Chin Chin Melbourne Restaurant Powers On
Chin Chin continues to colourfully dominate in a competitive Melbourne culinary scene after about 3 years, with kudos to Chris Lucas and the team. Check out our Best Restaurants in Melbourne.
With heralded restaurants stumbling and some falling, Chin Chin is still packed with diners every day rain, hail or shine. The World Loves Melbourne popped into Chin Chin for lunch, dining solo. Whereas on a previous visit we experienced the fabulous "Feed Me" option, this time a couple of dishes and rice, and a glass of wine was sufficient (before my business meeting).
Chin Chin has a striking ambience with pop artwork, Asian images, the neon rabbit, and cool typeface of its logo. The lighting is slightly dim, the crowd energises at atmosphere of its own, there's activity and sometimes there's a sense of rush. In fact these are elements of Asia itself and you feel like you actually might be somewhere in Bangkok or Singapore or some other Asian city.
Chin Chin has succeeded with the whole pop art concept. The menu (pictured above) is a piece of art in itself...
Another area where Chin Chin shines is that Asian fusion is done outstandingly. Every dish has punch. The spice and heat factor are not dumbed down. Spice Temple is another restaurant that comes to mind where the spice is authentic and not watered down. Melbourne diners are discerning and want the authentic. Credit to rock star chef Benjamin Cooper whose profile is growing nationally and internationally.
The Wok Fried Salt and Pepper Squid with Nuoc Cham and Vietnamese Mint (above) was tangy and resfreshing. The Nuoc Cham brought the spicy kick to turn wonderfully crisp squid into something else. The chilli, mint and lemon was a nice touch to set the dish off with zest.
Chin Chin excells when it comes to fresh ingredients. The World Loves Melbourne rates the Caramelised Sticky Pork with Sour Herb Salad & Chilli Vinegarette as one of the best pork dishes in Melbourne. The fresh zingy Asian salad ingredients with this dish complement perfectly and cut through the richness of the pork. The sauce in the bowl was also a highlight which I absorbed with a side of rice.
The ability to secure a table with a no bookings policy is a challenge, but the strategy has proved highly successful.
Washed down with Tempranillo, this was a rewarding lunch.