Recently opened, Chirin at Victoria Square in Adelaide CBD specialises in offering fusion Asian cuisine. Service was quite efficient, with our dishes not taking long to arrive after we had placed our order.
The barramundi in their Steamed Barramundi Fillet was divine, of a size that made it fit for sharing, with flesh that easily flaked apart with a spoon. The barramundi came on a bed of Asian greens which still had a bit of bite to them, and the ginger and shallot sauce delivered a delectable umami flavour. While the menu mentioned the inclusion of chilli oil, the degree of spiciness was very mild.
Steamed Barramundi Fillet (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Their Sticky Pork Belly was also well done, with the chunks of pork belly having succulent flesh set off by crisp crackling. The use of tamarind caramel sauce in the dish gave it a slightly sweet flavour that had a hint of sourness. There was also a good amount of tangy flavour in the dressing for the Asian salad, which helped to offset the raw taste of the beansprouts.
Sticky Pork Belly (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
One of the vegetable dishes that can be ordered, the eggplant in their Crispy Eggplant was cooked to perfection, with the crisp coating contrasting well with the eggplant. The chilli caramel sauce gave the dish a bit of kick, while being mild enough for those not used to spicy foods. Additional crunch was provided by a scattering of fried shallots.
For a seafood dish that is not too filling, there is the Crispy Barramundi. The barramundi was cooked just right and well contrasted by the crisp coating. Topping the barramundi was a green apple salad to add an element of freshness, and the nam jim dressing tied everything together.
Crispy Barramundi (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The prawns in the Wok Tossed Prawn had a slightly sweet taste and a crisp exterior. This was an indication that they were seared before being tossed in the sauce. The XO sauce was a key part of the dish's tastiness, imparting a delectable savoury taste. The lotus root chips added a crunchy element to the dish.
Wok Tossed Prawn (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Great for sating your appetite while waiting for your main dishes, the Korean Fried Chicken was juicy with a lovely crisp coating. The gochujang sauce glazing the chicken had the level of spice we desire and was of a texture that did not mar the chicken's crispiness. Served with the chicken was a shredded lettuce salad whose freshness partnered well with the chicken.
Korean Fried Chicken (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
While we would have liked a bit more chicken in their Grilled Chicken Banana Blossom Salad, the chicken had the char-grilled flavour that we desired. The shredded cabbage, carrots and banana flower that formed a key part of the dish still had a bit of bite to them and the coconut dressing imparted a tangy taste to the dish.
Grilled Chicken Banana Blossom Salad (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Compared to the Broad Beans & Bean Curd (BBC) we have eaten at other restaurants, the bean curd cubes in Chirin's version were larger. The broad beans were cooked to perfection and there was enough sauce to ensure the dish was not too dry.
Broad Beans & Bean Curd (BBC) (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Equally enjoyable on its own or with a few small dishes, the rice in their Sambal Fried Rice was light and fluffy and the chunks of chicken and fish cakes were of a good size. Extra texture was provided by the cabbage and carrot, and the degree of spiciness of the sambal should be suitable for most palates.
Sambal Fried Rice (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For something a bit different to go with your dishes, there is the Coconut Jasmine and Organic Black Rice. The use of black rice gave it a distinctive purple tint and a bit of a chewy texture. The coconut flavour of the rice was somewhat similar to the coconut rice that forms a key part of the Malaysian dish, Nasi Lemak.
Coconut Jasmine and Organic Black Rice (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Aside from their dinner menu, Chirin also has a lunch menu that focuses on salad bowls, rice bowls and bao buns. Chirin's location at Victoria Square makes it a convenient lunch stop for office workers in the CBD.