Melbourne: Chin Chin

20:43


Is Chin Chin an absolute must-try in Melbourne?

Melbourne: Chin Chin
Within the first five minutes of researching for Melbourne's best restaurants and must-trys, Chin Chin is a name that surfaced multiple times. Making a point to really try Chin Chin is definitely really high up my never-ending list, but anyway, I only visited it after a few weeks because this Thai-Asian-fusion restaurant is better enjoyed with a bigger crowd so that I could try more dishes. But does this (extremely) highly raved restaurant live up to its name?
Thai-inspired cuisine is the main game that Chin Chin plays, with a smattering of Malaysian, Vietnamese, Indian and Chinese influences all over. That's exactly the kind of taste range that I've been accustomed and most critical of, given how I actively seek for it most of the time. On a regular weekday afternoon, we found a table quite easily without any queuing. There are a lot of reviews that warned of long queues from their regulars and fans, so our luck was much to my relief. They have a restaurant bar corner if you'd fancy a drink, whimsically named Go Go Bar.

Melbourne: Chin Chin
Chilli Salt Chicken Wings with coriander and fresh lemon 
Melbourne: Chin Chin
Steamed Gai Lan & Sesame with Asian mushrooms, oyster sauce and ginger
Melbourne: Chin Chin
Pad Thai Noodles
Melbourne: Chin Chin
Pad Thai Noodles
Melbourne: Chin Chin
Crispy Barramundi and Green Apple Salad with caramelised pork, chilli and lemongrass
Melbourne: Chin Chin
Butter chicken with yoghurt and green chilli
There are actually a whole lot to choose from at Chin Chin, and it's really easy to be spoilt for choice. Ultimately, we chose a line-up with an item or two from each section. 
Little something | Chilli Salt Chicken Wings with coriander and fresh lemon (AUD14): Actually, it was at Chin Chin that I really recognized how incredibly hyper-seasoned most of Melbourne's 'outside food' is, and this was the prime example. Undeniably, the chicken wings were really tender and finger-licking delicious, exciting my tastebuds a little too much. I would say they can go much, much easier on the salt.
Green stuff | Steamed Gai Lan & Sesame with Asian mushrooms, oyster sauce and ginger (AUD15): This is a dish that nobody can mess up. Delivered piping hot to our table, the steamed gai lan was short of being fully cooked, hence it didn't have the supposed crunch and juiciness that was expected.
Green stuff | Crispy Barramundi and Green Apple Salad with caramelised pork, chilli and lemongrass (AUD26): This was another hyper-seasoned dish but errs on the sweeter end instead. It would probably be much better enjoyed with rice.
Soups/Noodles/Rice | Pad Thai Noodles (AUD27): Their Pad thai noodles is their only saving grace, which was delicious, slippery and gives a strong whiff of wokhei, brimming with king prawns, dried shrimp and banana blossom. Yet, if I knew the portion is tiny like that, AUD27 is definitely way more than what I am willing to pay.
Curries | Butter chicken with yoghurt and green chilli (AUD25): This was pretty good curry considering it was very thick, rich and coated the chicken with a delicious persistence, with quite a strong spicy kick. Get some rice to counter the saltiness and you'll be good to go.

Coconut Sago with Sweet Corn Ice Cream, Praline & Puffed Wild Rice
Melbourne: Chin Chin
Palm Sugar Ice Cream Sundae with Salted Honeycomb and A Lime Syrup

Coconut Sago with Sweet Corn Ice Cream, Praline & Puffed Wild Rice (AUD14) was the object of curiosity when it arrived - I was quite, quite fascinated by the puffed wild rice which I've never heard about, much less for it to be found in dessert! It doesn't taste like much, but it sure added some interesting texture in this dessert. The sweet corn ice-cream was already in its melting descend when it arrived on our table, but ultimately I knew I was going to like it when I saw this dessert's name.
Palm Sugar Ice Cream Sundae with Salted Honeycomb and A Lime Syrup (AUD14) arrived almost together with the previous dessert, but pales in comparison so much. It feels like a very random experimental attempt at putting incoherent features together. I never liked honeycomb, and this doesn't change my opinion of it. The only wonderful thing about this was the palm sugar ice-cream as this flavour is not usually found in ice-cream. We actually waited forty minutes for these two desserts, which hey, is really quite unacceptable by any standards, especially without any apology or follow-up. 
Chin Chin isn't a restaurant I will recommend, not for the food, nor the desserts, nor the service. The service did not have the usual friendliness of other restaurants in the city, and it was incredibly s-l-o-w.  I left deeply perturbed on why people love Chin Chin so much, but I am guessing most of their regulars/fans are not natives to Asian cuisines. If you are expecting authentic Thai food, you will be sorely disappointed, especially when you can get much better quality ones at a fraction of the price elsewhere. Nevertheless, as a personal goal, I am glad to have visited this restaurant which topped many charts and officially say, 'been there, done that' to satisfy that list-conquering urge.

Chin Chin
125 Flinders Lane
Victoria 3000

Never miss a post again!

I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @spherepiece and Facebook page!

  • Share:

You Might Also Like

2 comments

  1. I have heard so much about this place. I really must find them to check it out when I am in Melbourne again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didn't find Chin Chin worth going, I think your time and money is better spent elsewhere, especially their Korean BBQs and Vietnamese restaurants.

    ReplyDelete

Join the discussion...