Mr Smith heads for an early dinner at Chin Chin in Melbourne

What do you do when you want to get in to one of the most popular places in Melbourne and they do not take bookings?…

Go early!

This post relates to October 2014

The dilemma as a diner is how to get in to restaurants that do not take bookings, but you really want to go to.  The answer, go early!  When I say early I mean 4 to 5 if they are open, which is fine when you are traveling and doing lots of exercise as an early dinner is just perfect.  The only down side is that in some restaurants you can get a more restricted choice, but in anywhere that does good food you can always find something to eat

This is exactly what I did with Chin Chin in Melbourne.  I had heard really good reports about it, but as a single diner I did not fancy waiting in a queue alone,  so I pitched up early and got myself a seat, without a queue, bring on the food!

There were a good number of people in the restaurant already, even though it was not much beyond 4pm.  I was shown to table and started working my way through the menu.  This was going to be tricky, so much I wanted to try!

I finally worked it all out and put the order in.  I sat back, had a sip of wine and did some people watching.  Anyone for a game of cards?  There was a friendly game going on a few tables away.

Anyway, the first of my 4 dishes turned up and this required a bit of DIY.  Chin Chin Pork Roll Up, delicious, fresh and vibrant with the herbs and slaw.  Then came the side of Son in Law Eggs, a dish I had not had before, but had wanted to try for a while.  Then the main item I had wanted, which was the Twice Cooked Grass Fed Beef Short Ribs with Coriander & Prik Nam Pla.  Oh my, that was definitely the best beef I have had, soft, juicy and full of flavour.  Finally, I could not rest trying the Coconut Sago with Puffed Rice, Sweetcorn Ice Cream and Praline, not something I had tried before, but you have to try everything once.  Would I try it again, yes I would!  An amazing selection of food.

As I finished, paid and went to leave I had another look round the restaurant and it was filling up, fast!  So much so that as I left at about 5.30 there was already a queue to get in.  Definitely a good move to be early, especially when my sole focus is on me and food!

Although Chin Chin is mainly about sharing your dishes I managed perfectly well on my own.  Yes, it would be a great experience to get a few more dishes and share them with someone, but I have to say, it is the best Asian food I have had certainly of it’s type, and had no problems not sharing.  The challenge I will have is whether or not to go again when next in Melbourne.  I should try new places, but I know how good Chin Chin is now!

Chin Chin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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