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Chin Chins at Koto Moon
647 Rathdowne Street, North Carlton
Ph: 03 9349 4545
Prices: Mains $17-$28
Style: Pan-Asian
22nd Mar 2018

Our top 5's:

Dave and Alicia's Best :
  1 : Tetsuya's
  2 : Attica
  3 : Vue de Monde
  4 : Bistro Guillaume
  5 : Rockpool Bar and Grill
Lachie & Sarah's Picks :
  1 : Attica
  2 : Jacques Reymond
  3 : The Lake House
  4 : Pearl
  5 : Matteo's

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Review by Lachie
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.

We ate:
Entree:Dim Sum and Spring Rolls
Main:Red Curry Duck
Main: Beef with Yakitori Sauce

We drank:
Yarra Valley Pinot Noir
d'Arenberg Shiraz


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