I thought it was time to update a review that I posted two months ago for currency.
There is a fine restaurant on Flinders Lane in the Melbourne CBD that I not only think about frequently but also dine at on occasion called Chin Chin. Most people have heard of it. Usually half of Melbourne is waiting outside of the place, regardless of weather, in an awkward attempt to secure a table at all hours of the day. I have been there a few times and the experiences have always been both positive and fun so today I will provide my musings about this Thai-inspired temple to all things good.
Located not far away from the Church of Scientology, the baby-expelling Coda and the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Chin Chin is seemingly open and serving to a packed house nightly. I mean packed to the rafters-packed. I first attended the restaurant a year ago and was bemused when my party was informed that we were number 100 on the waiting list for a table. Reservations are not accepted sadly. I informed my bemused friend that I am not a fan of waiting for anything and that we should retire to a bar - any bar - but he encouraged me to stay and claimed the wait would be worth it. After spending two hours proping up the Chin Chin bar, we decided to eat at said bar since we were so familiar with it as the full menu is on offer. There is an option where you announce to the restaurant to "feed me" and you in turn get a five course degustation of whatever the house feels is worthy at the time. My all-time favourite is the soft shell curry and fortunately it has been served a few times now and I certainly hope that it remains a fixture at this wonderful place. The sardines are also excellent and both have been made available after demanding that they "feed me" which was very timely.
I have been to the restaurant multiple times now and have recommended it to people that have travelled from interstate and who have then recommended it to others. I can understand why there is a queue out the door whilst it is raining and freezing in Melbourne on a Monday night because the food is just so bloody good and the place is just fun to be in. This was evident as I walked past a mob of finely dressed ladies standing outside waiting for a table after I finished viewing a movie at the local Palace Kino cinema the other week. One would think that such keenness would wane on a Monday night when the elements are in play, but obviously not for this restaurant. It remains just as popular even a year after the first time I set foot in its warm embrace.
The bar service is extremely efficient and do their job well. If there is a long waiting list, consider eating at the bar as the service, from what I found is better and you never are left wanting for alcohol, whether it be beer from the tap or their speciality cocktails, some of which match with the food very nicely and will keep you hydrated and prepare you for further adventures in the quality bars like Manchuria, Croft Institute or Gin Palace which are all in the area however if you are feeling lazy after consuming this great food, the Go Go Bar is under Chin Chin and can be accessed from a convenient staircase.
This place is highly recommended and is currently one of my favourite venues in Melbourne.
Link to review
125 Flinders Lane Melbourne VIC 3000
My Rating: 15/20
Value For Money: 4/5
Comment: No bookings are taken, just say feed me
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com
When this post was updated on 14/09/12, 82% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also like Chin Chin.