Chin Chin, a trendy Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant located in Melbourne's historic Chinatown, can be a tough place to get into. It's walk-in for most diners and accepts reservations only for huge parties of 10 to 12 people. Don’t want to wait? No worries, mate. Because now, there's Go Go Bar, located in the basement just below the restaurant, which serves up cocktails together with bites from the kitchen upstairs.
The vibe is a bit of a throwback to the 1980s, with curved banquettes, everything in black, neon pink signage burning "Lonely for You Only" into the back of your retinas, and a mirror at the rear wall. It's the opposite of upstairs' light, airy, modern feel. The bar, off to the right, churns out some pretty serious cocktails, though. The cocktail menu is organized by season and features Thai-inspired libations in keeping with the restaurant's theme — think cocktails flavored with ingredients like lemongrass, Kaffir lime, and palm sugar. This might lead people to believe that the drinks are overly sweet, but the skilled bartenders manage to keep things balanced overall.
Notable munchies include a pulled pork slider with Sriracha dressing and a stuffed and grilled roti with gado gado. So the snack menu's pretty good, but we're not fooling ourselves — anyone looking for a full meal here isn't going to get it. But if you're looking for a place to start the night or to wait for a table upstairs, definitely go go to this bar.
Closest tram stops are Russell St./Flinders St. (35, 70, 71, 75) and Collins St. (11, 42, 48, 109, 112).