In a city which is increasingly showing off its prowess in contemporary asian cuisine, Chin Chin is the latest accomplished addition to Melbourne. Chin Chin is chinese slang for a celebratory toast (cin cin means the same in Italian).
Chin Chin, which opened 4 weeks ago, has a chic and yet casual feel about it, serving street-inspired Asian food, with an emphasis on shared plates. It is well priced and unpretentious. Waiters and waitresses, dressed in street clothes are attentive and knowledgeable.
This is the brainchild of Chris Lucas, a respected Melbourne restauranteur, who part owned Pearl and recently sold the very successful Botanical. Chin Chin exudes atmosphere. But the real draw is its fresh and skilled preparation and presentation of food. It gives Ginger Boy, Coda, and Longrain (all the other Pan Asian and multi-awarded restaurants in the city) a run for their money.
Its food covers a wide spectrum of south east asian cuisines, with unique but authentic interpretation of food from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The aromas wafting from the open kitchen fill the expansive dining hall style space, tantalising the taste buds of its eager clientele.
The kingfish with lime, coconut and thai basil was beautifully delicate and so was the egg net roll with spanner crab. The salads were beautifully crunchy and flavour filled, as were the mains. Every dish is carefully garnished with large bunches of fresh asian herbs. The serving platters are wonderfully oriental in design and add to the visual appeal of the food.
Service was excellent despite the fact that the place was packed to the rafters. The wine list was superb and place was packed with an exuberant Friday night city crowd.
Its food ranges from 12 to 15 dollars for quite generous sized starters through to 20 to 28 dollars for mains.
So does Chin Chin have a drawback? Yes it does – you can’t book but tables turn over quickly so the wait is never long and you can wet your whistle while waiting at the great bar. It is also open all hours
125 Flinders Lane