BOSTON – Boston’s Chinatown has been undergoing a face lift over the last few years, and the best part of its transformation is its Double Chin. This bright, cute, brand new restaurant is nothing like the neighborhood has seen before, in terms of both atmosphere and cuisine.
Opened just a few months ago, the 70-seat spot is the creation of Gloria and Emily Chin, a pair of stylish sisters whose love of puns lead them to the restaurant’s quirky name.
In fact, the name Double Chin has a double meaning. Not only are there a pair of Chins running place, but after a couple meals here, you might be sporting a double chin yourself. The menu is filled with some of the craziest guilty pleasures you’ve ever seen.
“Everyone loves it. The only thing is that they feel like they’re gonna need to put on their yoga pants when they leave here,” Gloria laughed.
The best way to describe the food is Asian-American Fusion-Fun, with dishes that reflect Gloria’s experience growing up as a part of two cultures.
“I like the Asian fusion aspect, because I feel like it really tells a story. I grew up in a Chinese household in America, and I wanted to create a menu that had sort of both worlds in it.”
So there are Asian twists on all kinds of American classics, like Mac and Cheese, French Fries, and Donuts. In fact, the dishes here are so eye popping they’re actually pictured on the menu. As soon as you get a look at something called Cube Toast, you’ll definitely be ordering dessert first.
“The Cube Toast is our specialty dessert here,” Gloria explained. “The second you see it you’re just like, ‘I don’t even know if I want to eat dinner anymore.’ You just want to skip to that dessert.”
Essentially, the Cube Toast is a giant block of Brioche French Toast that’s been hollowed out and stuffed with ice cream, candy, fruit, and all kinds of other sweet treats. Assembling the munchie mountain is almost as much fun as eating it.
“We make the brioche in house, and then we hollow it out. We carve up the filling into bite sized pieces, and then we batter everything in a French Toast batter, and then throw it in the deep fryer. When it comes out, it just looks like a cube box of French Toast. Then we add tons of ice cream and different toppings on there. There’s just fruit and all these different colors overflowing out of the box.”
There’s plenty more delicious fun to be had with the rest of the food at Double Chin, with wacky snacks like Crab Rangoon kicked up with Craisins; Cola Wings coated in a sticky, sweet, soda syrup; Waffle Fry Poutine topped with cheese and Kimchi; and picture perfect Spam and Taro Fries.
“It’s served in a Spam can, super cute. Everyone loves ordering that to eat, and to Instagram,” Gloria noted. “Spam is a huge part of the Asian food culture, and when you cut them up and throw it in the fryer, it just tastes so amazing. We also serve it with Taro fries because it will make it seem less heavy, and I feel like whenever you’re eating something unhealthy with vegetables, it makes me feel a little better.”
If you want a little more Spam, along with tomato and pineapple, you can find it in the Hawaiian Fried Rice, but Phantom prefers the Double Chin Fried Rice, studded with Chinese Sausage.
“I think that Chinese sausage tastes amazing. I think of it as like the Chinese equivalent to bacon. Whenever you add bacon to anything it automatically tastes amazing, right?” Gloria pointed out. “And then we’ve got different types of veggies and carrot and corn in there, so it’s just bursting with colors and flavor.”
Rounding out the menu are some unexpected noodle dishes, like a Baked Spaghetti Bolognese smothered in melted mozzarella, and Gloria’s go-to comfort food, Mac and Cheese.
“The Mac and Cheese is my favorite thing here, because it’s literally the best thing ever. I get kind of annoyed when people don’t order it because it’s so good. I’m just like, ‘You don’t know what you’re missing out on!’
“It’s a wide rice noodle. We stir fry those with bacon. We top it off with a cheesy sauce, and then panko on the top to throw into the oven. That way you get a layer of crispiness on the top. When there’s more textures, and more flavors, and more going on, you can eat it forever.”
From Mac and Cheese, to Spam and Taro Fries, to sinfully sweet Cube Toast, Double Chin promises to put a smile on your face.
You can find Double Chin at 86 Harrison Avenue in Boston, and online at doublechinbos.com.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.