Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chin Chin @ Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD

I remember vaguely writing this piece up, only to have the window shut down on me and my draft disappear to thin air. Abandoning the thought of re-writing the same thing again at that moment, I thought I revisit this piece again instead of loading more pictures from iPhone.

Yes, the iPhone. Gone are the days I pack my camera bag along with me to every meal I eat; DSLR, a second lens and a flash to boot. Even after I downgraded to a smaller sized camera, I am still finding myself resorting to the iPhone. The biggest downfall though is the horrible pictures it takes in dim lighting and the pictures below is just that (the taste is another thing altogether). 

Back to food, shall we.

Completing the trilogy of Modern Thai cuisine (although I have just been informed Gingerboy does a similar thing too, lengthening this to a quadrilogy), we have Chin Chin for now. I think this place has been blogged to death so there's little people won't know about this place. 

Well just in case, you don't know, Chin Chin is one of those places with the no booking policy. Gosh it sounds like a broken record to my ears. Unless you don't need to work on a weekday or eat at the weirder times on a weekend, it is highly likely that you will be greeted with a waiting time instead of "this way please". Luck must have been on our side that night as we scored the last available table. The downside is dinner that night started at 5pm. 


The good and bad thing about this place, the menu. Full of mouth watering items which is a bummer when there's only two of us and the stomach isn't exactly grumbling at 5pm. It's reasonably priced as well, most dishes are in the teens or mid twenties, so there's liberty to order a few to share without giving your wallet away.


We decided to start the meal with a simple deep fried school prawns with an awesome and spicy as hell nahm prik dressing, finished off with some cooling raw cucumber and cabbage pieces.


I asked for some pork belly and this was served. Rather as the main element of the dish, it was half of it, sweet and sticky paired with deep fried barramundi pieces and a spicy and sour apple slaw. This place is definitely not stingy with the chilli. 


The memory has definitely faded but I do remember plentiful of soft shell crab (not just deep fried flour) and a dry curry paste that kept us reaching for water and then back into the dish. 


To numb our tongues further, we had slightly milder son in law eggs. Deep fried eggs with a chilli jam was meant to accompany our meal.

By the end of it, I was convinced that their South East Asian cuisine was in no way watered down to please and rather by sticking to their level of spiciness, they have gained probably much more customers. As much as the noise level, the pretentious and cool customers and dining at 5pm irritates me, I find it hard to say this but I will be back.

Address and contact details:

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. There's merit in the food that they serve but what makes them famous and at the same time irritates me is the horde of fans they have and their no booking policy. Looks like I will just have to eat at 5pm.


On another note, for my Malaysian readers, I have a friend back in KL who has recently started up his ice cream venture. Give him a little encouragement if you can by liking his Facebook page here or follow him on Twitter here. If you have calories to spare, there's no better way to spend it by trying some of his ice cream.


Sean said...

i see kingfish sashimi and suckling pig on the menu! hmmm, wonder if another strategy might be to head to the restaurant late at night, half an hour before its kitchen closes, when the earlier customers have trickled away =)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: yeah generally this kind of restaurants if you walk up at 7, they will tell you to wait till 9 or 10 before a table is available so i guess yeah we could either eat at 5 or 10.