Chinacy, South Yarra

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MELBOURNE | Chinacy South Yarra restaurant with a focus on “Chinese food with Australian attitude”. The word is a portmanteau of the words ‘Chinese’ and ‘harmony’, and reflects how the food on offer is complimented, rather than overpowered by Australian influences. With our curiosity piqued, we accepted an invite to dine at the restaurant.

The first thing you notice when you enter is that the space is large. The restaurant seats just over 100 people and flows from a lounge like space at the front, with a long lounge with tables and regular seats on one side and bar taking up much of the other side. Towards the back are more tables and seats. While the space does feel as big as it is, it’s broken up enough as not to make the whole thing feel overwhelming or cold. Light flows in through the heritage listed stained glass and brass windows at the front of the venue, and the heritage flourishes continue inside with two glass ceiling features being used to full effect (the previous owners had covered them up and they were only rediscovered when the space was being renovated). A hanging garden and flowing water features adds a sense of calm to the space.

Owner Darren Fan has enlisted chef Eugene Yap to head up the kitchen, and he oversees a Cantonese influenced menu that’s broken up into an assortment of small bites, wok dishes, and medium to large plates. As is par for the course these days, the entire menu is designed to share, which is just as well as there’s a lot that’s appealing on the menu. The cocktail list, meanwhile, is taken care of by bar manager Will Finch who has used Chinese flavours and influences to great effect. The Rose MarTEAni, with Oriental spiced gin, lime, rose tea, rosemary, and chartreuse is fantastic, as is Chinacy’s take on a whisky sour, with whisky, plum, lemon, egg white, and a rim of crystallised sour plum. There’s also a selection of cocktails, craft beer, premium wine, spirits & rare whiskies on offer.

Back to the food, and each meal begins with complimentary fried wonton skins with a sweet and sour sauce – something to get the taste buds watering while you decide what to order. We started with a char siew hand bun and a steamed pork bun. The char siew is fantastic, with cucumber, chilli sauce and coriander balancing the succulent fattiness of the barbecued pork. The steamed pork bun is the real star of the two however, with tender, dense, almost pulled pork combining with a delicate bun and flavour packed house made X.O. sauce to great effect.

Moving onto larger dishes, and Chef Yap’s signature crab & prawn fried rice with lap cheong sausage, egg, and more of that house made X.O. sauce is a must. It’s become a bit of a crowd favourite since Chinacy opened and when you try it you’ll know why. It’s a textural dish will a lot of flavours that work together in perfect harmony. A perfect example of the “Chinese food with Australian attitude” philosophy. Cripsy salted duck egg calamri is another winner. Served with curry leaf, chilli, and lemon, each bite is a salty, light delight.

If there was one dish that didn’t hit the highs of the others we tried it was the raw Australian Hiramasa kingfish. Served with fragrant spring onions, tamari, daikon, it’s tasty, and the quality of the seafood is obvious, but the taste is a bit one note compared to the harmonious balance of flavours of the other dishes. To finish a dessert of coconut panna cotta with mango, coffee syrup, honeycomb was a winner. Each element of this dessert works well enough alone, but when everything is combined, it’s a wonderful flavour explosion with well balanced sweetness and light acidity.

Overall we were impressed with our meal at Chinacy. The restaurant delivers what it promises with food that is, at its heart, Cantonese, with Australian ingredients and flavours used to compliment and enhance, rather than overpower dishes.

Chinacy

352 Chapel Street
South Yarra
Victoria 3141
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9827 8111
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Sun – Thu: 11:30am to 11:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30am to 1:00am

Chinacy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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