#LocalFoodieFriday: Chik’n & Mi
Hello, and welcome back to another iteration of Local Foodie Friday! One of the reasons I love food so much is the power it has to bring people together. When you meet up with a friend or relative you haven’t seen in a while, there’s almost always something edible involved. Even if you’re just going out for a drink, a conversation over a beer or cocktail is infinitely better than just sitting around twiddling your thumbs. So when I catch up with old friends, I absolutely love to take the chance to visit a local establishment and share a meal or drink to facilitate some long overdue conversation.
Sometimes, when friends ask for recommendation, I like to take them to some of my favorites like 4 Seasons. Other times, I prefer to experience something new together, so I’ll take the chance to try somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go. Such was the case when I suggested that my friend Eliza meet me at Chik’n & Mi in the Crescent Hill/Clifton area. As a fan of fusion cuisine, the idea of Asian-inspired Southern comfort food appealed to me. I’m happy to report that Chik’n & Mi didn’t disappoint!
When you walk in, the space feels like your average trendy restaurant. When you order, though, you realize this place is anything but average. Chik’n & Mi takes the concept of comfort food and gives it an Eastern Asian twist. Ramen, fried and roasted vegetables, and Laotian-spiced fried chicken feature heavily on its menu, and everything is delicious. They even have many different options for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions! It’s important to note: no two visits to Chik’n & Mi are ever the same. The chef changes the menu monthly to make sure the vegetables and ingredients are as seasonal as possible, so you could have many different experiences there throughout the year.
On this occasion, we decided to start off with a steamed pork bun appetizer. The pork belly was so tender, and the flavor of the sauce was absolutely out of this world. The crunch of the pickled vegetables on top provided the perfect contrast to the belly and bun, and ultimately I regretted getting this as an appetizer to share. I could eat a couple of plates of them by myself for my meal! After our starter, my friend chose to go with a miso ramen, while I opted for the fried chicken sandwich. Y’all… these portions were GENEROUS. My sandwich was a leaning tower of deliciousness, and my friend had to take half her ramen to go. We were more than satisfied with the value we got!
The fried chicken is one of my favorite parts of the menu because of the sauces you can get it tossed in. You have the option of Sweet Soy, Hot Jeaw Bong, X-tra Hot, or just plain naked with some peppercorn ranch slathered on top. While I have not had much Laotian food before, my experience with their Thai neighbors lead me to believe they know their way around a hot pepper, so I opted for the “medium” Hot Jeaw Bong. That was definitely a good choice, as my sinuses were cleared. Out. Just hot enough to give you a little tingle, but not hot enough to make you wish you weren’t born – my favorite spice level!
Overall, Chik’n & Mi has a concept that I can get behind 100%. Comfort food? Check. Asian influence? Check. Fresh and seasonal ingredients? Double check. I was a big fan of the quality, variety, and value, and definitely consider it a dinner well spent. If y’all are ever in the mood for an interesting twist on Kentucky’s favorite fried chicken (or just want some top notch ramen or roasted veggies), make sure you drop by Chik’n & Mi and prepare yourself for a flavor explosion!