Few restaurants cultivate a vibe as well as Chin Chin does. In fact, the perma-cool Melbourne landmark does it so well that diners are still willing to wait an hour or two for a table, almost a decade down the track. That magic touch is crucial to their next feat: an ambitious collision of avant-garde theatre and augmented reality with the brand’s usual high degree of Thai-cuisine-and-cocktail know-how.
Enter Hyper Real 2.0, a three-date October activation in collaboration with the artist ØFF€RÎNGS that’s been described as both an “experimental dining concept” and “sensory disrupter”. Following an inaugural run at Chin Chin Sydney last April, the event lets diners interact with each other as a colour-soaked dystopian storyline unfolds around them. And this being Melbourne, every available laneway and quirk of architecture will be brought into the story.
Hyper Real 2.0 is an extension of Chin Chin’s artist program, which has run for the past eight years – including projecting moving images onto Higson Lane to be viewed from the main dining room, as well as a bi-monthly rotating art program in GoGo Bar.
This new venture takes the integration of dining and art to a whole new level. Chefs and servers won’t be seen for the duration; rather, the food and drinks emerge as part of the interactive, futuristic installations. Only 40 diners will get to partake in each session, adding intimacy to the immersive evening, and performers will improvise and feed off each session’s diners to yield a choose-your-own-adventure experience.
The journey begins at a secret location nearby, where guests will be guided to the Chin Chin laneway to experience projections and augmented reality by local artists before climbing the stairs to Chin Chin’s newly launched event space above the restaurant. Lucas collaborated with curator and guide ØFF€RÎNGS to develop a dystopian playground with five interactive art installations incorporating avant-garde performance art with an injection of Chin Chin’s DNA.
At 6pm, 7.30pm and 9pm.