Today, seven years ago, we read our vows to each other. It didn’t take us long to figure out that the celebrant didn’t have the vows we personally wrote for each other. Instead, we were just reciting the standard stuff which is fed to couples who just didn’t bother to write them! Not wanting to disrupt the ceremony, we just went with it. To be honest, the standard vows aren’t too bad – just not very personal.
Fast forward 7 years and we’re still happily married. The 7 year itch hasn’t got hold of either of us. We still love chatting continuously chatting about anything and everything. We regularly laugh at ourselves and each other and work as a team to get through raising two kids with our sanity in tact! Yes, raising children can drive the best of us insane at times and I’m glad I’ve got my other half for support.
Dinner Date at Chin Chin
For this anniversary, we decided to try out a restaurant which we have tried to get into in the past, but had been unable to. It’s Chin Chin on Little Collins Street. “Chin Chin” is the Italian phrase for “Cheers!”, sometimes also used in France. If there’s a Thai meaning to this name, I am unaware of it! This restaurant has (mostly) rave reviews and if you get there from 6pm onwards, there’s a long queue at the door and a wait of up to 1-2hrs for a table. You cannot make a booking for this restaurant. We have been told that if we go before 6pm, there’s a higher chance of getting in without waiting. So that’s exactly what we did. We got in at the nice and early time of 5.30pm and there was not one person in front of us.
The restaurant was fairly full so a lot of people must have got wind of the ‘get there early’ tip! There were some tables without patrons but we were told that we could sit at the bar and eat there. This really didn’t appeal to me as it was our anniversary and the one we celebrated last year was at Dinner By Heston – a huge step down. I did enquire about waiting for a table and it would be half an hour. That was not a problem if we were able to have a drink at the bar and wait. But alas, that was a no-go. We were invited to get a drink at the bar downstairs if we wanted to wait. With this option sounding unappealing, we decided just to go ahead and eat at the bar.
Great Place For Cocktails
The cocktails at Chin Chin were very popular, keeping the bar tenders shaking and pouring for most of the time we were there. Seeing a delicious concoction being prepared before us, we had to try one. The Rosy Rabbit cocktail is a delicious summery blend of Aperol, passionfruit, rose syrup, fresh lemon, Prosecco, soda water and orange. It went down too easily with our meals!
Whenever I visit a Thai restaurant, which Chin Chin is, the deal breaker is their Pad Thai. This will be the dish which will either have me running back for more or to give it a wide berth in the future. Knowing that Pad Thai dishes are generally very filling, we opted for a DIY pork rolls to share. It’s a different take on rice paper rolls. Instead or rice paper, the dish used thin pancakes – similar to peking duck pancakes. They were fine but could be a bit more full in flavour. The Massaman curry had sufficient meat in it for a grown man like Andreas, but lacked in flavour. As for the Pad Thai, I wasn’t impressed. This dish cost $27 and there was not one prawn in sight. Yes, the menu does state that it’s a chicken Pad Thai and no prawns were included (somehow I missed that and just presumed Pad Thai always comes with prawns – especially at that price!). My last gripe would be the fact that our mains came at the same time as our entree.
Looking around at other meals which were being served to neighbouring diners, I can’t say there was anything which would have tempted me to go back and try. They do have a degustation option ($80) where you can try lots of dishes. As I don’t eat raw fish, eggs or meat (and most digestion menus include those items) I prefer to go a la carte.
We finished our meals and was out of there within an hour. A record speed for an anniversary dinner! Chin Chin is bustling with diners of all ages. It’s not an ideal place for a romantic dinner but a table to eat at would have been nicer. The music was stuck in the 80’s, which I don’t mind but more up to date music would have been better for it’s clientele base? By the time we left (around 6.30) there was a long queue out the door. The restaurant was quite low on Asian Diners, maybe that was indicative of the food served? Chin Chin has been able to successfully create a hype around their establishment which has served them well for many years and will continue to bring patrons to line up for their meals.
My verdict? Needless to say, I probably wouldn’t go back there – unless someone I know really wants to try it out and shouts me a meal. It’s not the worst Thai food I’ve had (the worst being in Prague in the Czech Republic) but I’ve had better in Melbourne. Andreas wasn’t impressed either and he’s German, so easier to please than I am! Oh well, at least I gave it a try.
It takes more than an average tasting meal to put a damper on our anniversary! We headed off to the QT rooftop bar for some relaxed drinks after dinner. It’s so nice and relaxing up there, especially on a balmy Tuesday night when it’s not so busy. We found a comfy seat and enjoyed some cool drinks and listened to chilled sounds. It was still a perfect date.
(All shots with iphone)