Despite the strong "Northern Thai" focus out of the gates, the reality of what people are looking for in a Thai restaurant — the basics — means there are favorites like a green papaya salad (northeastern Thai) and pad Thai (a mishmash of Chinese stir-fried noodles and Thai tastes born in Bangkok) in addition to the khao soi (a proper Northern curry noodle), larb and sticky rice.
A few of the dishes I ran through for dinner:
Laab Moo, A Pork Laab, 68rmb
Nam Pla Chicken Wings, 78rmb
Nam Khao Tod Crispy Rice, 68rmb plus 8rmb egg
And the dining room:
Let's say they are still finding their feet in the kitchen. The condiment jars on the table were a nice touch, and the room feels quaint and laconic, with the fans going and the doors open to the street (winter may dampen this mood) and pictures of the king hung high on the walls.
The plan is to eventually use this location as the model to re-brand the Urban Thai restaurants on Dagu Lu and Changle Lu, seeing as KIN is a tie-up between Hauge and The Camel Group, which owns the existing Urban Thai's. Expect things to change as a new Thai chef comes on board shortly and the kitchen finds that important balance between salty fish sauce, sour lime and sweet palm sugar, the foundational trinity of the Thai kitchen. Still, if you want a preview now, they are open seven days a week, from 10am-late.
KIN Urban Thai Kitchen, 45 Yongkang Lu, near Xiangyang Nan Lu. Click here for details.