Food and Drink


Happy Birthday Chin Chin

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In a city that likes a fad along with the best of them, Chin Chin has entered that nice realm occupied by a select few – consistently busy, good reviews across the board and a public that’s willing to wait (and sometimes wait and wait) to get in. Having a bar downstairs and online ninja Jess Ho on your side doesn’t hurt either.

Next week Chris Lucas’ place is celebrating its first birthday with a bang: internationally renowned Thai chef David Thompson will be preparing a 13-course degustation dinner with matching wines. There’ll probably be cake too.

Ahead of the banquet we caught up with Chin Chin’s head chef Benjamin Cooper to chat about the past year, and what’s in store.

Cooper says having Thompson, whom he worked with at Nahm in London, cook wasn’t originally part of the plan. ‘David happened to be in Australia at the time and asked if we’d like to do a dinner together. There was no way the answer was going to be anything other than yes.’

Thompson’s food is more ‘Royal Thai’ than the hawker dishes Chin Chin’s made its name serving, and Cooper saw this as ‘the kitchen’s opportunity to work with one of the legends of Thai cooking, and the opportunity for me to work with David again.’

The two chefs are working together on what Cooper calls ‘not a big song and dance’ (though if a 13-course dego isn’t a big deal, good luck to him). ‘We’re just waiting on getting some ingredients we need for the dishes. David doesn’t cut corners on dishes, so everything has to be the best.’

And how does Cooper look back on his time so far at Chin Chin? ‘In your wildest dreams this is what you’d like it to turn out like. And it’s not often that your wildest dreams become reality. It’s been phenomenal, and I’m proud to be part of it.’

So even if you miss the birthday bash, Cooper’s recent trip to Thailand means he’ll be rolling out some new dishes soon. Winter isn’t all that bad.

Chin Chin’s first birthday bash is on Thursday 14 June from 7.30pm.
To book call the restaurant on. 8663 2000 Be quick!

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