Here’s your first look at Chin Chin Sydney

Shaped into Surry Hills’ 100-year-old Griffiths Teas building, the long awaited Chin Chin Sydney will finally be opening its doors to the public on Monday 2nd October. Ever since it was announced that the Melbourne dining powerhouse would be opening a Sydney iteration, Chin Chin became one of the country’s most anticipated openings. The up-scale Thai restaurant has consistently remained near the top of the list when it comes to the best restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD, ever since opening back in 2011.

So what can you expect from the Sydney version? With a historic venue as its backdrop, Chin Chin Sydney will be realised as a sprawling 160-seat restaurant, a separate 100-seat GoGo bar, and an events space and private dining room for up to 125 people, located on the basement level. That’s three massive parts joined together to make Chin Chin, which will be open from 11am to late on every single day of the week.

First, let’s get to the drinks: an all-female wine team, lead by Head Sommelier Jacqueline Turner, will be overseeing the essential 130-deep list of new, unique and local wines, which is bolstered by five tap wines to feature at the bar, from producers including Brokenwood and Yabby Lake. In terms of cocktails, Chin Chin have managed to nab Bartender of the Year Michael Chiem (PS40) to put together the list alongside young gun Simon Audas, working with ingredients like coriander, chipotle and watermelon jam. Some of the world’s finest spirits will also sit behind the bar, making for a total of 450 bottles, while the beer list has been carefully curated to welcome in local crafts form the likes of 4 Pines – who have worked with Chin Chin on an exclusive Chilli Lager – and more.

Food will remain the star of the show at Chin Chin, with plenty of Melbourne’s favourites including those addictive pork roll-ups and hero dishes like rendang-spiced mushrooms and toasted coconut, twice-cooked beef short rib served with shaved coconut salad and prik nahm pla, rotisserie pork belly with fennel plum pickle and scud chilli death sauce, and Balinese roast duck with turmeric, lime and coconut sauce. Chefs Graeme Hunt and Ben Torrens will be leading the kitchen in bringing this ambitious menu, which is consistent across GoGo and the restaurant, to life, making good use of the custom built charcoal pit and rotisserie.

Designer George Livissianis has helped bring the spaces to life, creating a unique blend that uses the historic building’s heritage and personality and mashes that with something modern and stylish. The result will play heavily to the original facade, with windows and streaming natural light illuminating tables recycled from old joists and beams. Those neon rabbit ears that define Chin Chin will become a motif throughout the restaurant, and even in the bathroom hall, brought to life by digital artist Jason Ebeyer.

Bookings are now open for those who want to check the restaurant out as soon as possible. Going forward, Chin Chin Sydney will accept bookings for groups of all sizes on Mon-Fri for lunch, but Sat-Sun lunch bookings will only be accepted for groups of 6 or more guests. Dinner across all seven days of week will have a similar rule, where only bookings for groups of 6 or more guests will be accepted. All bookings for 6 or more guests must select from the Chin Chin Feed Me menus. Larger group bookings can be made for the Chef’s Table (12-16 guests) and the Corner Table (10-12 guests).

Chin Chin Sydney

Address: 69 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

Chin Chin Sydney will open from 2nd October, with the first week operating a dinner service only. Lunch and dinner start from Monday 9th October and the private event area (Chii Town) will open from 16th October.

Feature image: Tom Ferguson


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.