* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 24th April 2010.

Enjoy pleasant service, inviting ambiance and quality fine Hunan and Sichuan cuisine from Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine. This latest Penang fine dining restaurant has its prime seaside location in Church Street Pier overlooking the calm waters of the harbor and George Town behind it.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Elegant detailing in the interior of the restaurant

Chin’s which was opened a few months ago was everything of a fine dining restaurant, casual and elegant dining with delicate and delicious food, wine and a sense of pampering.

The ambience was welcoming as I step inside the waiting area of the restaurant passing through its striking red glass door – there to greet me is owner Dave Chin.

CK Lam at Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang

Priceless antique chairs displayed in the waiting area leading into the restaurant

The restaurant was tastefully decorated with modern Chinese contemporary artwork, dangling chandeliers and plush chairs.  The whole effect was breath-taking.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

The glass-enclosed dining hall room can seat around 90 people comfortably. Its tall glass frontage provides diners with a sweeping view of the sea while indulging in their meal.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Crisp table settings added to the finesse, including the gorgeous hand painted dining plates with various designs which are for sale exclusively at Chin’s.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

In the dining area is a bar with a glass top featuring an impressive piece of Chinese calligraphy done by the owner himself! The turning of the lights below has the words appearing in many different colors.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Top shelf liquors and wide selection of red and white wines are well stocked in this restaurant for diners to choose from.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com


The flavor of the food at Chin’s open up a new experience in fine dining that begs to be savored. Its menu features the best of Hunan and Sichuan cuisines with appetizers, specialties, meat, poultry and seafood. All the food in the fine gastronomic tasting menu are prepared by a creative culinary team from China headed by Executive Chef Wang ZhiZhong. Varied spices are used in the preparation of wholesome goodness traditional Chinese recipes with unique flavors and aromas.

The meal started off with a selection of light appetizers accompanied with a South African red wine Malan. The wine was light and fruity with a hint of wood. The waitress kept our glasses at the right level through out the whole evening.

The cold appetizers were Garlic Cucumber (Pai Suan Huang Gua), Hunan Shredded Seaweed (Liang Ban Hai Dai Si) and Seaweed Cashew (Gan Shao Er Song). The century egg was presented with a modern twist, topped with a flavorsome sauce accompanied with grilled red peppers.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Juicy crunch of sourish and spicy Garlic Cucumber (Pai Suan Huang Gua)

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Hunan Shredded Seaweed (Liang Ban Hai Dai Si)…dressed with a vinegary sauce

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Seaweed Cashew (Gan Shao Er Song) – delightfully addictive bites, best with some wine

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Century Egg in Grilled Red Pepper (Shao Jiao Pi Dan)

The hot appetizers started with the Heavenly Blessed Joysticks (Shang Shang Qian). Everyone was admiring the beauty of the skewers. The presentation was rather unique with the skewers of seashell meat, baby abalone and sea fungus soaked in spicy and pungent chili oil in a bamboo holder. Each morsel was delicate with its own distinctive texture.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

The pieces of Sesame Prawns On Toast (Xia Duo Shi) were delicious bite. Coated with sesame seeds with a crispy outer layer, the toast has a good mix of flavors and went very well with a touch of spiciness from the accompanying chili sauce.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

The Smoked Chicken (Xun Ji Si) is a glorious medley of tender chicken pieces with garlic, red and green chilies. The chicken is enchantingly fragrant pepped with slight spiciness.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

After both the appetizers, we were served with Chin’s Specialties – Chin’s Aromatic Crispy Duck. (Chin’s Zhao Pai Xiang Su Ya). The Aromatic Crispy Duck recipe has remained the same as it was introduced back in London in the earlier years. The duck is prized for its crispy skin and fragrant and tender meat.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Quarter serving of the Aromatic Crispy Duck

The Aromatic Crispy Duck was shredded at-the-table and I had my hands-on in assembling the meat on a homemade pancake with a light stroke of Hoisin sauce and accompaniments of scallion and cucumber.

I’ve had many variations of this crispy duck dish and my favorite remains to be the kind where the pancakes are of a delicate texture and made without any coloring or essence – exactly as they should be. I was glad to see such authenticity at Chin’s for it really enhanced the meat. Dave suggested adding some chili padi into my pancake and surprisingly the roll tasted fabulous!

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com


The Aromatic Crispy Duck was followed by a fish dish. The Double Flavored Wild Fresh Water Fish (Shuang Jiao Ye Sheng Dan Shui Yu) had Patin fish steamed topped with a blend of garlic and chili peppers in delicate gravy. Surprisingly, despite the generous amount of ingredients covering the fish, it was not overpowering. The sweetness of garlic and hint of chili heat paired well with the juicy fish flesh hidden underneath.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

At Chin’s I get to savor a dish with an exciting combination of cod fish, prawns and egg.  The fine balance of the three ingredients in this Crab ‘N’ Yoke (Sai Pang Xie) made up a complete healthy dish, light with plenty of sweet flavors of the fish and prawns. A remarkable combination of flavors!

