Go Go Bar just opened up in Chin Chin’s underground and we were keen to sample the space. We put our names down for dinner – it seemed like the logical and sensible thing. We arrived early, which I highly recommend, around 6 pm and were seated within the hour – on a Friday night. Now, I must say that I’ve been fortunate enough to accidentally stumble upon Chin Chin on my birthday back in May when the hype hadn’t settled in and getting a table wasn’t akin to elective surgery in the public health system. We literally meandered down Flinders Lane and found it by chance and were seated straight away. It was fantastic then, and it’s fantastic now. Their steep incline in dinner guests hasn’t compromised their quality or service. In fact, we were given a complimentary oyster omelette (delectable and turned out to be my favourite of the night) for absolutely no reason at all and they even charged my iPhone for me. Their service (and wine) warmed the cockles of my heart – an apt food related adage.
Go Go Bar is dark and buzzing. You may not be able to see your drinks or your company, but you are immediately drawn to the neon LONELY FOR YOU ONLY – oh those cockles are warming up again.
It is busy, but staff are attentive and welcoming. The cocktail list is Thai inspired of course, but you won’t see buckets of joy on the menu – you’ll see cocktails divided seasonally, starting at $15 with fragrances like lemongrass and mint. The transition to our table upstairs was seamless: we received a text from our hostess, and hugging our bucket of Prosecco we made the 3 metre hike to our table. Phew, that bucket was heavy.
Share plates are just that – for sharing and are generously sized. We over ordered of course, because we are little piglets. Along with our complimentary dish – our heart cockles were in danger of heart burn. Bang Bang Chicken – the name alone just excites me, son in law eggs, kingfish sashimi, Massaman curry, caramelised pork, tofu salad and the oyster omelette.
The tofu salad came out first and was delightfully swimming in a vinegar sauce – the salad of coriander, mint, sprouts and the tang of lemon was refreshing. The kingfish sashimi was also a winner. It was fresh and similarly accompanied with mint and citrus flavours.
Bang Bang Chicken unfortunately did not really bang us, and there was no banging in my mouth either – it seemed rather tasteless but did come with this chilli paste which was rather amazing.
Caramelised pork – my guests fought for this – it was incredible and packs a punch (banging and punching oh my).
Our waitress brought over the oyster omelette and told us that it was complimentary and she really wanted us to try it. My eyes widened and I think I may have been crushing on her just a little bit. Now, the oyster omelette blew my mind (banging, punching and blowing oh my). The omelette itself is not overpowering in flavours but then you get an oyster and it is just wow. Get. The. Oyster. Omelette.
By the time the son in law eggs and Massaman curry hit the table (banging, punching, blowing and hitting oh my, what an aggressive review) the four of us ladies looked like expecting mothers. I can’t say that the son in law eggs were anything special. The Massaman curry was certainly a robust dish but I only managed two spoonfuls before retiring my fork.
The wine list is carefully selected – a lot of up and coming new labels are featured, including Vinteloper Wines, owned by friend and fellow Adelaidian David Bowley. We ordered his Adelaide Hills sauvignon blanc of course, after cooing over it on the menu. It was sweet and crisp, complementing our Thai perfectly.
Chin Chin is still abuzz for a reason – the service, food and ambience bangs, punches, blows and hits you where you like it. We felt no pressure to leave despite the throngs of Chin Chin-goers flooding in (much like Melbourne’s weather on that particular night) and negotiating with the hostess. Upstairs and downstairs will be bustling for a while I imagine – quick go put your name down.
125 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 8663 2000
Open 7 days - Lunch & Dinner