As you walk into Chin Chin the décor has a sophisticated feel with a strong arty presence. You can’t forget a gigantic bright pink neon light in the shape of a bunny on the wall. On top of their contemporary take on Bangkok street food they also showcase and support works from local, international, emerging and established artists. This place is all about fresh and well-balanced food. We ordered the chilli salt chicken wings with coriander and fresh lemon as an entree. The chicken on its own seemed like ordinary fried chicken but when drizzled with a bit of lemon and dipped in the sauce, the flavours came alive. I was surprised at how delicious it could be for such a simple dish. My taste buds were excited and my palette was ready for the next dish.
The barramundi and caramelized pork salad was to follow and was equally as delicious. On the odd occasion I do make friends with salad, and this was one of those times. Hmm it’s probably not the kind of salad that you can eat on a diet and be proud of yourself, it’s not all that healthy but it is that delicious! The saltiness from the crispy fried barra and the sweetness from the melt-in-your-mouth caramelized pork combo is a perfect balance of flavours. It mixes perfectly with the fresh herbs and apple salad topped with Thai dressing and peanuts for crunch. Dream!
The chicken green curry with salted duck egg and pea eggplant is delicious. It had special ingredients in the dish that made it stand out from other Thai green curries. Firstly the pea eggplants were adorable little baby eggplants that added flavor, secondly the salted duck eggs were so salty that they gave the curry that punch and thirdly the zucchinis were cooked in a way where they had crunch on the outside but were perfectly cooked in the center so the texture was like they exploded in your mouth as you bit into them. So good! The Massaman curry, Pad Thai Noodles and Tom Kha Soup were all yum but nothing out of the ordinary.
For dessert I had the coconut sago, it was like an adventure in each spoonful. It began with the rich coconut creamy sago paired with a scoop of corn ice-cream (with subtle bits of sweet corn pieces) then came the toffee crunch of the praline and the pop of the puffed rice. Absolutely delicious!
Chin Chin is always very busy during the evenings and there are no reservations (except if you book one table of 10-12 peeps). It’s a walk-in restaurant so you should either go while the sun is still out or be prepared to wait. During peak dinner times it is not uncommon to wait for an hour or two or even sometimes three hours eeek. But you can waste some time at the gogo bar in the hip and happening basement downstairs while you wait. Just leave your details upstairs and they call your mobile when your table’s ready. Note: You can’t have a person book the table while the others make their way to the restaurant. You all have to be present to join the queue to be seated. Drats! However if you’re eating as a pair you can be seated at the bar for dinner, less eating space but delicious none the less.
I heart Chin Chin!
Adress: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Phone: 03 8663 2000
Trading Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am ’til late (7 days)