Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Just because you are eating Asian food, does not mean you need chopsticks
“Just give me a pair of chopsticks and I will be ready to go!”
This is what a middle aged Caucasian lady (cough, yuppie, cough) uttered when I was about to leave Kin Shop. I think she even glanced over to our table as if to see if I concurred with her statement and validated that apparently, eating food from the Asiatic region requires the usage of chopsticks in order to enjoy it. It is like eating Mexican food I need a stack of tortillas in order to get the full Mexican experience. That is the end of my miniature rant; I just thought it was amusing.
For Mother’s Day, I decided to go with the family to Kin Shop, the newly opened Thai restaurant by Harold Dieterle, the winner of the first Top Chef and already successful restaurant Perilla. Thai food is often all too synonymous with Pad Thai, sour soup, watery curries both ranging from the flavorless to colon-burning spice and the enemy cuisine of anyone with a serious peanut allergy. Since I do not have a peanut allergy and I enjoy a good amount of spice, Kin Shop seemed perfect. Also they had reservations open for lunch the past weekend.
|Thai Ice Tea|
|Condiments, Chili Vinegar and Chili spice mix|
|Steamed Pork Meatball Soup|
The other soup that we got was Garam Masala and Tomato Soup. In it was tofu, mung beans and holy basil. I am not too familiar with holy basil and do not know how it differs in taste from Italain sweet or Thai basil but the soup again was quite successful. The soup was simply a tomato soup that was brought a whole other level. I am not like tomato soup that much because versions I have had of it are usually, too sweet or acidic and taste like watered down ketchup. However, this soup restores my faith in tomato soup and straight up “clowns”
|Garam Masala Tomato Soup|
Finally for appetizers we got the Spicy Duck Laab Salad, which had toasted rice, ground chili, chopped strings beans served in romaine heart cups. They put an emphasis that this is a spicy dish with asterisk and warning from our server and he was right. This dish is what I call Thai spicy, the kind where if you eat a lot of it, everything starts to look like a Pink Floyd video. So for a chili head like me, this was perfect. Once you get past the spiciness of the dish, the dish is very tasty and the spice combination and ground duck works nicely. A fyi, if the dish is spicy, do not drink water to cool it down, it only makes it worse, try a Thai ice tea, it is refreshing and they make a pretty good one here. The appetizers all hit their marks and a good sign of things to come.
|Duck Laab Salad- muy caliente|
However the Stir fried Rice Flakes with Rock shrimp, Cauliflower was delicious. Upon looking on the menu again it also had sawtooth herb and fried garlic, I love garlic but I have no clue what a sawtooth herb is. It just sounds utterly badass and given that I liked this dish, tasty. Rice flakes are just another type of noodle which is similar to the wide wonton noodles but softer and not as wide. The rock shrimp flavored the whole dish and impregnated the briny, seafood flavors into everything. The cauliflower was still crispy; offering a textural contrast to the dish and the fried garlic was not overpowering and was subtle in the dish working out perfectly.
|Stir fried Rice Flakes with Rock Shrimp, Cauliflower|
The Egg Noodle and Maitake Mushroom Broth with duck egg, green onions and spinach was a beautifully subtle dish. The egg noodles were cooked nicely, although did not have the Asian “Q”/chewiness to it and was closer to al dente. The broth was not heavily spiced, but it was a concentrate of maitake mushroom flavor. Although the only real protein component of this dish was the poached duck egg, the broth itself provided an intense, mushroom meatiness to the whole dish. The dish was not heavily spiced but showed restraint which added its own complexity and showing less is more.
|Massaman Braised Goat|
|Roti- Pancake sauce sponge|
Finally ending the meal was a scoop of mango sorbet and a scoop of Thai-Coffee chocolate ice cream, not mixed together. The mango was clean and crisp and had chunks of mangos in it which is always a plus. The Thai-Coffee chocolate was borderline chalky tasting and the coffee flavors were very subtle. Overall, Kin Shop dished out some great dishes and they were of adequate size and were not “elf food” in anyway. Many question the authenticity of the food well mainly because Harold is white and not Thai/Asian. I am not going to beat around the bush and pretend that is not what everyone is thinking. However the thing is he is not claiming that it is authentic Thai and the argument of authenticity food is something that can be debated until Two and a Half Men is back on the air (or check the chowhound board for the thread of authentic food). The point is that the food at Kin Shop is without a question
He pays great respect to Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine and produces great food and whether or not this is the food that you will be eating in a dank street in Thai. Bangkok is up to you but at Kin Shop, the flavors of are there and they are good. Thailand
|Mango Sorbet and Thai-Coffee Chocolate Ice Cream|
469 Avenue of the
New York, NY 10011