You almost want to hate this place because it’s that popular but I actually can’t fault it, the food is some of my favourite in Melbourne. Not even the inevitable hours you’ll have to wait for a coveted table can dampen your addiction. It’s infamous, this is the place people always ask if you’ve been too, and pity you if you haven’t.
It was top of my restaurant hit list when I arrived in Melbourne and I decided that as soon as I had a decent amount of money to dine in style that I was heading straight there to feast.
The talk about the notorious waiting time is slightly off putting, I was told on a weekend you are looking at 5 hours wait minimum, and this is just expected. I’ve been twice now both during the week and I think both on Mondays and still it was an hour to 2 hours wait.
But you just have to understand this, get over it, put your name down on the list and go for a drink whilst you wait. Their GoGo bar below the restaurant’s a good place to start, granted I didn’t think they are the best cocktails I have ever had, and they are really small for the price you’re paying but it’s easy and sometimes you’re too lazy to move too far.
They have squeezed in a few more tables than realistically fits comfortably so be prepared to be sat so close to your neighbours you could pinch a bit of their meal but at least you’ve got a table. I could be seated out the back and I’d be happy enough. The atmosphere is buzzing and the music loud, but theres always something you find yourself starting to sing along to.
The food is the reason for all the hype and as soon as you have your first mouthful you know exactly why, it’s literally amazing. Everything tastes sensational. I cannot praise it enough. Definitely order a few different bits to share and dig in. The price is actually reasonable considering what they could charge and there’d still be that line queuing round the block regardless.
I have ordered the same meal both times, quite simply because there’s no need to even try anything else. The first time we took my sister for her final meal before she flew home and we all shared the Green Papaya salad (minus the prawn floss) and the notorious Son in Law eggs. Both delicious.
For mains I love the Yellow pumpkin curry with tofu. Be warned it’s literally massive, I always struggle to finish it but it would go against everything I believe in to leave any so I power through and pretty much lick the bowl. Another good thing here is that unlike other places they include the rice with the curry dishes. It’s little things like this where they have thought of the customer that sets it apart. In most places that’s an extra charge, granted it’s never much but it’s still that feeling of getting as much profit as possible.
Jonny and Harriet shared the red duck coconut curry and the caramelised sticky pork. I think it’s safe to say they enjoyed it, as barely a word was said before the plates were clean.
So unfortunately you have no other option but to resign yourself to a little bit of queuing for half your evening but I promise you it will be worth every possible wait. As soon as you eat you will understand why. So make sure ChinChin is the next stop on your dinner hit list. And remember definitely get the Papaya salad, and the Son in Law eggs oh and the Sticky Pork…and the… Everything. Get everything.
Find Chin Chins here –
125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000