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

The Cumin Mutton Skewers (Chuan Shao Zi Ran Yang Rou) marinated with cumin and a blend of other fragrant spices were served topped with onions, spring onions and fresh chilies.

The cumin-infused mutton was perfectly tender with a fragrant aroma. It was indeed mesmerizing enveloped by a tongue-tingling sauce.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

The meal was kept balanced with the Sauteed Vegetable in Red Rice Yeast (Hong Qu Fu Ru Chao Shi Shu). There are not many restaurants which use red rice yeast in their culinary dishes and it was great seeing the dish in Chin’s.

The water convolvulus although commonly found, was absurdly delicious with the flavors of the red rice yeast, characterized by its red color.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Desserts were presented with the deep fried Pumpkin Cake with Sweetened Bean Paste (Nan Gua Dou Sha Bing). This hot sweet treat has pumpkin and red bean paste filling. A delightful combination of flavors.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

The Man behind Chin’s

Dave Chin at Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Dave Chin is a UK-trained graphic designer and a lover of fine wine and good food. This successful restaurateur has many great years of experience when it comes to the world of food, cooking, and eating. He was involved in the food industry for around 25 years with his first restaurant Chin’s opened in London way back in 1987. The classy establishment took England’s restaurant scene by storm, winning two highly coveted and prestigious awards in quick succession -

“Best Restaurant of The Year” by What’s On In London Magazine

“The Best Chinese Restaurant in London” by Stores Magazine, New York

Remember the name, for it’s destined to become one of those legendary restaurants” by Nine To Five Magazine

On this blazing trail of collective accolades, CHIN’S Restaurant was recognized as “Best of the Best” by Good Life Magazine

At present, Dave owns a few restaurants, including QEII, SOHO Country House in Auto City and SOHO Free House in Penang Road and has expanded his expertise to Chin’s.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Striking entrance to Chin’s

Glad to see this type of cuisine made it in Penang which in turn shows that Penangites taste buds are getting more sophisticated and abreast with the global food trends. The atmosphere and service were fantastic and the flavoring of the food is remarkable, I am tempted to return…!

Currently this Pork Free restaurant is enjoying brisk business although it is not officially open to the public. Dinner is only available with private bookings. There are plans to open for lunch after its official launch which is most probably happening in early June.

Updates as at 29th April 2010 :

There is a choice of seven Set Meals with prices ranging from RM 78++ per person  to RM 218++ per person

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine
Tanjong City Marina
Church St Pier (Next to QE II)
8A Pengkalan Weld

Tel: 04 261 2611
Fax: 04 261 3128

Mobile: Dave Chin 012 4781262

Business Hour : 6pm till 11.30pm daily

GPS Coordinates : N05°24’56.7″   E100°20’36.7″

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 24th, 2010 at 6:05 pm and is filed under Chinese, Fine Dining, Media Preview, New Straits Times (Life & Times), Penang, Pork Free, Szechuan. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

26 comments so far


Read this on New Strait Times, awesome, beautifull, gorgeous and the food just reminds me of Pichet Ong’s desserts!

CK Lam Reply:

Glad you like the article :)

April 24th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Oh I love the pop culture portrait collage you are sitting in front of. So cool!

CK Lam Reply:

Totally agree with you…that piece was just awesome.

April 24th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

That’s a huge duck drumstick! And the entrance looks so dramatic :)

CK Lam Reply:

The dramatic entrance is part and parcel of the fine dining experience.

April 24th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Chin’s exudes charm and elegance like no other in Penang. A restaurant with attitude and style like Chin’s is hard to come by in this island and is definitely a welcomed change. :)

CK Lam Reply:

Yes, I totally agree with you.

April 25th, 2010 at 12:01 am
Tse Liang

Mother’s Day is comine up… this could be great place to celebrate… Thanks CK Lam..


CK Lam Reply:

You are most welcome. Do call up to make a reservation.

April 25th, 2010 at 8:24 am

Oh, finally see your review!! Great post and photos!! Very attractive!! :)

CK Lam Reply:

Thanks NKOTB. Yours was good as well.

April 25th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

wow i like the sea view the most, very nice!!!

CK Lam Reply:

The sea view was indeed breath taking. Do drop by to experience it first hand!

April 25th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

wow, i feel like i want to grab that duck leave it with only the bones.

CK Lam Reply:

Haha…the duck is indeed a must-have in Chins.

April 26th, 2010 at 9:24 am

That was truly an enriching dining experience, I must say I was blown by all the exquisite and exclusivity of the dishes, not to mention the presentation! The interior was really impressive and credits to the owner for the unique design style and to you for the fantastic photography skills to share with us =)
I am definitely looking forward to a dining experience here already ;)

CK Lam Reply:

I agree, Chin’s has taken fine dining in Penang to a whole new level. Do share your experience with me after your visit.

April 26th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

i am just simply proud of it tthat at last penang have a really fine dining restaurant~

CK Lam Reply:

Introduce this restaurant to your parents and take them for a meal when you are back.

