Chin Chin – Can we ever get enough?
I’ve had the pleasure of getting into Chin Chin a couple of times over the last few months. So, the answer to the question is: Clearly I can’t get enough! This post represents a conglomeration of a number of visits rolled into one. So, please don’t think we ordered all this in one sitting – it just didn’t happen like that!! I swear!
Chicken, Sweet Corn and Shitake Dumplings with Spring Onion and Ginger Dressing
First up on my first visit with Rambunctuous R, we ordered the dumplings – which I’ve never had before. They were absolutely delicious – delicate, tender filling wrapped in a lovely dumpling wrapper, and aromatically dressed with the spring onion and ginger dressing. My only regret, there’s four to a serve. I could easily have polished off a plate by myself. This dish is definitely on the “order again” list!
Grilled roti madtarbak filled with Indian spiced beef & a cucumber relish
On my second visit, Andrew and I enjoyed this grilled roti madtarbak – which we’ve had before and really like. It comes out piping hot and crispy from the kitchen, with a fantastic, sweet cucumber relish. The pairing is succulent and provides great balance – with the sweet heat of the cucumber playing against the earthiness of the spicy beef. The serving is quite generous – between the two of us, it was plenty for an entrée.
Chilli salt chicken wings with coriander and fresh lemon
On Andrew and my second visit – we decided to try the chilli salt chicken wings. I have very fond memories of the chicken wings offered by Minh at Binh Minh in Victoria Street. I have to say that Chin Chin’s was a heartier serve, as the plate was loaded up with 6 substantial pieces of chicken wing – but I might have to give Minh the edge with the flavour profile. Same, same but different.
Gapi fried rice with caramelised shrimp, sweet pork, chopped omelette and bean shoots
This dish caught me a bit by surprise – I wasn’t expecting it to be “self-assemble” and I certainly wasn’t expecting the shrimp to be in the shell. Alas, it’s probably my naïve Western palate – but I had to leave them on the plate. I know, I know – how very unadventurous of me!! However, I will send a big shout out to the sweet pork – Oh. My. Goodness. That pork is to die for!! I wonder if they’d let me have double that next time (do you think I could swap the shrimp for a double serve????).
Western Plains organic pork satay with cucumber, pineapple, crushed peanuts and a three flavour sauce
Andrew’s quite partial to satay – so spying it on the menu; I thought it would be a safe one to order. We should have known it would be nothing like the traditional satay! First up, there’s one great oinking piece of pork per skewer, which has been liberally sprinkled with crushed peanuts. It’s served with a three flavour sauce (tamarind, fish sauce and chilli) and great wedges of pineapple and cucumber! The pork was juicy and the sauce quite intense – although the mode of assembly eluded me. I hope you were just meant to alternate biting into the pork, pineapple and cucumber – because that’s what I did! Probably not one I’d necessarily order again.
Caramelised sticky pork with sour herb salad and chilli vinegar
On our next visit – I was thinking some of that gorgeous, tender, sweet pork that had come with the Gapi Fried rice would be wonderful. So, discovering a whole dish on the menu dedicated to caramelised sticky pork, I ordered it with fervent hopes that it would deliver unctuous chunks of that wonderful, sticky meat that I remembered so well. Alas – no – it is not. And to be honest, I’m not actually sure what cut of meat this is – it wasn’t the belly, and had quite a bit of dark meat through it. It was pleasant enough – but does need a side of rice to soak up the sweet caramel sauce. Again, I’m not sure if I would order this one again…
I have to say – even though there were a range of dishes that I wouldn’t necessarily order again, nothing was bad. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal at Chin Chin – it’s just that I’m getting to know the dishes that I love, and I’d rather order them. Every time I go – I really enjoy most of the dishes, and it keeps me coming back – time and time again. And furthermore, recommending it to my friends over and over. The servings are generous and pack a wallop of flavour – there’s not much more you can ask for in a meal. Don’t think about it – just go. It’s a definitive part of the Melbourne dining scene that you don’t want to miss. Just be careful… because the truth is, you may find that you can’t get enough either!
Stay tuned for my next Chin Chin post – where you’ll see many of my favourites!