So much has changed in Melbourne over the last 10 years – particularly in the hospitality world. We’ve been through a gazillion restaurant openings and closures, the rise and fall of obscure food trends and lastly, most notoriously, an unwavering pandemic.
What has not changed however is that gleeful thrill you get when you successfully manage to nab a table at what’s now cemented as a Melbourne institution – Chin Chin (without a booking, of course). Ten years ago it was exciting. It’s still exciting.
A decade after opening, Chin Chin has safely achieved the unachievable. Chock-a-block, trendy and most importantly executes damn good food. Every time.
One only needs to walk past on any given lunchtime (even post-pandemic), glance inside and see that this diamond continues to shine and has stood the test of time. There are no empty seats or empty glasses. The loud gregarious dining hall is as inviting and igniting as ever, with white collars, tourists (if there are any these days) and families alike. Music so loud it drowns out a baby’s cry and cocktails rattling before midday – where it’s socially acceptable for your first bevy to be at noon. Hey, no arguments with that!
Food wise, it’s equally as pleasing. Start off with a classic kingfish sashimi. Ten years ago, it was one of the most memorable raw dishes the city had to offer. Tantalising deep heat, refreshing aromatics, and coconut creaminess. A decade later, understandably, the only thing that’s changed about the dish is its price tag, and certainly not its glowing reputation. All the classics – like the crispy pork and barra salad, the Ora salmon in a banana leaf – are still there, along with some freshies, like an incredible stir-fry prawn with egg noodles, and ‘hellfire chilli oil’ to match this hellfire event. You’ll leave glowing, bursting and yearning to return.
Bottom line: Some things don’t change. Let’s hope Chin Chin stays one of them.
125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 8663 2000
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