Saturday, November 12, 2022

Chin Chin darling

I remember chin chin as being a toast, like cheers or prost. 

The most excellent photographer Roentare correctly guessed the restaurant Fire Fighting Nephew and his wife visited as being Chin Chin in Flinders Lane. 

Household Management indicated a serious unwillingness to cook Friday evening and put his foot down with a firm hand, so at a reasonably early hour we set off to dine at Chin Chin. It was very busy even just after six. My preference was to order a la carte but R wanted the banquet for two. It was not cheap but we don't dine out nearly as often as we used and so could justify the cost. As soon as we ordered, R began to have misgivings and thought we should have not have chosen the banquet. I said do not worry. The food will be great and we leave what we don't want (though we both hate wasting food). I don't eat sashimi, but it seems I enjoy it very much in the right sauce. I eat brussels sprouts under sufferance, but they are delicious cooked Asian style. It was a really nice meal and ended with a dessert of junket panna cotta.

We were seated downstairs as that was where tables available. As an Asian fusion restaurant it had a great atmosphere and black, white and Asian were all mixed up in a human kind of fusion. The staff were fantastic in the highly organised chaos and the music was too loud but not conversation killing. We had already worked out the bill in advance but for a first in Australia for us, the eftpos machine had a tipping facility. Like what happens when we give money as gifts, I suggest half of what R suggests. I said $5, R said $10. There are more important battles for me to win. 

As we trammed home, R asked me what 10% of our bill was. I told him, as if he could not work it out himself. He then stated we should have tipped 10%. I replied, that is a ridiculous tip in Australia where waiters are paid lowly but reasonably, at least $22 an hour before penalty rates.

We enjoyed Chin Chin but next time we will book a table outside and order a la carte.

Once home I pondered the first time we came across an eftpos machine with tipping facilities and it was in Vancouver in about 2016. The waiter thrust her half clad breasts towards us as she pointed out the tipping buttons on the machine. I pondered further. Aren't waiters in Canada properly paid? Well, at just over $15 an hour, it is on the low side in British Columbia. What about Ontario? Much the same.

During the milder extremes of Covid, Chin Chin as did many businesses dropped their booking facility which led to queues at restaurants. But even as we left this evening at 8pm there was a short queue. Picture from Google Maps.

34 comments:

  1. I remember chin chin being a toast too.
    R putting his foot down with a firm hand sounds very athletic to me. He was obviously determined to eat out. I may try and emulate him. It is well over a year since we have eaten out.
    I am glad you had a good meal. I tip (in Oz anyway) for exceptional service rather than as a norm.l

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    1. You should dine out EC. Insist on going the nicest place at Kingston and bugger the cost. Our tipping custom for ok service was just a little rounding up to an even dollar figure.

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  2. Haha I used to be dedicated every Saturday morning for street photography in CBD. Chin Chin as a restaurant survives years of competition there in the street and I often dine in there as a way to reward myself after a week of hard work. I think "Chin Chin" refers to the cashier sounds suggestive of lots of fortune that money keeps coming in. There is only one French restaurant lasting that long as Chin Chin. They no longer serve Escargots in there which is a pity. It is so good to meet someone who blogs Melbourne as I do!

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    1. Roentare, more info in comments below. It was many years ago when we dined French. Poor value. Nice to know you too.

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  3. Three went there earlier this year. They had tickets to a show and I tossed some money at them so they could have a meal and make a real night of it. He loved it so much I bought the cookbooks for him and he uses them a lot. Would R cook from them?

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    1. Caro, there are some old favourites R uses recipes for but mostly he props up his tablet on the bench to read a recipe. Cook books seem redundant now. You are a generous Mum.

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  4. Must be a very popular restaurant. Lucky you got a table. The food sounds nice. Tipping ugh!

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    1. Diane, you have travelled widely. You do know the nightmare of tipping overseas.

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  5. Never heard of it. We have one Chinese restaurant here.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. Dora, you only need one good Chinese restaurant. Nice to see you back.

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  6. https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-drink/article/3113025/chin-chin-how-chinese-drinking-toast-became-popular-europe

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    1. MC, very interesting, I had no idea of the origins of chin chin. My Mother's waffling tuned out as I read about chin chin today.

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  7. The food must be good if people are queueing. I wouldn't have tipped.

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    1. River, one of the waiters charmed the 73 year old R and so he really wanted to tip.

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    2. That's a good enough reason to tip.

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  8. I love panna cotta, made with a fruit topping. Or chocolate on top. Well maybe I'd eat Sashimi but I don't know. I don't like Sushi. Sounds like a nice evening out.

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    1. Strayer, we don't like sushi either. But thinly sliced raw fish in a great sauce is rather nice.

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  9. Must be very popular and probably always will be whilst they serve great meals. The meals must be cheap is there is a button for a tip. Not used to having to or needing to, wanting to give a tip because I've never had to do it.

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    1. Margaret, it is not a cheap place to eat. The prices are high even a la carte. But I saw how you can eat for a reasonable price by sharing. No, we don't need to tip here and there should be no guilt by not doing so.

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  10. I like the idea of a banquet for 2. It's good to go out and treat yourselves now and again. As you know tipping is expected here with top restaurants asking for 12.5%. Expected but still voluntary and I always check that the tip goes to the staff and not the management. I don't like adding it to the bill but prefer to leave a cash tip justto make sure it goes to the staff.

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    1. Marie, it was too much food for us and would be for you with your svelte shape. I did not know about tipping in your top restaurants. We've never tipped in England beyond the rounding up as we do at home. I agree with you about tipping with cash.

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  11. If I was going to an Asian fusion restaurant, I would definitely order a wide range of entrees so that everyone's special preferences can be easily met - vegetarian? nut free? diary free? sugar free? etc etc Each entree dish will be very tasty, but small enough not to over-eat.

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    1. That's perfect for me Hels. A little bit of lots. I rarely order a main course when out but perhaps two entrees which end up being the same cost as a main course. I don't eat the amount of food I did when I was younger.

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  12. The waitress in Vancouver had "half clad breasts". Do you mean that one of her breasts was wholly exposed? Left or right? As for tipping, my instinct is to tip only when I have been given efficient, timely and cheerful service. On such occasions I can be surprisingly generous.

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  13. Sounds like a fun evening. Our waiters/waitresses rely heavily on their tips for their wages here.

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    1. The do Sandra although from my observations it doesn't make a huge difference to service where staff have to 'work' for their tips or are paid a fair wage.

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  14. Tipped personnel in my state make $2.83 an hour. They depend on their tips.

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    1. Debby, that is an absurd figure. I don't like that model at all.

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  15. We tend to top 20% minimum, unless service is bad, of course. I do resent take out places that have a tip option on their debit machines.

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    1. Jackie, even adding the 20%, the wage is still on the low side. That's right, you only tip when receiving table service. Tipping customs strike terror into Australian travellers.

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