Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chin Chin [at] Melbourne CBD

At long last we were finally able to be seated at the impossible-to-get-a-table Chin Chin. We were essentially fourth time lucky - first couple of times we tried to get a table, it was a 3 hour wait, the third time was only an hour's wait (seeing it was a Monday evening) but we were starving.

So that leaves us to lucky-number-four.

Actually we weren't lucky - we were just prepared to wait this time round!

It was my birthday and The Husband and I had taken the day off, and so we planned to be at Chin Chin at 5:30pm on a Thursday evening. That should get us a table, right?


We got there at 5:45pm and were told it'd be a 1.5-2.0 hour wait! As we knew our dinner companions were running late, and seeing it was my birthday, we thought that heading down to GoGo bar downstairs would be a good idea.

Note: To enter GoGo Bar, it's through the doors of Chin Chin and down the stairs on your left. 

I liked the ambience of GoGo Bar; it wasn't too ridiculously noisy when we were there, though the music was kinda loud. I liked the menu covers:

L- The Little Black Book; R- XXX R18+ Adults Only

We ordered a cocktail and a wine, and a couple of tapas:

Chicken Wings w/ Chilli and Coriander

I love coriander! The chicken wings were yummy, but not like the most spectacular dish. If you're feeling "chicken wings"-y, you won't be disappointed, but not quite a must-try dish.

Pork Slider

Wowzah - this was ex.pen.sive. At $8.0 each, it is double the price of Porteno's (or rather, Gardel's Bar) pork slider, from what I could recall.

But was it nice? Yes, it was - fortunately or unfortunately I can't decide
  • Fortunately: it wasn't $8.0 down the drain
  • Unfortunately: I may have to order it again next time, and be $8.0 poorer
We wined (wined for The Husband, cocktailed for me) and dined for an hour before they sent us a text message saying our table was ready - Hurrah Hurrah!

Finally seated in Chin Chin

Looking through my photos preparing for this blog post, I realised - damn we ordered a lot of food just for the four of us (but fear not - we still managed to consumed/inhale them all!). Be patient as you scroll down each photo of each dish:

 Kingfish Sashimi w/ Lime, Chilli, Coconut & Thai Basil ($16.0)

Yum! Flavours were so fresh and tangy! The sourness just brought out the flavour of the sashimi, instead of drowning it. yum yum yum!

 Chin Chin Pork "Roll Ups"- Red Braised Suckling Pig with Pancakes Slaw and Sour Herbs ($18.0)

Actually, retrospectively, I think next time I'd give the Pork Slider (mentioned above, from the Bar Menu) a miss, and order this instead, as I think these two dishes tastes similar.

Grilled Roti Madtarbak (where I come from it's just murtabak, ohkay)
filled w/ Indian spiced beef & a cucumber relish ($12.0)

We ordered this right at the end before dessert, as S was stiiiill hungry (*rolls eyes*). S and The Husband were mandated to finish this entire dish, or else.

I had a bit of a taste, but didn't fancy it too much. Either because I am generally NOT a murtabak fan, or because I was just too damn full. I vote for both reasons.

 Son-in-law Eggs w/ Chilli Jam ($8.0)

Now - how does a simple dish of eggs and chilli taste so goooood?
Nevermind the ingredients won't cost $1.0, it's worth a try ordering it.

Pad Thai Noodles w/ King Prawns. Banana Blossoms & Dried Shrimp ($27.0)
I'd be more than happy to eat this again. Pretty pricey, but the King Prawns were real king and barbequed. Flavours were there, and the noodles weren't soggy, but instead firm-ish. yum!

 Dry Red Curry of Soft-shelled Crab w/ Snakebeans, Thai Basil & Kaffir Lime Leaf ($28.0)

So gooooooooooood!!!!!! I loved loved loved this dish! I would have been happy just eating this with rice.  Loved the little round eggplants too - had a nice crunch to them! Must-try.

Crispy-skinned Duck Pickled Cucumber & Ginger Salad
w/ Sesame Salt and Fresh Lemon ($33.0)

Uhm... it's been about a month since we dined here, and I honestly couldn't remember how this tasted like or how it made me feel. I'm sure I enjoyed this dish, but I suppose it wasn't anything spectacular or worth remembering.

Crispy Barramundi and Green Apple Salad w/ Caramelised Pork, Chilli and Lemongrass ($26.0)

The flavours of this dish was good, but I thought the Barra was overcooked, a bit too dry and hard for my liking.

L- Palm Sugar Ice-cream Sundae w/ salted honeycomb and a lime syrup ($14.0)
R- Layered jellies of Coconut Milk, Passionfruit
w/ slow poached pineapple and toasted coconut ($12.0)

The palm sugar ice-cream was veeeeery sweet - I managed to plough through though; I never tasted palm sugar ice-cream before so thought it was pretty unique. But not for the sweet faint-hearted.
The other dessert was far more tolerable, thus enjoyable. Not overly sweet (or maybe because I had already tasted the other dessert so NOTHING else could have tasted sweeter). It was just nice.

Overall, there were some dishes that we weren't too keen on, and probably wouldn't order again, but they certainly tantalised our tastebuds enough to make us want to come again to sample their other dishes. Overall, we were happy with our meal considering the one-hour wait. Still not convinced about three-hour waits though!

Will have happy dreams about the dry red soft-shelled crab curry.....

A special shout-out to the fantastical M and S - No better couple to spend my birthday dinner with! Love you guys super heaps! Hug hug kiss kiss, Big hug, little hug, Big kiss, little kiss (A Nacho Libre reference: OOXX OoXx)

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