(Melbourne) Chin Chin

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A list of Melbourne’s top restaurants would not be complete without at least a mention of Chin Chin. This Asian fusion restaurant (with a bar inside) offered uncommon, but certainly not unpleasant, food selections that certainly lived up to expectations, at least personally and for the most part. Food was remarkably exquisite and of high-quality, and worth every bit of the premium price attached to it. I’d definitely love to come back for more.

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(Melbourne) Gyoza Gyoza

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Gyoza Gyoza, a cozy Japanese bar conveniently located on Little Bourke Street, was one of the few Japanese restaurants I’ve been to in Melbourne that actually offered something other than 1) sushi rolls, 2) donburi, or 3) ramen. It came to a point where I thought finding Japanese a la carte dishes in the city was challenging… Or perhaps I’ve just been looking in the wrong places all along. Nevertheless, the izakaya style bar offered an impressive selection of popular Japanese dishes, although among those that I’ve tried, some were excellent while others definitely had room for improvement.

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(Melbourne) FOMO Thai

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Located right across the Bourke Street/Russell Street tram stop, FOMO Thai was a highly accessible and popular Thai restaurant in town. It offered a wide range of choices for both food and beverages, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, and the clean and relatively modern interior provided a comfortable and uncluttered environment. Food here generally didn’t disappoint, and they were served quickly as well. However, differentiating its lunch and dinner menus meant that there were some items that were available only in the day, or at night.

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(Lake Tekapo) Thai Tekapo

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Overall Rating: 45%

In general, I thought all of the dishes that I’ve tried here had a lot of room for improvement. But for practical reasons and cost constraints, Thai Tekapo served as a decent option for a filling and not-quite-so terrible meal. Although most of the dishes here were salty, the restaurant offered a fairly wide variety of options for food, and hopefully the other dishes are better than the ones I had.

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(Kaikoura) Tutis Restaurant & Bar

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Tutis Restaurant & Bar was one of the most frequently mentioned restaurants I was recommended to go to by the locals at Kaikoura. Located near to the petrol stations and New World Supermarket, and just a few minutes’ drive from the city center, Tutis is hard to miss and is easily accessible by car. The restaurant was quite fancy and expensive, although it wasn’t exactly a fine-dining experience as well. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a picture of the restaurant’s exterior in the day, so I doubt you can tell how it looks like from the picture above.) Overall, even though most dishes were delicious, I thought some were too expensive in terms of value-for-money.

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(Taupo) Thai Delight Restaurant

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After spending the second day at Hobbiton, my family and I traveled south to Taupo on the third and surprisingly, many restaurants were closed on that day. One of the few places we came across that were still operating was Thai Delight Restaurant, which we ultimately chose to have for dinner. Parking was easy to find and the restaurant itself was located at an accessible area, close to the city center. One of the most noticeable things here was the plethora of potted plants and flowers, and an extremely friendly waiter who welcomed us immediately at the entrance. The food was generally pretty good although I found them a tad pricey for their portion, and on a less important aspect, that their dish presentation were pretty much similar. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the food and warm reception received that evening.

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(Melbourne) Jinda Thai

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Out of all the Thai restaurants I’ve been to, Jinda Thai’s gotta be somewhere near the top. Although several dishes I’ve tried here were mediocre, it’s got the best Pad Thai. Ever. I’ve been here twice, and on the first I was so impressed with the pad thai that I thought I had to bring my family here when they visit, which I eventually did. Jinda Thai is opened every day with pretty long operating hours, and is easily accessible. It is right across North Richmond Station, and you can also get there by tram, alighting at the North Richmond tram station if you take tram 109, 42, or 24. Make sure you get there early, since it tends to get crowded fast, and also bring cash with you if you’re going there for lunch. If you’re a Thai cuisine person, I think it’s worth to check out this restaurant at least once.

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