April 26th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

This should be a place to look out for. I had to re-read that sentence on him being a graphic designer, but had my faith restored with the lines on his 25 yrs of experience and various accolades gained.

Not bad, Penang is fast catching up with the rest of the world.

CK Lam Reply:

Besides hawker food, Penang also has its own fine dining restaurants and this is one that will sure impressed diners…delicious food and great ambience.

April 27th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

so if want to dine there, private booking still ok rite? or need someone recommendations or something only can book?

btw, yes i know its fine dining, which means expansive, but since i utterly interested in scezhuan food, how is the price like for this place? :p

CK Lam Reply:

I just got the confirmation and updated the prices in the post…sorry for the inconvenience caused.

April 28th, 2010 at 9:31 am

wow…. it’s a great place. I try scezhuan foods recently in my overseas trip. And the foods flash back my holiday moods. lol

CK Lam Reply:

Still in your holiday mood? Haha…now you can savor this cuisine in Penang.

April 28th, 2010 at 9:41 am
CG Chin

The restaurant and foods are lovely!!
What is the price range??

CK Lam Reply:

Have finally updated the prices in the post…sorry for the inconvenience caused. Do feel free to call them up for more info.

April 29th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

wow you got exclusively to shot at this place as I heard not may people get to capture such beauty! awesome!

CK Lam Reply:

It was a great evening and many thanks to Dave for giving me the opportunity to do the review and showing me around the place.

April 29th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

hihi…can i ask how bout the price??

CK Lam Reply:

The price is stated at the end of the post with the address and telephone number. Do call them up to inquire more…

May 5th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Awesome! Love it Love it! The culture pop pictur, not to forget colors and interior….totally riot with creativity. Must drop by the next time I visit M’sia

CK Lam Reply:

Great place for a dining experience!

May 15th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

hah… now the question is.. can Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine for a Fine Dining nail Penang market??

CK Lam Reply:

There is definitely a market for fine dining in Penang.

June 12th, 2010 at 1:30 am

hmm.. the place looks nice. some1 said going to spend me a dinner here. great.

CK Lam Reply:

Saw your article and glad to know that you have an enjoyable night at Chin’s.

July 8th, 2010 at 8:55 am

Are we allow photo in the restaurant?

October 4th, 2010 at 2:05 am


yes, you are allowed. They are more than happy to let you do so. I never seen 1 restaurants that are so welcome their customers to take photos around.

nice food and good service too!

November 3rd, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Just got the chance to try out this restaurant (fathers dinner). Try the RM 88++ per person set dinner from their set menu. As a matter of fact they have another ala carte menu but due to the reason that I have no prior experience eating in this restaurant, I prefer to order from the set menu. The cheapest set is from RM68++ to a few hundred per person. The service is great and my family also have the opportunity to see Ah Hong (from Taiwan) and his crew in filming an episode interviewing Dave Chin. Luck is not on our side, we did not have the opportunity to get our photograph taken together with him or his autograph. We also did not try out any of their beverages but only relied on their mineral water which cost us more than RM35 at the end of the day. Well, what the Malay proverb says, this is our ‘Raja sehari’ enjoying a rich man’s meal. kekekekekk

June 13th, 2011 at 11:02 am

we are planning to go there this Sunday, 7-8-11. Will make reservation in advance.

August 2nd, 2011 at 9:46 pm

just want to know, is all the food serve there halal. i mean no cooking wine inside the food. Do you have halal status restaurant. I love the food, i just want to make sure everything is halal or not. Tq

August 6th, 2012 at 12:02 pm
quek soo ling

I want to booking for 8th Feb’2013 of 10 people,pls let me know the set menu

January 31st, 2013 at 3:28 pm
Vivien Seow

I am planning a group dinner for 13 or 14 Aug and was recommended by Eunice Lee of Setia who is an aunty of one of my colleagues. Could you please propose 2-3 set menus for our selection plus your wine list? No of pax = 10. Food should be free from pork or lard. Thanks.

CK Lam Reply:

Vivien – Do call them up for the menus and more information.

July 30th, 2013 at 10:30 am

6 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine for a Fine Dining Experience « Soho Penang Malaysia – Party and Dine in Style    Apr 30 2010 / 10am:

    [...] For more of the fine gastronomic tasting menu, do click on to : http://www.what2seeonline.com/2010/04/chins-stylish-chinese-cuisine-for-a-fine-dining-experience/ [...]

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    [...] Marina Church Street Pier 8A Pengkalan Weld (+604 261 2611/sohopenang.com) Open daily, 6pm-11.30pm Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine is one of the best fine-dining restaurants on the island. The Heavenly Blessed Joystick is a [...]

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    [...] If you want a taste of Italian and appreciate warm service (from the Italian owners), then visit this tavern on the harbour. Parking is limited at the front but there’s plenty to be found in the neighbouring streets. Click here for the Map Location. It is located diagonally opposite Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine. [...]

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