A sentimental affinity
I must get my disclaimers out of the way at the start of this
review. I have somewhat of an emotional attachment to Chin Chin's
at Koto Moon. Sarah and I have been coming here for years, for birthdays,
anniversaries, valentines days etc. We took our friends here when
we got engaged; I even had my buck's dinner here.
With that out of the way it will come as no surprise to you that I think
this is a fantastic place to eat. Not too formal, not dirt cheap, it's a
perfect balance of good pan-Asian food (Chinese, Thai, Japanese influences)
at very reasonable prices. The wine list is small, but this is no surprise
as it offers BYO and the fantastic Rathdowne Cellars is just across the road. On this particular evening
Sarah and I bought by the glass, all the wines on offer seem fairly safe
choices, if a little generic, so we generally exercise the BYO option.
Entrees are standard, Asian fare, done extremely well. Dumplings and dim-sum of
various fillings, standard or vegetarian spring rolls are generally the order of the day, don't expect any surprises on this section.
For mains there is a little
more interest on the menu, but also make sure not to ignore the specials board.
Having sampled many dishes over the years I could go on and on but will
limit myself to mentioning what we had this time around. Sarah went for the
Duck Red Curry ($28) while I went for what I must admit is
a perennial favourite Beef with Yakitori Sauce($23). The thinly sliced
beef is tender and juicy, and the sauce which is traditionally used for
chicken skewers complements it beautifully. Served with red capsicum and
bok choy, the greens often get pushed around the plate so it is assumed
I'm being healthy when in reality I'm concentrating entirely on the meat.
Sarah's duck curry was deliciously creamy and rich, although not to be ordered
if you are after a healthy option.
What surprises many about Chin Chin's at Koto Moon is its desert menu. There's
no fried ice-cream in sight, but purely western offerings. As somewhat of a
sweet-tooth I must make special mention of the rich chocolate and raspberry
mousse and the sticky date pudding as personal favourites.
My personal affinity to Chin Chin's at Koto Moon should not make you think
less of this review, rather that I stand by it. The reason I love this place
is from the many splendid nights I've spent here, I've shared them with friends
and family purely because I knew it was so dependable. Yes I've had the
occasional night with less than perfect service, and the dining room is quite
cramped if you're on one of the center tables, but none of that will change
the fact that this is simply a superb restaurant.
Entree:Dim Sum and Spring Rolls
Main:Red Curry Duck
Main: Beef with Yakitori Sauce
Yarra Valley Pinot Noir