It's been open since about May so the website is still under construction and it's not on Google Maps yet but in spite of this low profile it is still a very popular place with lots of blogger publicity and chatter about it on forums and restaurant review sites.
The lovely Emma had a day off and arrived early but wasn't allowed a table until everyone had arrived. The delightful Claire encountered the table police who didn't want to let her in until she explained she had a friend waiting for her at the bar. Classy Charlotte managed to sneak in and find the gang. I arrived and was pretty much ignored (obviously not cool enough) and I found the girls too in a corner at the bar.
Initial impressions were that the reception we received was mixed but the place itself was cool and we felt our streetcred had increased just by being part of it! The wait staff are all of the super trendy set and blend in with the crowd that hang around the bar and entrance trying to get in.
In spite of not being a full party yet, we were allowed a table and were shown to a round table just a little away from the busy bar area. Our fifth member Vida arrived soon after. We were asked a few times in a short time if we were ready to order drinks but given there ewas only one drinks list we had to turn the wait staff away a couple of times before everyone had had a look a could decide. Cocktails were ordered and the prettiest one was Charlotte's "lychee" pictured here which was prosecco with a lychee and rose petal sphere.
- Crunchy school prawns with nahm prik pla gabi, lemon basil and crudites (photo above)
- Wok fried salt and pepper squid with nuoc cham and Vietnamese mint (photo above)
Next time I'd like to try the corn fritters to see if they're as good as Izakaya Den and also the steamed chicken dumplings.
Main courses came out dish by dish and the curries and fish came with rice which makes the prices better value. I took pictures of all barramundi and sticky pork but forgot about the curries!
- Green curry of rockling, eggplant, snake beans and Thai basil
- Massaman curry of coconut braised beef brisket with pink fir apple potatoes and crispy shallots - there was a fight to order this so we had two!
- Wild barramundi wrapped in banana leaf with coconut red curry, lime and Thai basil
- Caramelised sticky pork with Siamese water cress and chilli vinegar
- Son in law eggs with chilli jam
- Chin Chin's in house roti bread
I say the portions are smalll but we certainly had enough food and ended up cancelling one roti bread. The food is tastier than Cookie and when it came to the bill we were pleasantly surprised and found it good value.
The issue with Chin Chin is timing it right to get a table without having to wait too long and also it's a very busy environment. With people stood up watching you whilst you eat and they wait for a table, it can feel pressured so it's not a place for a leisurely meal more a quick catch up with friends, some good food and then move onto somewhere less rushed for a drink. It's more of a stop by during the course of an evening along with other destinations than a spend all night there kind of place.