CHIN CHIN: Our slightly-more-expensive-meal to cap off our 10 day food fantasy. Having heard about the crazy lines that start during peak lunch and dinner time, we decided to go around 3pm on a Thursday afternoon. Unlike any other normal restaurant, which would be pretty dead at 3 pm, Chin Chin was still pretty packed with customers, from office workers having a late lunch, to families with children. For the two of us, we ordered a noodle dish and a bbq dish from “a bit more” section of the menu (that both ended up being beef oops) The interior vibe is really lively, upbeat and homely. The earthly colour scheme complements the heartiness of the dishes. Our waitress was very lovely and friendly – she offered us any help with the menu and gave us great advice. As we had waited 30 minutes for our dessert, she even took off its cost from our overall bill. They also give you advice on how to eat the meal when it is served e.g. don’t use too much of the lime chilli sauce in the beef short rib. The service is amazingly fast! We barely waited 5 minutes for our meal.
Pad Seuw of Braised Wagyu Beef Gai Lan, Rice Noodles and Crispy Shallots – $25.5
Tossing up between Pad Thai and Pad Seuw, the waiter said the Pad Seuw was slightly more popular so we went with that.
The good fat: really strong, flavoursome dish that brings out the right amount of soy-saucy punch Pad Seuw should provide. The wagyu was very tender and the gai lan vegetable was very necessary to balance the meatiness of the dish, as well as provide a different, velvety texture. Rice noodles were very light but chewy, probably the best texture I’ve had, and arranged in a very interesting fashion as rolled up into the shape of a thick ddeokbokki-type manner.
The bad fat: the saltiness of the soy sauce was a bit too strong especially as you get towards the end of the dish and we had to dilute our tongues with lots of water. It would’ve also been better to have more rice noodle as the noodle to meat and sauce ratio was too small. More rice noodle would’ve also made the dish more filling and plentiful.
Twice Cooked Beef Short Rib with Shaved Coconut Salad and Prik Nahm Pla – $29.5
The good fat: OMG this beef was cooked absolutely perfectly. It fell right off the bone in red, soft strips that just made me want to eat it all. The presentation was lovely, with the brownness of the meat dashed with greens and a sauce dish on the side. The flavour did not disappoint AT ALL. The sauce underneath was really flavoursome without being too salty as it had a strong hint of sweetness to it. This fish sauce acted as a base for the marinated beef and Prik Nahm Pla. The lime and chilli spice of the Prik Nahm Pla on the side sauce dish undercut the sweetness of the sauce with its subtle chilli acidity. Beware though the lime addition is extremely strong, so add a very small spoonful every time you have a piece of the beef.
The bad fat: The coconut salad… uhh where was the coconut? There were tiny tiny strips of the coconut that seemed to be kind of mistaken for onion as that was were most of the flavour from the salad came for. The mint was also very strong. Would’ve liked more coconut in the salad if it’s actually listed as a side.
Apple Jelly and Coconut Sago with Pandan Meringue, Coconut Sorbet, and Chilli Candied Cashews – $14.5
The good fat: The pandan meringue was really yummy! The texture of the meringue was perfectly, crisp on the outside and chewy sweet on the inside. The pandan flavour was also very prominent and ensured the meringue wasn’t overpowered by sweetness. The candied cashews added a nice touch of crunch and spice to the rest of the soft and sweet textured dish.
The bad fat: Too much apple jelly and too little coconut sago. Apple jelly was quite boring and is really not value for money. The portion size was also tiny and there was really no hint of coconut sorbet as it was mostly mixed in with the sago. This meant the main elements of the dish really let it down.
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES! The highlight definitely was the Beef Short Rib while the dessert let it down. Overall very satisfying experience and as the portion sizes are on the small side, we left without a food baby!