Eating our way through Melbourne
So about 24 hours after returning from Italy, I was off to the airport again, this time for a company retreat in rural Victoria. Yes, it basically feels like I have been on vacation for a solid two weeks now (and it is amazing). After the retreat, I went with three friends from work to Melbourne, which is known for being an incredible food city. I was there about 6 weeks ago and had the most incredible dinner (I thought I was on the edge of death from how full I was) at Chin Chin, which is one of the hottest restaurants there. I of course looked it up online before I went, but there is shockingly NO MENU online. They also take no reservations, which clearly adds to their air of incredibly playful mystery and intrigue.
The secret to going to Chin Chin (in case you are ever dropping by Melbourne without me) is to go around 5:30, get told you will have about a 1 hr and 45 minute wait, give them your number, and then head to the surrounding area for a drink or entrees (ps Americans, entrees in Australia are the equivalent of appetizers in the U.S.). If you get to Chin Chin as late as 6 or 6:15 though, the wait will be at least 3 hours and you will be sad.
We went to PM24 for entrees, which was slightly awkward as they are a ridiculously expensive modern French restaurant and we ordered the cheapest items on the menu. Whatever. That is how I roll when I restaurant hop. It was totally worth it too as the food was delicious. Not pictured are the warm sourdough rolls with a perfectly crunchy exterior and soft interior, as they were consumed immediately.
Brussel sprouts with pancetta (which were surprisingly sweet), pastry wrapped prawns with a heavenly homemade tomato jam (that went great on the fries by the way), and rosemary parmesan fries. Yeah, this wasn’t my healthiest night.
Anyway, turns out going to Chin Chin with 4 people is literally the perfect way to do it. I had been already so knew what some of the best dishes were, and thus we could pick and choose like royalty and yet not want to die from fullness. Everything is served family style for sharing (aka the best way to serve all food), and the dishes are fairly small so you can eat more of them. The menu is on your mat and I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture of it, because when you look at it, you literally want to eat EVERY dish. You will have to make do with some rather poorly lit pictures of choice dishes and my descriptions…
Kingfish sashimi. There could not be a more perfect first bite of food to a meal. It literally bursts in your mouth with citrus and dill flavour and the fish is ridiculously fresh
Chicken, corn, and shitake steamed dumplings
Indian style roti filled with beef with a side of cucumber salsa flavoured with chili
Pork roll-ups – cute little pancakes with a Hoisin type sauce, salad, and pulled pork. Such a fun variation on moo shu pancakes!
This looks like a pile of brown stuff, but it is pad see ew noodles with braised wagyu. You can never go wrong with something that is either braised or wagyu.
In the back is a spicy tofu dry red curry with veggies, and in the front is steamed gai lan with mushrooms and sesame – incredibly delicious veggies.
SUCH a great meal. There are so many amazing restaurants in Melbourne, but it’s going to be a struggle to not go to this one every time I visit!
Obviously, it is time for detox food now post Italy and a weekend of hedonism in Victoria so expect some new recipe posts…at least until my dear friend comes to visit on Friday and food exploration is back on – this time in beautiful Sydney!