Melbourne, Victoria, Australia NSW
Foodie Tip - Chin Chin
After getting out of the taxi we quickly realized that we were not at the restaurant we intended to go to. We couldn't get our maps to work properly on our phones and no one seemed to be able to point us in the right direction. In our search we stumbled upon what seemed to be one of the only food spots open. -- Chin Chin.
At first, we had no intention of eating at Chin Chin. However, the Australian heat is no joke. While one of our friends went to triple check our options, the most amazing lovely hostess kindly invited us to wait inside Chin Chin's entry way. She offered us water and told us we could leave our luggage there as long as we needed. She seriously was a god send full of good ol' Southern Hospitality just with a different sounding accent.... David, why didn't we invite her to our new years party? Fail.
After JP returned with no other option, we decided Chin Chin it was! Holy mother of Thai... this place takes the curry. Maybe, I should thank that Taxi driver after all... Nah, I mean it was good, but he still sucked.
I think that food is an international language that needs no translation. You can tell everything you need to know about the story and message it was designed to tell through the way it was cooked; where it came from, the seasonings, the sauces, the way it is displayed to serve and the aroma that fills your nose, all why it releases endorphins in your brain; it all tells a story. Great food brings me a nostalgic feeling. It unites us as humans. We all love to sit down and indulge in whatever our current cravings are, but most importantly, we need it to survive. Food creates culture, traditions and new experiences. For me, when I think about my first visit and first meal in Australia, I will always think of the amazing food at Chin Chin
We had a ton of food, but the Pad Thai, Son in law eggs, and smoked plantains were standouts. The vibe of the place is excellent. The customer service couldn't have been better. The food was based around small plates and lots of options. For being on the other side of the world, I felt right at home. We didn't have to wait for a table and the food took no time to come out. Like I said, Chin Chin, well played you slayed!
As we were leaving I saw the Chin Chin cook book! I love collecting cook books. Don't get me wrong... like most millennials that aren't playing Susie homemaker, I can't cook anything except for mac & cheese, eggs in the microwave and most of the time I burn my toast. However, I am excellent at using any food app to make reservation or order my delivery. I think cook books are a way to take a little bit of the culture of where you travel home with you... and it's always nice to say... one day I will learn how to cook. One day... right.
The lovely hostess I mentioned above saw me looking at the cook book on the way out. She stopped me and asked if I wanted one and told me they were $40 bucks... Pause.... Alight Chin Chin... lets have a real talk. Your book it awesome, but $40 bucks... You are screaming tourist trap. Stop it.. I'll Continue...I didn't have any Australian currency changed out yet, so I told her I couldn't buy the book even if I wanted too. She smiled, grabbed a bag, put the book in it and said don't worry about it, it's on us! Um, what... The southerner in me was of course like, no way I can't, but she insisted. I took the book and gave her a great big hug. She looked a little confused, but I think she recognized I was really excited and grateful! Thank you mystery hostess. You are just perfect!
Let me tell you about the sad truth that food and I deal with.... uh hum... So, when I was in 3rd grade my school took us all on a field trip to Winston Salem. Wait, no this isn't a story about how I have some eating disorder. Please, if you know me... you know not to leave food around. This story is much sadder than that. Winston Salem is a little town in North Carolina full of little shops, bakeries and cafes. Total small town tourist thing for kids. I of course loved it! My mom went with me as a chaperone. At that age you don't mind... that just means you get to do whatever you want, plus you get all the extra goodies your sugar tooth might see and just have to have. Like a lollipop two times the size of your head. Why not right? It's not like its going to get gross and slimy after 10 minutes of liking it and then some how mysteriously it ends up stuck in the back of moms car's carpet. Mom. I still swear it wasn't me... I know I am an only child... but aren't their tooth fairies that get mad and destroy your candy when you have to much. I mean you told me that story, so it has to be true. See what I did there... None the less, back to the real point of my random tangent. On this trip, I totally went for the, 'Mom, I NEED coffee'. She of course said no, here is some hot chocolate instead. I conceded my coffee stance and happily accepted the hot chocolate. I was so excited new candy, new toys and hot Chocolate, heck yeah! Living the dream, until I took that first big sip and scolded my tongue. I left with third degree burns, highly damaged taste buds and some 'what do you mean the tooth fairy isn't real' issues. All of this brings me to the point being, for me to have damaged taste buds and say that this food was making them sing and dance.... Chin Chin you're legit.
-Chin Chin opens at 11am till late,
-Open 7 days a week
-Their focus is on South-East Asian cuisine -Benjamin Cooper as its executive chef. -Modelled after the hawker dining halls of Asia with a shared-eating concept
-Don't Take Reservations
-Exception made for one table of 10-12.
-All their sauces, pastes and relishes are made in-house.
-Open every day of the year except for Christmas day.
-Wine list has an all-Australian focus and every quarter they feature a local winemaker.
-Chin Chin offers the 'feed me' menu. Flat price for the chefs stop picks.
-Chin Chin has the Wall of Art that is a not-for-profit independent contemporary art space for the moving image. The projection wall offers a broad range of video works from local, emerging, established and international artists. - Pretty cool
-Located at: 125 FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE