Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chin Chin, CBD

When I said in my last post that I managed to cross two restaurants off my wish-list, Chin Chin was very close to my number one restaurant! Chin Chin has been the talk of the Melbourne culinary world since its mid-year opening, and I had tortured myself reading countless blogs about the amazing Asian fusion food that pretty much encompasses my love for gourmet Asian cuisine.

The thing about Chin Chin (and this is probably part of the appeal), is that it is one of those restaurants- where you cannot make a booking. And, because of its wild popularity, it is virtually impossible to get a table for dinner unless you arrive before 5pm. So. after two failed dinner attempts, we arrived at 2pm on Saturday afternoon and were seated immediately in this funky, packed out Asian-style diner for a exciting, flavoursome feast. We chose the suggested 'feed me' option, where for $66 a head the waitress or head chef chooses an exciting array of Chin Chin's most popular dishes. This was an excellent option as the menu had so much to choose from that we would have been spoilt for choice, and the 'feed me' menu we recieved featured many of the dishes we would have chosen anyway. So, we tucked in to what I am going to call (and this is a big call) probably the yummiest restaurant visit I have ever had.

Kingfish Sashimi with Lime, Chilli, Coconut and Thai Basil
Another stand-out kingfish dish, these beautiful, light pieces of raw fish combined with the zestiness of the lime and chilli and creaminess of coconut milk was the perfect starter.

Pork 'Roll Ups' - red braised suckling pig with pancakes, slaw and sour herbs.
A creative spin on rice paper rolls or peking duck pancakes, these little DIY rolls were the perfect balance- that rich, meaty pork with the tart, sour herbs and a plum-like sauce. Yum yum yum.

Roti stuffed with Indian-style beef mince with dipping sauce.
These were like curry puffs... but better! The buttery roti stuffed with spicy beef mince were yummo, but not my favourite dish of the day.

Crispy Barrumundi and Green Apple Salad with Caramalized pork, chilli and lemongrass.
Amazing amazing amazing. This was the stand-out dish. A beautiful crunchy zesty salad of Asian greens and apple, topped with pieces of crunchy battered barrumundi and rich, slow cooked caramel pork. I would eat this again and again and again and again.

Massamum Curry with Beef and Apple Potatoes
This was a great massamum curry... however, after the flavour explosions we had just experienced, it seemed a little heavy and bland. I think we had been spoilt up until here, and for me a heavy curry is something you have as one of one or two dishes, not one of seven!!! I enjoyed it, but could have taken or left it.

Caramelized Sticky Pork with Sour Herb Salad and Chilli Vinegar
I wish we had have got this dish before the curry, because this is my kind of dish. Sticky, crispy marinated pork with a spicy and sour dressing. I would have loved to have fit in more of this, as its just one of those indulgent dishes that you know you shouldn't eat, but life would be so boring without it. Beautiful and balanced, as the vinegar cut through the richness of the pork.

Palm Sugar Ice Cream Sundae with salted honeycomb and lime syrup
The best kind of dessert to finish off with. Even though it was ice cream, it was light and had the consistancy of gelato. The lime syrup cut through the creaminess to give it a real zest which was added to by the crispy honeycomb crunch that added a whole new dimension of texture to it. Just lovely.

I cannot even describe how much Chin Chin lived up to the hype, and seeing it was my third attempt to get in there, I am so glad it did. I can't wait to go back and try the rest of the diverse ranges of dishes they have there. Whilst it is semi-pricey, the dishes are made to share and take you outside the square of what you would normally eat. I cannot recommend an early dinner or a late lunch here enough- do your tastebuds a massive favour. My new favourite restaurant!!!!

L x
Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

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