Chin Chin is like an old friend for me. Very pathetic to admit that on the interweb. But it’s true. I have frequented the warehouse style restaurant on Flinders Lane 20 plus times. I should be a member of CC Anonymous. My name is Jess and I’m a Chinaholic. Chin Chin is my Cheers. I go in and I swear half of the staff would know my name. I am besties with one of the bartenders now. Probably coz I told him he makes the best Espresso Martini (almost true), but I’m going to say it’s because of my charm.
Since starting this blog I hadn’t visited good old Chinny until now. And it is still up there with the best.
Arriving at about 1pm on a Saturday for a Ladies Lunch (an excuse for women to spend alot on food and drinks in the middle of an ordinary day), I was expecting to have to wait half an hour to an hour…BUT! There was no line. I repeat. There was NO line. Aside from my very first visit, I have always had to wait. Admittedly, I have waited 2 plus hours to have a seat in the Bunny’s domain. (If you don’t understand that, go and you will)
We were seated by one of the oh so lovely hipster staff and shown the R18+ beverage menu and although I know the menu inside out, I pretended to peruse…
There were some new additions to the vast menu including my old faves (Corn & Coriander Fritters deserve special mention as I have had them on almost every visit…wow I am making myself sound uber cool right now)
I went with a Pear Cider and she went with an Apple and we were away and whilst waiting for food, the people watching began. A Tom Ballard look alike had us star struck for a while, (we did believe it was actually D Grade Celebrity Tom Ballard for about 2 hours). We then focused on those couples that people love to watch, the ones who could be on a first date and sometimes you encounter the awkward hand touch and the giggling that I myself am prone to on numerous occasions.
Our first dish arrived, which is a favourite of mine, the pulled Pork Rollups. I love the DIY style of their food and these rollups are no exception. The pork is uber flavoursome and the accompaniments add the tang you need to break up the meaty flavour. Also quite easy to assemble so they are date-friendly, as a table near by us proved.
Next up was the DIY Spring Rolls. The peanut sauce that accompanies these bad boys is criminal. OH so good. Fried tofu, fresh bamboo shoots, green chilis (beware, they’re hot), carrot, cucumber, lemon and other vegetables I couldnt identify, make this dish a winner and by the volumes of this dish coming out of the kitchen, I’m not the only one who thinks so!
With the food baby prepping, we ordered one of the Chin Chin Punches…not wise guy, not a smack to the face, a fancy cocktail of the Pink Grapefruit variety. Although this caraff was very refreshing, probably not worth the mulla. That’s my only complaint. And it’s not reallllly a complaint.
The food rolled on and our next stop was the Pork, Barramundi & Apple Salad. The definition of ‘Don’t Judge it til’ you try it!’. I first had this dish with a friend when we gave the Feed Me menu a crack. For those Chin Chin newbies, the Feed Me is Chin Chin’s version of saying We will keep feeding you our delicious food until you enter a Food Coma.
You cannot fault this salad, the carmelised pork mixes so well with the fresh barramundi and with the apple’s crunch and coriander flavour, it wins. hands down.
Stop the Presses. A dish I have never tried before at Chin Chin. I didn’t think it was possible. Enter the Soft Shell Crab Dry Red Curry. Quite a title and yes, as you may have guessed, it’s lives up to its large name. I always feel a little let down by Soft Shell Crab but this exceeded my expectations. A mild kick of chili accompanied with crispy yet not over-fried crab = heaven on a plate.
Throughout the meal the staff were always accomodating and never let the water glasses hit empty. Which was much appreciated, especially when I decided eating a couple of the green chilis in a Spring Roll was a good idea.
The food, incredible on all accounts and in my opinion, very reasonably priced. If you have to wait, its worth it AND you don’t need to wait like cattle on some old staircase (I’m looking at you Mamasita). The uber trendy Go Go Bar awaits the waiting crowds with nibbles galore and cocktails to match.
Other dish recommendations from previous visits:
Kingfish Sashimi. Massaman Beef (best I have ever had). Corn & Coriander Fritters. Mandarin Duck (no longer on the menu…might start a petition to bring it back. It’s worth it). Chicken wings (You can get these from GoGo Bar downstairs as well…order double/triple).
For those who have a separate stomach for Dessert – The Banana Roti. I hesitated too, but oh em gee. so good. The Palm Sugar Icecream with Honeycomb also deserves a mention.
Chin Chin you got it going on. But you already knew that. Still rated No.1 on UrbanSpoon ‘Talk of the Town’ after 18 months of amazeball-ness. I’d be cocky too!