It’s been nearly six months since we heard it was in the works, but Chin Chin: The Book is finally ready for consumption; and if the lines outside the Flinders Lane establishment are anything to judge by, the public's obsession with Chris Lucas' runaway success hasn't dulled in the slightest. Designed to be the literary equivalent of a trip to the restaurant itself, the 256-page tome is appropriately colourful, cheeky and offbeat.
Intended as a practical cookbook for the home, the recipes allow fans to duplicate the searing, intense flavours of dishes such as chilli-salt chicken wings, son-in-law eggs, beef pad seuw and more from their own kitchens.
Chin Chin: The Book also doubles as a story; a document of the phenomenon that has dominated culinary headlines for the past two years. A collage of ideas, theories and flavours, the book is, like the restaurant, a pastiche of all that defines 21st century Melbourne – laneway aesthetics with a refined palate and a knack for spinning a tale.
To make the cooking process a little easier (tackling Benjamin Cooper’s dishes can be understandably intimidating at first), the book also includes ‘Recipe Hacks’ under certain recipes that offer helpful advice or neat shortcuts.
Beautiful, crisp photography from Adrian Lander blends with vivid comic art by Sacha Bryning to capture the carefully designed irreverence of one of Melbourne’s brightest lights, and with recipes like these at your fingertips, you’re only a jam-packed dining room and carefully curated soundtrack away from actually being there.