Chinese and Korean restaurants in Central London.

Cah+Chi+review+London+New+Malden+Korean+restaurant
Kampoonggi

Kampoonggi (deep fried chicken in garlic sauce and honey) - £9.50 was up next. Come to think of it, it probably wasn't a good choice considering that we just had deep fried pork earlier but the fried chicken, slightly sweetened with a whiff of garlic, were devoured in a matter of minutes - most of it by yours truly. The chunks of chicken served by Cah Chi beat the comparatively smaller ones served at Korean Kitchen hands down.

Cah+Chi+review+London+New+Malden+Korean+restaurant
Su-je-bi - one of the three portions

Su-je-bi (dough with vegetables and soup) - £7 followed swiftly thereafter. That dish reminded me of the min hoon kuek served at the hawker centres back in Singapore. The only differences were that the dough were fluffier and the soup base tasted less heavy. Su-je-bi is a real filler and you should avoid ordering that if you are looking for a light meal.

Cah+Chi+review+London+New+Malden+Korean+restaurant
Guk bab - one of the three portions

Guk bab (beef soup with rice) - £6.50 was the final dish that we ordered. I couldn't place my finger on the type of rice used in the soup but there was a light tinge of purplish colour in it. I would say that the rice tasted more like brown rice rather than the white variety.

Cah Chi is one of those small suburban family orientated restaurants, which customers are mainly from the surrounding residential area. Given its relatively long history, there is a certain charm in the sleepy standalone building along Durham Road. If only it's nearer to Central London for it would certainly give Korean Kitchen a run for its money.

Address: 34 Durham Rd, SW20 0TW
Tel: 080 8947 1081
Nearest Train station: Raynes Park

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £15 pp
Service charge: 10%
Taste: ****
Service: ***
Ambience: **
Suitable for: a quiet family lunch
Cah Chi on Urbanspoon

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2 comments:

FishHawk said...

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C K said...

@FishHawk,
Thanks, appreciate that!