Kiin is a Thai restaurant from the same people behind Pai, Sabai Sabai and Sukhothai. The newest offering from Chef Nuit and Jeff Regular is heavy on the sharing plates, many featuring favourite dishes from the chef's childhood in Thailand.
The space designed by Steven Fong Architect was converted from the original Khao San Road spot, and it’s barely recognizable. The long, narrow subterranean area was once relatively dark, and now it’s brightened by several windows with shutters that recall royal houses in Thailand.
A bowl of root vegetable chips ($9) brings intense citrusy and spicy seasoning to butternut squash, sweet potato, and taro.
An addictive shrimp, peanut, crab, tamarind and coconut dip ($12) is eaten on rice crackers.
Mixed rice salad ($24) is completely vegan and beautifully colourful, a crunchy, bright, slightly spicy mixture.
Jasmine rice coloured by beets, tamarind and butterfly pea flower is mixed tableside with peanut, onion, pickled radish, lemongrass, pomelo, cucumber, long beans, chili, white turmeric, and roasted coconut dressed with a tamarind dressing and served with lime.
A royal Thai platter ($12) is actually a selection of dumplings. A delicately hand pinched blue rice flour coloured by butterfly pea flower contains a nutty, sweet, herby mix of coconut, peanut and pickled radish.
A golden bag in a cucumber cup contains chicken and shrimp, and an egg nest contains chicken, while pineapple cups a savoury, salty, sweet centre.
A wing bean salad ($15) is served with soft-boiled eggs to counteract the spice that seeps into the jagged corners of these veggies, topped with chili shrimp paste, crunchy coconut and peanut.
Sea salt crusted whole sea bream ($32) is dismantled at your table.
It’s then scooped into lettuce wraps in the palm, topped with a green chili sauce.
A colada ($15) is a twist on a pina colada with J. Wray rum, Galliano and a healthy dose of coconut cream garnished with an edible flower and a little dessert-style coconut ball.
Platters of Chef Nuit’s choice of Thai fruit for dessert might include rambutan, mango and lychee.
Heartfelt touches are everywhere, from molding on the ceiling reminiscent of grand Thai homes to photos of the late king of Thailand. Chef Nuit says she wanted it to feel like the home she’d always dreamed of.