Chin Chin – The Book
Wow! This is a thriller in terms of cooking genres and cookbooks. The cartoons and the Intro’s really give you a real sense of the place. The team based approach is also something I enjoy about the restaurants ethos and I think it is also evident in the recipes that you cook and eat. If I project myself back to my one and only delicious ChinChin experience, my Mum’s 75th birthday, everything written in the lead up to the recipes is on point. They deliver an awesome food experience that anyone getting close to Melbourne should get a part of, Christobel and I always que up at busy restaurants around the world, we know its the best review you can get, especially if its full of locals. Melbourne has a history of institutions that eventuate through the commitment of a team dedicated to their restaurants and more importantly their customers. This restaurant delivers in so many ways that awards and accolades are irrelevant, just go and eat there, it will be memorable. Oops back to the book I am trying to do the review on.
I have had David Thompson’s book on Thai cookery since my 16th birthday, my mum got it for me. This book needs a whole lot of reading between the lines however was the basis for my love of the complexity of Thai cuisine. Melbourne in the 80s was tricky to get ingredients such as galangal, coconut cream, coriander even, that said however I did live in Mooroolbark. Today I can now get fresh ingredients in Perth! That said Thompson opened Long Chim in Perth and could not deliver the menu initially complaining the “fresh” coconut tasted like, and I quote, ” old mans socks”. Benjamin Cooper connected with my inner cook intelligence when he spoke of the chillies palate training. I think I might adopt this principle at dinner parties before I cook up a couple of recipes from the book. The lesson regardless is spend the time sourcing the right ingredients and you will acheive the authentic ChinChin flavour.
I have now cooked a couple recipes on the road in Tasmania and it was a no brained which is a perfect litmus test for a easy to use cookbook. Buy it and use it! Always delicious, pushes your ingredient zone, activates your flavour zone. Delivers contemporary Thai flavour using traditional techniques but with a little zing here and there, like the graphic on the back of the book might suggest, hardcore, cool, badass cookin. For food adventurers you cant ask for anything better then that.