Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cheers, Salute, Kanbei, Prost, Campai, Bottoms up or Chin Chin

In whichever language you choose I'll drink to a table or barstool at Chin Chin. Fresh and vibrant dishes with staff to match!!! (More about the cheeky 'as long as you're happy' barman later). Nestled against the wall at the back of the bar watching the world go by, tonight was when dining solo had an advantage. The snaking queue heading down Flinders Lane was being informed that it was a 1 to 2 hour wait for a table, depending on how many friends you were dining with, but for me on my own it was straight in. Occasionally I rather enjoy 'a table for one' and with the trend towards bar dining it seldom ends up a lonely experience.

The major disadvantage kicks in when having to choose just a dish or two with a menu focused on sharing. However not only did I thoroughly enjoy my silken tofu and banana blossom salad and pork "roll ups" I visually devoured the Massaman curry, salt and pepper squid, crispy chicken wings and pat Thai of my bar dining 'neighbours'. Luckily they were sociable so my culinary surveillance didn't get creepy - and a happy 9th anniversary to the 'floral bouquet' couple. 

Now dessert is not normally a big priority but sometimes I can be tempted and my lone dining status was receiving ample enticement. Plenty of banter with the barman/waiter about our respective travels in India combined with a little up-selling. So Layered jellies of coconut milk and passion fruit with slow poached pineapple it was and a good excuse to have a sticky, a rather delightful Frogmore Creek Iced Riesling (and an interesting lesson on the origins of Iced Riesling from my friendly compatriot). Definitely worth it the wine, the chitchat and the oh so creamy and refreshing coconut jelly. Yum

There seems to be a few complaints about the queuing. Well really....... the restaurant game is a tough gig and if it takes a no booking policy and table turn over to make it viable then so be it. The reliance on degustation/set menus or minimum spend or booking months in advance to allow the dining public the quality we seek seems fair. We are so lucky in Melbourne to have so many dining experiences to choose from - so if queuing isn't to your liking dine elsewhere I reckon.

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

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