Thursday, October 22, 2015

Restaurant Review: Kinn Thai

A warm Friday night, some spicy Thai food and a tasty cocktail is pretty much my idea of bliss and I had the great pleasure to enjoy it at  Kinn Thai.

If you haven't come across it yet, it has replaced Wagamama between Sammy's Kitchen and Wood and Coal in the North Quarter of the Canberra Centre. Wagamama had languished, mostly empty for quite some time. Kinn Thai couldn't be more different. On the Friday night we visited it was packed and we watched the rapid change over of tables. I'm sure they did at least three seatings at most tables.

We had no booking but being just two us and quite early, about 6pm, we scored a table straight away. By the time we left at 7pm however there was a queue and I could see our table being snapped right up.

The menu offers lots of the usual favourites but one option I like is that for most types of dishes - eg stir fry - they offer a base and you choose your protein. Being our first visit we went with our benchmark Thai dish - pad thai which we had with chicken - plus an entree of duck pancakes and a second main dish of a crying tiger salad.

We also ordered cocktails. I ordered a Ho-Ra-Pa ($14) which is Don Julico Tequila, Thai Basil with a hint of raspberry and ginger ale. S ordered a caprioska ($12) made with cachaca, brown sugar and lime. Both were delicious, although we each liked the other's better and ended up swapping. My only comment was that the Ho-Ra-Pa came out in a glass like a mini fish bowl which was a bit difficult to drink from.

The pancakes came out incredibly quickly - they actually beat our cocktails to the table. The pancake itself was very tasty, quite different to the Chinese style ones I'm used to, more chewy and tasty. It was filled with generous chunks of duck, spring onions and cucumber and accompanied with hoisin sauce. At $10 for 2 pancakes it is on the expensive side for a small entree but we both loved them and would order them again.

Next dish out was the crying tiger salad ($23). It gets a 2 chili rating on the menu and deserved it, my first mouthful had a big chunk of chili which got me right in the back of the throat. But if you like chili I think you will love this dish. It was fresh and flavourful with the taste of the herbs and a generous amount of lemongrass. The beef was incredibly tender, you could cut it with a spoon and while this is quite a decent serve the two of us had no trouble finishing it.

Finally we had the pad thai. We had chosen chicken ($16.50) but it also comes in vegetarian, beef and prawn options. I would definitely rate this as a good and tasty pad thai. It was slightly heavy on the tomato for me and S would have liked more peanuts but that was really nitpicking. Again a very generous serve disappeared fast, although with so many other interesting things on the menu, I'm not sure I would order it again.

All up our meal came to $75 which given that it included two cocktails I thought was pretty good

Service was great. The food came out promptly and the wait staff were attentive if, it seemed, slightly inexperienced with the iPad ordering system.

Every dish we saw going past looked and smelled great. S who isn't big on going to the same place twice commented that he would be keen to return and try a few more dishes.

Overall we really enjoyed our dinner. I can't wait to go back with a crowd and try some of the seafood dishes (S doesn't eat seafood) as I've heard great reports about the crispy soft shell crab.

Kinn Thai Restaurant
125 Bunda Street
Canberra City

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