[Melbourne] ”Chin Chin, Chin Chin!” The number of people telling me to visit Chin Chin. But I can imagine why.
Chin Chin, not be confused with Singapore’s Hainanese Chicken Rice shop, is a Thai restaurant in Melbourne’s Flinders Lane with a stellar reputation for serving modern Thai food.
It has also recently opened at Sydney’s Surry Hills.
It opened in 2011 with great interest, with lines out the door from the very first day.
Since then it has appeared on major food blogs and television shows such as MasterChef. You WILL have to queue up and wait around to enter this restaurant, but many say the experience is worth it.
It is considered by many to be one of the most successful restaurants in Melbourne. They have an excellent chef (Benjamin Cooper) who has great knowledge and skill at cooking Thai cuisine.
I think what is equally important are the vibes. Super lively ambience, with almost a party-like atmosphere.
Upbeat tunes by a local Australian DJ over their Urban Intelligence sound system, quirky local art around the restaurant, with welcoming staff members.
Basically it is a sensory overload, and people love it.
One thing I must highlight… the toilet. It is unisex (with separate cubicles though), with Thai language classes playing over its audio. I was reminded of my Thai teacher while I was doing my business. 55555.
If you come in a group, you can get a selection of Chin Chin’s favourite dishes called Feed Me #1 The Classics for AUD$69.50 (SGD$74.18), or Feed Me #2 AUD$88 (SGD$93.92) Duck & Crab Feast.
A couple of Chin Chin’s highlight starters include Kingfish Sashimi with lime, chilli, coconut and Thai basil (AUD$25.50); Miang of Scallops (AUD$17.50), and Chicken and Shiitake Spring Rolls (AUD$18.50). with green chilli and mushroom soy
For rice and noodles, there are Pineapple and Egg Fried Rice with spice shredded chicken, cashew, mint and chilli (AUD$21.50), Pad Thai Noodles (AUD$26.50) and Crispy Soft Shell Crab Green Curry Fried Rice (AUD$27.50).
If you are craving for curries, choices include Rendang Curry of Wagyu Beef with cumin, coriander and toasted coconut (AUD$25.50); Butter Chicken Curry with yoghurt and green chilli (AUD$27.50); Dry Red Curry of roast pumpkin with tofu, baby corn and Thai basil (AUD$36.50) and Massaman Curry of coconut braised beef with kipfler potatoes, nuts, fried shallots (AUD$29.50).
An extensive menu, but prices are not cheap, easily AUD$21.50 (SGD $22.50) for a dish of Fried Rice.
There is also a selection of about 20 gluten free dishes.
I was recommended the Pad Seuw of Braised Wagyu Beef with Rice Noodles (AUD$26.50, SGD$27.70), possibly one of the most expensive Thai noodles I ever had.
BUT the beef was of good quality and tender with bite, well coated in dark sauce with wok-hei – The Chinese use this to describe dishes with good wok-heat, indicating a skilful chef behind the cooking.
Dessert wise, I had an Apple Jelly with Coconut Sago and Pandan Meringue (AUD$14.50, SGD$15.15) which was unfortunately too sweet for my liking.
I will probably recommend Chin Chin to friends because you cannot find Thai restaurants like this anywhere else.
You will probably have to wait in a queue for a while, so it is best to go before lunch time around 11am when they open to avoid crowds.
Address: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 8663 2000
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 11:00pm (Sun – Thu), 11:00am – 11:30pm (Fri – Sat)
Google Maps – Chin Chin
Chin Chin – Sydney
69 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9281 3322
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 11:00pm (Mon – Sat), 11:30am – 9:00pm (Sun)