The Kalamazoo Gazette often features write ups on various cooking competitions throughout the Kalamazoo area. One small name keeps earning high marks, Chinn Chinn. After a fb friend recently went, I threw down the ultimatum to the hubby, if you want to go on a date night, Chinn Chinn is the place. My husband, a budding foodie, is a pushover for a date and good food.
First, let me get this out in the open, Chinn Chinn is in a strip mall. Not that strip mall restaurants produce poor food, but I feel that the decor and feel of these restaurants is often lacking and tacky. Chinn Chinn’s decor is what I expected, black and white Asian photographs and 3 large flat screens displaying a fireplace, fish tank, and waterfall. So far, exactly what I expected.
The place opened at 3:00 and we strolled in a little before 4:00. Seating was already packed and there were 2 other parties waiting. Nothing that a glass of Crispin Honey Crisp cider couldn’t cure. I’m a recovering hard cider junkie, a year out, but this Crispin unfiltered cider may just bust my bubble. Let’s get back to the real reason for our visit, the food. 10 minutes and a 1/2 beer later, we are food eye picking our way to our dining quarters.
The menu is simple and descriptive and after a quick once over, we were ready. Well, until we heard the specials. Easily we decided on the night special of fish “sticks” and waitress recommendation of hibachi beef. As a dinner starter no need for a salad or soup, beef lettuce wraps were calling our names.
Our lettuce wraps were 4 large lettuce cups, angel rice noodles, cucumbers, cilantro, black and white toasted sesame seeds, and a tangy Asian sauce. Each cup contained 4-5 large slices of grilled to order succulent beef. Definitely worth getting on another trip and enough for sharing!. At $6.50, this a tasty, economic bite!
The hibachi beef was 12 thick slices of mouthwatering beef. By far, the most tender, flavorful beef around! The teriyaki glaze that is like an Asian gravy, I would eat on mashed potatoes, ham, anything! My focus was the beef, but the dish also included crispy onions, and forgettable white rice.
Fish “sticks” that are so not your Gordan’s freezer sticks. One stick was grilled salmon, the other white tuna. Both were moist and flavorful! Along side the “sticks” was black rice flavored with coconut water and a delightful green salad.
Hands down Chinn Chinn is worth the wait! My next visit will include a noodle dish as I noticed many patrons were slurping on noodles. Pad thai is an Asian staple for me, so without question it will be my next Chinn Chinn meal.
On Saturdays, Chinn Chinn is open from 3:00-10:00. It does not take reservations and only seats 50-60, so go early or be prepared to wait. Whatever you do, add Chinn Chinn’s to destination itinerary!