In the Thai language, if you ask someone if they’ve eaten yet, and they say no, the response is always “kin kin.” It loosely translates to “let’s eat”, so what better name for the newest Thai-inspired eatery on the Hutt St strip?
Kin Kin Thai Eatery is the brainchild of Bangkok-born couple Wannee Muangpakorn and Noppadol Sophon, who have been in the business of food for over 10 years. Having moved from Sydney, the couple were lucky enough to get a hold of a business start-up grant from the Adelaide City Council… and the rest is history!
The star of Kin Kin’s simple fit-out is a larger-than-life mural that gives you an insight to the culinary landscape of Thailand, while textural wallpaper and a display of trinkets collected by Wannee and Noppadol add a sense of homeliness to the space. As do the floral touches on the share plates and the lychee cans acting as makeshift cutlery holders. But all in all, the no-fuss design allows the food to speak for itself.
“We make everything from scratch,” says Wannee, “which means no MSG or food enhancers,” so you can be sure your favourite curries and stir-fries will not only be tasty, but also healthy.
“We wanted to bring back some of the food that has already been lost in Bangkok,” says Wannee, “so we’re cooking very traditional, old style dishes that we used to eat.”
And in that spirit, we sampled some of Kin Kin’s ‘old style’ menu offerings that are native to northeast Thailand.
The Goong phae is one for the seafood lovers, deep-fried school prawns with turmeric, southern-style curry paste and Thai basil. The best thing about school prawns is that they’re small and soft enough to deep-fry and eat whole, kinda like soft shell crab.
But there’s no going past the Som tum, green papaya salad with peanuts, dried shrimp, chilli, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and topped with crispy pork skin. It’s literally a party in your mouth, and the guys in the kitchen have curated the perfect mishmash of textures and flavours.
If you’re looking curb your hunger without having to curb your diet, it doesn’t get much healthier than the Gai yang. There’s nothing quite like meat cooked on an open grill, and this char-grilled marinated chicken with turmeric and lemongrass, and nam jim jeaw is no exception.
The Tom neua, spicy and sour soup of braised beef ribs with Thai herbs, will undoubtedly help you to embrace the cooler weather. The beef falls off the bone, and the broth packs just the right amount of punch.
The traditional theme flows into their dessert menu, which features the Khanom co, smoked jasmine-infused caramelised coconut dumpling served in warm coconut cream. It’s a must-try if you’re a sweet tooth.
Kin Kin’s menu is designed for sharing, so it’s worth mentioning their option for indecisive diners. For groups of four or more, the guys in the kitchen will take care of everything for you, for $55 per person.
In the drinks department, the team at Kin Kin are pouring from a strictly Australian wine list, and are serving up your quintessential Thai beers, Singha and Chang. Or you can get right into the swing of things with something a little more traditional, like a Thai iced tea lychee frappe, or a Fresh young coconut.
Set just off the intersection of Hutt St and South Tce, Kin Kin is on the south-eastern fringe of the CBD, but there’s nothing far-flung about the food being served up. Their menu diverges from the norm, incorporating traditional dishes that are far from your average, and there’s something to be said for old-style Thai food created by a team who understands exactly where it comes from.