Chinacy Chapel Street
Chinacy is now permanently closed.
Food: Mushroom and Kale Spring Rolls, Char Siew Hand Bun, Pork and Duck San Choy Bau, Vegetable Dumplings, Pan Fried Salmon, Dark Chocolate Delice, Osmanthus & Jasmine Poached Pear
Relaxed but fancy, Chinacy is much more restauranty than many of the usual Chapel Street venues. It’s also larger – with a bar area, wine wall (yes, you read that right) and a range of seating options.
They’ve got the cocktails down pat, with one of the largest mojitos I’ve ever seen, a good range of beer and wines and a varied mix of small and larger plates for their dinner menu, designed for sharing. Their new yum cha range is also helping them to branch out into the quick lunch market if you’re down that way for a bit of shopping and looking for somewhere nice to take a little break.
We tried to sample a bit of everything and tried some small plates, larger plates, a bit of yum cha and desserts and we did enjoy the thoughtful way the menu was constructed to share – with the options to order single portions of the smaller items – like spring rolls and buns, and the careful plating of the larger dishes.
I’m a big spring roll fan so I was delighted to see mushroom spring rolls on the menu with some fab sweet chilli sauce. The roll itself had a great crispiness and the smoke flavour of the mushrooms was different, and very enjoyable. I much preferred it to a typical veg spring roll, it was richer and creamy in flavour.
M.B. wanted a Char Siew Hand Bun, and it was a nice little quick eat or bar snack. It wasn’t too spicy, so didn’t overwhelm if you were enjoying it as an entree, but was given plenty of flavour from the sticky pork and numerous herbs.
We also tried the Veg dumplings from their new Yum Cha menu, which were a fab green colour. They were nicely steamed, and while not quite perfect yet – our veg was a little unevenly cooked – they are such a funky, quick bite and were well presented, with a variety of dipping sauces which I loved.
The San Choy Bau was a wonderful, wonderful dish! And while I do think some of the mains were a little on the expensive side, Chinacy isn’t the kind of place you will go every day so it’s worth going all out, and the fun factor of this dish makes it worth it! I loved being able to make my own little parcels, and while it kind of felt out of place and a little more like a street food, it was the highlight of my meal and I didn’t care that it was a little messy. The duck and pork mix had lots of flavour, there was everything you could want to add to it – nuts, sauce, fresh veggies, herbs – seriously a lot of fun and a great, filling share option.
The salmon felt far more like typical fine dining, but we loved how it was presented in small pieces so it was easy to share along with the other dishes. The yuzu pesto and the crispy kale made this a sharp, fresh dish – definitely a good healthy choice if you need one, but full of flavour too with an excellent crisp on the skin.
Despite being rather full, we struggled on into a dessert each, trying the Dark Chocolate Delice and the Osmanthus & Jasmine Poached Pear. The Delice was full of varied textures and nice flavours – nothing overwhelmed and it was a little sweet bite to fix that sugar craving at the end of the meal. The pear was quite a savoury dessert – I loved the herb poached pear and the sour flavours that were balanced out by the plain wafers, such a creative dessert.
Staff were attentive and paced our meal well so we weren’t overwhelmed with the large amount of food we ordered. Combined with their generous cocktails and pleasant atmosphere it’s a great place to go when you’re looking for somewhere a bit more refined, but offering lots of those classic Asian street eats.
Address: 352 Chapel Street, South Yarra
Mon 11:30am to 11:00pm
Tue 11:30am to 11:00pm
Wed 11:30am to 11:00pm
Thu 11:30am to 11:00pm
Fri 11:30am to 1:00am
Sat 11:30am to 1:00am
Sun 11:30am to 11:00pm
Parking: It can be a little tough to park around Chapel Street, but there are paid car parks nearby, or you might find a street park if you’re lucky.
Getting here on PT: It’s a 12 minute walk from South Yarra station (similar from Prahran), or is directly on the 78 tram line.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Chinacy, South Yarra. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.