Monday, July 04, 2011

western/event: i still strongly recommend CHILI's


CHILI's
Neo 19 Building (near Xinyi Vieshow/101)
No. 22, Song Shou Rd, 2 FL
(02) 2345-8838

MRT: Taipei City Hall

Hours: Sun- Thurs: 11 AM - 10 PM; Fri/Sat 11 AM - 11 PM

website: chilis.com.tw English and Chinese versions

$$

Kid friendliness: high chairs and kids menu & crayons available, sometimes balloons. room for strollers and large groups.

Visit reviewed: 5/9/2011
Previous visit reviewed: 7/2005


Happy July 4th! I've been to Chili's more times than I probably should admit since I first reviewed it almost six (!) years ago- (back when I was committing food blogging taboos such as using flash for pictures). Chili's has a familiar menu, lots of room for large groups (make advance reservations if possible!) and a Southwestern Tex Mex menu that has guacamole and all the fixings for the fajitas I often order (my usual is steak fajitas and quesadilla explosion salad, sometimes triple dipper appetizers or molten chocolate cake dessert).

But in all my visits there I've never tried their popular signature honey chipotle crispers, so I was pretty excited to be invited to see their cooking demo and try it out (for free!) along with a margarita.




I rarely get invited to media/press events so I was quite antsy when it started over an hour after the invitation time, but soon Chef Mike Winkelmann, Chili's culinary consultant, got cooking. He showed how the honey chipotle sauce was made from scratch, as well as how he prepared the chicken crispers for frying.


The chicken crispers undressed...


The chipotle peppers are smoke dried peppers and have a distinctive flavor that is complemented by the honey in the sauce.


Then the secret to coating the chicken crispers with the honey chipotle sauce? Putting it in a sealed container and shaking it! 


The result is a sweet, tangy, spicy and sticky coating to the crispy texture on the outside and tender meat inside. With corn on the cob and fries, one portion is enough to share. 


It was cool to take a peek at what goes on in the kitchen at Chili's as part of their culinary roadshow in Asia, where Chef Mike also prepared demos in Guam, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia. Thanks to Chili's for the take home goodies and I look forward to checking out the new Chili's location that opened recently on Minsheng East Road in the Song Shan District.


OTHER LOCATIONS

Minsheng
Building A 1st Floor
No.134, Minsheng E. Rd., Sec. 3
Songshan District
(02)2545-8838

Tian Mu
No. 200, Zhong Cheng Rd, Sec. 2
(02)2875-4838

Taichung
No. 120, He S. Rd, Sec. 3
(04)3602-8838

1 comment:

Ken said...

Those photos looked SO GOOD that I had to run down there and try it out! Very yummy, but a bit expensive - they charged me NT484 for the Crispy Chicken Crisper during lunch (waitress almost charged me NT110 for coke!). The portions were large, but this is too expensive for what you get. There is a lunch special for under NT300, but you can't pick the crispers.

Joanh was right - the service was attentive - they asked me if I wanted refills without me asking, but for this much moolah, I will down across to the basement of 101 and get some Butter Chicken Curry at Indian Palace (also recommended by Joanh) for NT260 - not the same thing but actually tastes even better, if I'm in the mood for chicken.

I wonder if there are Chinese restaurants in Taipei with something equivalent to these crispers, but cheaper... ...maybe this kind of crispy chicken with sweet carmelized outsides is distinctly Americanized - I have no idea!

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