"Where do you find these places?" Nick asked me when we went to Kin Shop for dinner the other night. "I don't know..the magic of internet research?"
It's true – we wanted to go to dinner and didn't know where, so I did some Googling and discovered the recently opened Kin Shop on 11th street and 6th ave. Owned by Harold Dieterle, the Season One Top Chef winner, Kin Shop is "contemporary Thai" cuisine. The menu isn't cluttered (unlike most Thai joints these days) and the dishes are a little out of the ordinary. Why not? New Yorkers get so bored these days anyway with "normal." Steamed meatball soup, for example, was one of our appetizers of the night, and well worth the risk. Savory and tasty, with only one downside: a bit too salty. I have a salt-tooth and am not bothered by it really, but if I can notice it, you know it's salty. There were two little condiment bowls on the table as well, one with a VERY spicy red curry powder, and the other with a sweet vinegar, both designed to enhance your food to please your taste. Nick and I opted for some spice in the soup, but we put a bit too much. And by too much, I mean a pinch. Be careful – that stuff is no joke.
The warm sliced snap peas with baby scallops was really good, as was the presentation - I liked the contrasting colors – a feast for the eyes, as they say. The scallops were cooked well and the sauce that accompanied it was mild and creamy; a nice compliment to the strong earthy flavor of the snap peas. For entrees, Nick wanted the roasted duck breast, and I was craving some noodles, so I got the egg noodles in Maitake mushroom broth with a poached egg on top. Mmm I love poached eggs..
The noodles were great; long strands swimming around in an earthy broth, and then you break the egg and mix it in – nums. The duck was good too and cooked really well. They serve it with this unbelievably greasy, fried dough "disk" (I forgot what it's actually called, but disk sounds about right), and they advise you to put a piece of duck on the greasefest, top it with the tamarind water it comes with, and eat it. Kind of like a Thai/Indian version of Fajitas..?
Dessert was eh. We had so much noodles, rice and greasy bread, I actually didn't want to get the banana spring rolls (which is what I would normally go with), so we got the Steamed Passionfruit Pudding. No clue what to expect of that one, but I figured it had to be lighter than a fried dessert roll. Well, it was definitely lighter. It resembled flan mixed with mousse. It's served with candied cashews (the best part) and passionfruit ice cream. Too much passionfruit! I wasn't wild about it. Honestly, I could have eaten just a bowl of the candied cashews.
Overall experience was good and the price wasn't bad either (all of the above with 2 rounds of drinks was a little over $100). Speaking of drinks – I had the Phuket, which is not pronounced how you would think it is - I learned that the hard way. It was really cool and refreshing (vodka, basil, lemon and pineapple), I liked it a lot. Other dishes I'd like to try: braised goat neck (sheer curiosity) and pan fried crab noodles.