I don’t eat Thai food too often but when I heard about Kiin, it was unlike any Thai restaurant I had heard of and definitely had to give it a try.
The restaurant is a long and narrow area which doesn’t consist of many tables so reservations are definitely a must. You have the option to either sit at the bar or on comfortable sofas and seats with most of them providing a cushion-y base. The windows and shutters that line the restaurant on one side provide for a homely feeling yet the hanging lights and golden accents give it that “one notch above casual” and laid-back, business atmosphere.
The service certainly satisfied my expectations and in some ways, even surpassed them. We were running late for our reservation and called up the restaurant to inform them of this and they happily moved our reservation to 30 minutes later without any inconvenience. We were greeted very warmly as we entered the restaurant and the farewells were in the same manner.
The food was brought out in a timely fashion with the waiters providing excellent & detailed descriptions of the dishes that were being presented which was a definite plus.
The food on the menu was divided into 3 categories: snacks, small and large. We were advised by our waiter that the food was meant to be shared and for 4 people: 3 small and 2 large with optional choice for a snack would be perfect (and it was).
The menu had 2 snacks available and we decided to order the root vegetable chips with tom yum spices.
These chips were extremely addictive because of the sweetness that came from the crunchyness of the chips which themselves were combined with spicy seasoning. There were 3 different types of chips in the bowl with all 3 of them being sweet to different degrees.
The first small plate we ate was easily the highlight of the night: Roy Thai.
This plate was a royal Thai platter consisting of 4 different types of well presented, creative, hand-made dumplings. Each of the dumplings were packed with distinct flavours proving them to be the best dumplings I’d ever eaten. The contrast of the cold and warm dumplings added to the experience of eating them.
The highlights of the table were the ones on the far left which was a warm bag of minced chicken and shrimp resting in a cooler cucumber base and the blue, flowery shaped dumplings.
The 2nd small dish that was ordered was Kang Moo Yang Nam Jim Jaew: grilled pork jowls with kale stalks.
When the waiter told us that the pork and kale stalks were meant to be eaten in alternative bites, we could see why. The spiciness and smokiness of the pork was well-balanced by the cooler stalks. The pork was tender and soft and of course, delicious. The addition of the stalks was a good choice by the chef as without it, the smoked flavour of the pork might’ve been overwhelming.
The final small plate we ordered was roti with boombai sauce: Thai roti with tamarind sauce and coconut cream.
This was one of the more traditional, Thai dishes on the menu. Unfortunately, the taste of the sauce and roti weren’t very unique. It was indeed a solid dish but paled in comparison to the previous two small plates.
Now finally onto the big plates. The first big plate was the 2nd highlight of the night: Khao Yum.
This dish was composed of 3 pyramids of Jasmine rice (dyed from beets, turmeric and butterfly pea flowers) which came with plentiful of vegetables, herbs and even edible flowers. After we were presented with this intricate dish, the waiter mixed it table side with soy bean and tamarind sauce.
The rice dish was crunchy, sweet, spicy and the countless number of vegetables made sure that every spoonful of rice was flavoursome. The ratio between the vegetables, the sauce and the rice was just perfect with none of the components being overbearing.
The 2nd big plate we ordered was Kua Hang Gai: braised chicken stir-fry with lemongrass, Thai garlic and buffalo basil.
This dish unfortunately suffers from the same fate as the Thai roti small plate: underwhelming compared to the preceding dish. This was a traditional Thai or even just a traditional Asian dish that failed to impress like the rice dish. Nonetheless, it was still a solid, decent plate but nothing particular stood out.
Finally for dessert, we ordered a platter of a different variety of fruits straight from Thailand.
This was a perfect way to end the dinner. The fruits were refreshing and for someone who hadn’t tasted most of the fruits on the plate, I really liked them.
Kiin is easily the best Thai restaurant I’ve eaten at and perhaps even one of the best (if not the best) Asian restaurants. The chef has mixed royal Thai food with traditional dishes satisfying people with all tastes. The more intricate dishes are creative, finely presented and its clear that there was painstaking attention to detail when they were cooked. The more traditional dishes might have not stood out but were nonetheless still nice to eat. This is a restaurant I would definitely revisit (and try the other dishes) and would recommend to anyone.