Sun sets on the back alleyways of Melbourne, timing the slow, starting stream of peak hour traffic. Yet oblivious to the outside world, diners inside this restaurant indulge in their steaming plates and bowls of colourful Asia. The rejuvenated classics of Asia reverberate not only in the food but through the walls, paper and trinkets of Benjamin Cooper’s acclaimed, Chin Chin Restaurant.
Red Macaron and I opened with Salt and Pepper Salmon Fins served with Banana Blossom Salad. Crisp, light and juicy portions of salmon fin with a fresh salad of asian herbs, beansprouts, red onion, chilli, and banana blossom, all laced in a tangy and sweet fish sauce dressing. What is also impressive is that the salmon fins are able to be on a menu without question.
Next, was the Spiced Coconut Curry of Fried Silken Tofu, Soft Boiled Egg and Chopped Okra. The succulently smooth tofu pieces coated in a crisp shell and smothered with a tantalizing and spicy curry sauce. The crunchy okra pieces and fresh coriander and chili with a drizzle of cooling coconut milk also provided a textural and temporal contrast to the tofu.
Finally, the Steamed Barramundi Coconut Curry. Moist and tender Barramundi flesh adorn a mildly spiced creamy coconut curry. Light and delicate flavours of the fish contrasting with the pronounced spicy curry.
An exemplar of seductive contemporary Asian cuisine, grounded by the intimate knowledge of traditional flavours and cooking – much noteworthy praise for this restaurant. Having experienced only a taster, Red Macaron and I will return for the full experience that is Chin Chin.
- Cost: $$$
- Location: Easy to find, lively area
- Service: 4/5