Sunday, August 12, 2012

Not Quite Top Thai: Kin Shop

Kin Shop is Chef Harold Dieterle's contemporary homage to Thai food.  I know, I know.  Why am I doing this to myself again?  (By "this," I mean eating at an "elevated" Asian place run by a non-Asian dude.)

Because it's Harold, people!  I couldn't pass up a chance to eat at the very first Top Chef winner's restaurant.  Plus, we couldn't score a reservation at Torrisi on such short notice.  Plus, the Mayor suggested Kin Shop, and she has great taste.
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The place wasn't this empty when we met the Mayor and her beau for dinner.  I snapped this at the end of our meal.  We shut the place down on a Sunday night.

The Typhoon -- mekhong, calamansi, aperol, Thai basil, Fever Tree Ginger Beer ($12).
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Sensational cocktail!  Really loved this!

Spicy duck laab salad, toasted rice, ground chili, Romaine hearts ($13).
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Actually spicy!  But not as spicy as our beloved Pa-Ord at home.

Fried pork and crispy oyster salad, celery, peanuts, mint, chili-lime vinaigrette ($13).
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Far more tasty protein than salad, and that was just fine with us.

Grilled prawns, fresh lime, Phuket-style black pepper sauce ($4 each).
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Good but way too expensive for what it was.

Pan-seared black sea bass, bamboo, bok choy, chu chee curry ($26).
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This may sound crazy, but this reminded me of the crispy sea bass we had at Le Bernardin three years ago, except Asian-ified.

Northern Thai-style curry noodle, braised brisket, cucumber, peanuts, fresh herbs ($24).
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Very enjoyable.  Spiced.  Creamy.  Solid.

Peekytoe crab and pork Chiang Mai sausage, jackfruit congee, green onions, fried garlic ($28).
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My personal favorite of the night.  I found it very soothing and comforting.  I had flashbacks of my childhood and our Saturday morning rice porridge.  I'd love to eat this on a sick day.

Root beer float with galangal ice cream ($8).
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I opted to get my dessert in a gingery beverage form.  Great.

Thai coffee-chocolate ice cream ($3).
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My one bite was lovely.  Beautifully bitter in a good way.

Thai iced tea ice cream ($3).
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Tasted just like it sounds -- your favorite creamy orange tea, frozen.

Passion fruit and lemongrass panna cotta, fresh mango, toasted coconut, sesame cookies ($9).
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Refreshing, fruity, and light.

Complimentary cookies.
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Nice tasty touch.

Kin Shop was pleasant.  I liked my meal, and I loved catching up with the Mayor and meeting her boyfriend.  But Mr. Monkey was not as blinded as I was by my reunion with my old friend.  As we rode the subway back to our hotel, he said, "We can get better food like this for a lot less at a ton of places at home."

He's right.  Valiant effort, but sorry, Harold.  Please pack your knives and go [do something else].


  1. I love Harold and I love beautifully bitter chocolate ice cream, but yes, I hear what you're saying.

    1. It's kind of crazy that Harold + beautifully bitter chocolate ice cream isn't SUPER AWESOME.

  2. I lol'd at your intro. Everything looked good, but too bad it wasn't great.

  3. i wouldn't mind trying that thai iced tea ice cream.

  4. yup. overpriced. @wan, there's thai iced tea ice cream at a thai place in san dimas, i think. and for cheaper, too.


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