'The Chris Lucas effect' has people lining up out the doors each day for hours on end.
UPDATE: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15 — The Flinders Lane restaurant is once again offering delivery within ten kilometres of its CBD and Richmond locations, with pick up available for those who live within five kilometres. You can order signature dishes, such as massaman curry and twice-cooked beef short rib. Also on the menu: cocktails (such as the soju bomb and rhubarb negroni). Order over here.
If you haven't heard of Chin Chin, from The Chris Lucas Group, then you might have been living under a rock. Their success has created the phrase 'the Chris Lucas effect', and it has people lining up out the doors each day for hours on end. Does it live up to the hype? When it comes down to it, it actually does. The jazzed-up Thai cuisine, pumping atmosphere and killer decor give these guys the name they deserve.
Be warned, you have to be ready to wait. Luckily, Go Go Bar downstairs acts as a holding room, providing liquids to tide you over.
Once you finally get the call to shift upstairs, the choices get difficult. The menu is extensive, and choosing only a handful of dishes is hard. The staff are great at suggesting the right way to order and are on hand to highlight their favourite dishes, but, at the end of the day, it's all pretty spot on. Start with the pork and chive wontons with hellfire chilli oil ($18.50) or beef martabak spring rolls with cucumber relish ($19.50). From there, grab something from the 'stir fry', 'barbecue' and 'greens' section — maybe the chicken and chilli jam stir fry ($23.50), twice-cooked beef short rib ($36.50) and slow-cooked duck salad ($23.50) — and one of the curries.
The hot green curry of duck, apple eggplant and Thai basil ($35.50) or the milder massaman with kipfler potatoes ($31.50) are popular choices.
If, after all that, you're in the mood to really tip yourself over the edge, the Chin Chin trifle ($11.50) is decadent and sweet. Speaking of indulging, one way to really experience Chin Chin is the banquet menu — $88 dollars will ensure you are rolled out of there when you're done.
A beautiful wine list, a stunning bar and knowledgeable staff make sure the experience is a good one. Go, wait in the line — it's all an experience in itself. At the end of the day, the worst that will happen is you'll find yourself in Go Go Bar.
Images: Josie Withers/Visit Victoria.