Chin Chin Gastropub is an Izakaya- style restaurant and bar which I had the privilege to check out during my recent weekend. If you are unfamiliar with the Izakaya dining experience, it is typically a type of Japanese inspired bar in which a variety of small dishes and snacks are served to accompany the alcoholic drinks.
Having had the chance to experience this particular concept in Japan, I was really looking forward to see what was in store at the Chin Chin Gastropub. It is advisable to make a reservation prior to your visit to avoid disappointment- on weekends especially.
My first impression of the eatery is that it has a rustic and unpretentious atmosphere to it. The place is definitely on a smaller side but compact. If you are like me, and enjoy catching the chefs working their magic, it is best to secure a seat by the counter and you will be in awe of their cooking skills.
Once I have settled into my seat, the menu was presented, highlighting the daily specials on the front page. As Izakaya is about a shared-dining experience, I would suggest ordering a variety of dishes to share, similar to the Spanish Tapas.
During my time at Chin Chin Gastropub, I savoured five different dishes which were all presented beautifully, showcasing the freshest and finest ingredients.
To start off my Izakaya dining experience, I had the grilled bread paired with the mushroom parmesan dip. I enjoyed this except that I thought that the mushroom flavour was a bit too subtle for my liking. The bread on the hand was perfection, so crisp on the outside and oh so fluffy on the inside.
Next entrée I had was the parmesan truffle fries. Crispy fries drizzled with truffle oil seasoned with sea salt and topped with a generous amount of grated Parmesan. It is basically your regular french fries gone gourmet- not that I am complaining!
The next dish I had was the Cold Capellini topped with Lumpfish Caviar. This has got to be my favourite entrée, cause not only did it only fancy, it bursts with flavours especially from the caviar.
Moving on to the main, opted for the aged grain fed with winter black truffle, asparagus & mushroom jus. The beef on its own was juicy & tender but everything else fell short. The jus and asparagus were rather underwhelming and bland.
The next main I had was the Australian lamb rack served with heart of artichoke, egg coulis and confit pumpkin. The entire dish was average, leaning towards mellow tasting. Not sure whether it was done intentionally to highlight the original flavours of each ingredient on the plate. Not my favourite dish of the night.
I concluded the night with the cempedak tart and I must say that it was definitely one my highlights of the night! The tart is filled with cempedak puree, topped with creamy & luscious mousse finished with a beautiful chocolate coat. It was incredibly flavourful and the cempedak scent filled the air as you make your way through the dessert!
It was indeed a pleasant dining experience at Chin Chin Gastropub. Based purely on what I ordered, I found the entrées to be good, the mains to be average but the dessert has got to take the cake of the entire evening. In terms of the service, it felt rather rushed. My entire dining experience took about 25 minutes to complete. The moment I was done with my last bite of every meal, the staff will immediately swoop in to clear the plate. At times, it was overwhelming, especially when I was expecting a relaxing Saturday night.
Too- efficient, maybe?
Overall, I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a quick bite but mind you, that with the foreign flavoured dishes served, there is also a hefty price tag that comes with it- but worth it for the experience.