Chi Chinese & Sushi Bar
Picture this: A popular local restaurant moves from its space overlooking the iconic Deschutes River to a former chain restaurant location on the edge of a shopping plaza… and then….
While it was definitely a selling point to have river views at the former Chi location, the restaurant gets Restaurant of the Year in this year’s guide precisely because somehow, it has gotten better after that view-removing move. Owners (and siblings) Di and Howie Long opened the original Chi along Newport Avenue about seven years ago, reopening in the former McGrath’s Fish House location in July 2020.
Chi has always been that type of Asian-fusion restaurant where one can get a platter of delicious sushi rolls alongside (occasional) dim sum or General Tso’s chicken, or even a side of house-made kimchi. Now, though, it also wows with its eclectic atmosphere, where murals by a number of young local artists adorn the walls, and where bamboo trees help one transport from the bustle of Business 97 to a place where you want to sit and stay a while. Adding a pastry case to the entryway and seating for dozens more people has also made the place more accessible for more patrons to come and try it all out.
“We have a lot of new customers that we didn’t have before in downtown, so that was a good thing. I guess we had a following that I wasn’t aware of,” said Di Long. When asked about the “secret sauce” that has contributed to Chi’s success, Long said: “We try to use the best quality stuff and give the best service that we can, obviously. I think you have to come and visit to know what sets us apart. Everybody here is really friendly and all of our staff is happy to work with us, so it shows.”
Chi Chinese and Sushi Bar
3118 Hwy 97, Bend