I am a freelance reviewer in Sydney, and lover of sharing my experiences in all things food, wine, entertainment and travel related.
Published September 19th 2013
Chin Chin's Tasty Food Leads to a Double Chin
Situated in a kitsch but cool setting, with a fun atmosphere that is inspired by the deep dining halls of Bangkok and amazing Pan-Asian food, is Melbourne's Chin Chin Restaurant, which is fast becoming an institution.
This Melbourne phenomenon continues to draw crowds, with regular line ups to get into the venue. Having experienced what Chin Chin has to offer, it's easy to see why this place is as popular as it is.
The restaurant has a modern, casual but chic décor, and the atmosphere is funky with a long marble bar area and cartoon poster art hanging on the walls, as well as a giant, pink bunny neon light installation for some quirkiness.
There is also a go-go bar downstairs where you can wait and enjoy some drinks until your table becomes available, as this is a venue that doesn't take bookings for less than ten people.
[ADVERT]The inventive menu options combined with the beautiful aromas coming from the open kitchen can make it a hard choice when ordering, but the benefit here is that the dishes are designed to share, so you can try a series of options with your fellow diners to get a real feel for the cuisine which is one of the better dining experiences in the CBD.
Taking casual street food to another level, the Asian-fusion menu takes from a combination of Asian influences, most notably Thai, with a bit of Chinese, Indian and a few other varietals to boot, making for a sensory dining experience.
Start with the kingfish sashimi, which combines chilli, kaffir lime leaf, coconut cream and other exotic juices with sliced slivers kingfish that are bursting with flavour. This dish is a must try and absolute flavour assault.
Also to be applauded is the caramelised pork with crispy barramundi and green apple salad. Most people don't make friends with salad, but this is one that you will befriend. The salty, crisp pieces of fish are paired with fresh mint, coriander and apple, and topped off with amazingly sweet pork creating a flavour sensation for the taste buds.
Another flavour bomb not to be missed is the sticky twice cooked beef ribs, which are sweet, tender morsels of meat off the bone, full of aromatic flavours. The succulent meat with the sweet and savoury sauce is quite simply, something else.
Am oldie but a goodie is the classic massaman curry of coconut, braised beef with kipfler potatoes, peanuts and crispy shallots is also worth a look in for the tasty, fall-apart tender beef and the lovely mix of spices.