Kin Shop NYC Thai Restaurant
Chef Harold Dieterle received national renown in 2005 when he won the first season of Top Chef, and then, perhaps even more difficult (and definitely more important), earned local NYC respect when he opened the first-rate Perilla on Jones Street just two years later, which is still cooking to capacity most nights. Late last fall Chef Dieterle expanded his role as neighborhood restaurateur with the Thai-ish Kin Shop in NYC, and despite being on decidedly less lovely patch of West Village real estate, Kin Shop was pretty much an instant hit, with glowing reviews to follow. Anyway, we finally made it to Dieterle's Kin Shop a couple of times this week, with two questions in mind: Is that duck starter as fiery as everyone says? And is the food really that good?
1. Yes, and it's delicious;
2. Yes, even better than our expectations.
We started at Kin Shop restaurant with the Spicy Duck Laab Salad, as any self-respecting heat-eater should, and were rewarded with a huge mound of an almost sausage-y meat / crispy rice combo, piled atop sturdy romaine leaves, which, if you feel like using your hands (and want to tamp down the fire a tad), serve as edible utensils. This is an outstanding dish, the dried Thai chilies exploding in your mouth, but somehow not overwhelming the rich, gamey taste of the duck; the crunchy green beans, rice and romaine adding all kinds of terrific textural sensations. The Squid Ink soup is also memorable, all black and murky with hidden bites of tender squid, beef brisket, and beans lurking within.
Kin Shop's Grilled River Prawns were excellent as well, the crustaceans cooked to soft, sweet perfection, the "phuket style" black pepper dipping sauce adding a another welcome hit of heat. And don't forget to suck out all that wonderfully intense head meat. The roasted bone marrow special, served with buttery slices of roti, is, like most such dishes, more exciting in concept than on the plate; not because it tasted badly, but more that there wasn't really much of it. Finally, we ended one evening on a noodly note, with a large bowl–the Thai restaurant portions of are all generous at Kin Shop–of Stir Fried Wide Wontons, the big, flat noodles appropriately gummy, studded with chunks of chicken sausage and leaves of Thai broccoli rabe, with an oyster sauce making a too-modest appearance (when in doubt: spoon on the vinegar at your table).
Dieterle's Kin Shop in NYC has been attracting a young, sparkly crowd since the doors opened, but thanks to the friendly staff and reasonable prices, the place feels more warm neighborhood spot than sceney destination… though the quality of the cooking makes it well worth a trip.
Kin Shop Thai Restaurant Details
Chef Harold Dieterle's Kin Shop in NYC is located on Sixth Avenue between 12th and 11th Streets, and is open for dinner every night at 5:30 p.m., and service runs through 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, 11:00 on Monday through Thursday, and 11:30 on the weekend. For more information including a Kin Shop menu, please see the Kin Shop website.