Chin Chin Restaurant – a blast of Asian flavours

thelearnerchef-chinchin_1thelearnerchef-chinchin_2thelearnerchef-chinchin_3thelearnerchef-chinchin_4thelearnerchef-chinchin_6thelearnerchef-chinchin_7thelearnerchef-chinchin_8thelearnerchef-chinchin_9thelearnerchef-chinchin_11thelearnerchef-chinchin_12thelearnerchef-chinchin_13thelearnerchef-chinchin_14thelearnerchef-chinchin_15thelearnerchef-chinchin_17thelearnerchef-chinchin_19thelearnerchef-chinchin_18thelearnerchef-chinchin_5

Fusion asian dishes, walk-in restaurant with no bookings except for one table of 10-12 people which means, waiting a long time to get a seat if you’re not there early. We went on a Friday night but some of the guys came late and at Chin Chin they won’t seat you unless the whole party is there. So we were told that the wait was 3hours. We were determined to dine at Chin Chin that night so we occupied ourselves for 3 hours and awaited a text message saying that our table was ready. We finally made it in and it did not disappoint.

The staff are super friendly, they were willing to help us with the menu because there’s so much to choose from but luckily our friend was a regular and she ordered us some of the popular dishes. We told them to bring them out as they were ready because we were starving at that point. To get the most out of Chin Chin, it’s definitely a good idea to order a number of dishes to share so you can taste a bit of everything.

You must try the twice cooked beef ribs. They simply melt off the bone and the flavours are superb. The crunchy school prawns with the shrimp paste dip are awesome too. The chicken salad was a good refreshing dish to complement our other dishes and everyone loved the Palm sugar ice cream sundae with salted honeycomb and lime syrup. Just saying the name makes your mouth water.

Here’s a little highlight video of our Chin Chin dinner, such a great little place. I love Melbourne.

Overall, Chin Chin is well worth the hype and with a menu with over 40 items to choose from, there’s definitely a reason to come back. Live and busy atmosphere, can be a bit squashy and tight spaced for some and if you’re willing to wait for a table or gather a group of 10-12 people then Chin Chin is ready for you.

Chin Chin
125 Flinders Ln
Melbourne VIC
Website: http://www.chinchinrestaurant.com.au

Sydney Weekend Getaway

Sydney Weekend away was so good. We’ve been to Sydney heaps and this time it was more to relax and eat and less sightseeing. We had great fun.

Places we covered:
Harbour Bridge
Opera House
Circular Quay
Darling Harbour
Chinatown
Star City
Sydney’s Fish market

Places we ate at:
Opera Bar
Cyrens
Chat Thai
The Falconer
Zumbo’s Dessert Train

Oriental TeaHouse – Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough

San Choi Bao

When I think Tea House, I think tea pots and tea bags so every time I passed Oriental TeaHouse I didn’t stop to think they ever served food which they absolutely do. I would call their food selections as yum-cha style servings and dumplings are their specialty. But to showcase their food selections Oriental Tea House in Melbourne Central is currently running a special called “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”.

Which means exactly what it says but with a few rules. You get a set menu (see below) depending on the week. From writing this post they’re in their third week and lets hope they continue on with this because I quite liked the idea for this restaurant.

The offer is only available on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday nights after 5pm which isn’t too bad as they close at around 9:30pm. You also need to go through the whole set menu before re-ordering any of the other dishes but from my experience, you’ll be lucky to even go through the menu twice. But there’s always something that you wouldn’t mind trying again, and again and again. Those chocolate dumplings are the BOMB!


The menu lists down all the dishes to choose from but they either come together with other dishes or are presented separately. The first on our menu was the Chicken San Choi Bao & Peking Duck. Peking Duck is one of my favourite foods and if it was just me and my mates we would keep re-ordering peking duck. The San Choi Bao was packed with chicken so this one can get messy.

The dumplings – You get six dumplings served in a bamboo steamer which two have different different fillings depending on the week and then a mystery dumpling. I love their dumplings, the skin is perfectly wrapped and is not to thin or thick that it’ll break when you pick them up. Then the rest is up to your preferred dumpling filling. We were served the Roast Duck Dumpling, the Chive Dumpling and the “mystery” dumpling was a Prawn and Pork Dumpling.

At this point the others were struggling to keep up but I couldn’t let food go to waste. We had the Szechuan Pepper Chicken and Roast Pork served with steamed rice. The szechuan chicken was slightly spicy but if you wanted more spice then you could always ask for chilli sauce and fresh chilli’s. My favourite was the roast pork which I reckon would of ordered along with the peking duck again. I found it a little weird served in the foil box but that didn’t stop me from eating my way through them. They were so soft and juicy!

And finally dessert. If you haven’t figured it out yet. I’m a sweet tooth but have recently tamed my cravings so it’s always good to treat yourself from time to time. All I have to say is Chocolate Dumplings. They have these on their normal menu where you get three of them served with ice-cream. Can’t go wrong.

Be quick to tryout this offer as it’s already into its third week and I’m hoping they continue this for longer because I want to take my friends. Personally, I don’t think anyone could go through the set menu twice but it is worth going back for certain seconds. Make sure you don’t eat lunch and if anyone can claim they went through the menu twice, let me know so I can bow down to your great appetite. Btw, it’s Monday today but it’s a public holiday and I don’t think it’s available on public holidays 🙁 but don’t worry, they’re still open.

Location: GD 068/69 Melbourne Central Shopping Centre (Elizabeth st entrance for the Melbourne Central train station) Melbourne Central, VIC 3000
View Google Maps
Phone: +613 9066 0207
Opening Hours: Sun – Wed: 10.00am – 9.30pm, Thursday: 10.00am – 10.30pm, Fri – Sat: 10.00am – 11.00pm

Wild Cattle Creek Estate – Shed Fest 2011 – Yarra Valley

I’ve never been down the Warburton side of the Yarra Valley but last month a number of wineries down this area hold an annual event called Shed Fest which showcases the south end of the Yarra Valley. The wineries open their cellar doors or in some cases their shed and offer wine tasting, food and entertainment. All you need to do is pay $10.00 for a Shed Fest wine glass and then off you go winery hopping. A good family event to put in your calendars for next year.

Coming from the city end through to Lilydale then Warburton, the first winery you’ll come across on the left is Wild Cattle Creek. Such a beautiful winery which hosts accomodation, functions, a restaurant, cellar door and fantastic screnery.

I was able to speak with Kevin and Heather who run Wild Cattle Creek, who I think are absolutely lovely people and answered all my questions about the place. Make sure you say “Hi!” to them for me. I also got to take a picture with them (see picture below).

Kevin, Heather & Me

During Shed Fest each winery are required to provide a set menu of small dishes which Wild Cattle Creek provided but the food they served is not part of their normal menu but the food was great and well presented. Must come back and try their restaurant.



Having a wonder around the property, I thought to myself as I’m in the process of getting married this would be a really nice place to have a wedding. Unfortunately we require an asian style menu catered for but talking to Kevin they do a large number of weddings every year. So if you’re looking for a winery wedding *hint* *hint*.

Gazebo with Water Fountain in the background

I shall be back to try out the restaurant and possibly stay at their accommodation. There’s always something new to try out in the Yarra Valley. I did enjoy a number of their wines but I’m not an expert so I can’t comment much on that. Sorry guys, I guess you’ll need head down there to find out. Their cellar door should always be open as it’s in the restaurant foyer.

Location: 473 Warburton Hwy, Seville VIC 3139
View Google Map