A Stop Along the Way: Kiin Thai, NYC
A Night in Thailand, or so it felt…
(Written by Hannah Pollinger, whom gleefully accepted my invitation to join dinner and write the review)
So you say you’ve had Thai food…but have you actually tasted and experienced authentic Thai Food? I thought I had until I had the opportunity to eat at Kiin Thai Eatery in the East Village. Located on East 8th Street, right in Astor Place, Alexa and I ventured to the quaint eatery on Wednesday evening to decide for ourselves if the hype was worth it.
The décor is simple and clean, which created a nice ambiance for dinner with a friend. While I am definitely not keen on super spicy food, I was interested in pursuing the authentic Thai experience. Kiin focuses on dishes primarily from the North and Central regions of Thailand, which are mild to medium spice (or so they say). Traditional dishes from the South are known for their heat. Even the owner (who is originally from Thailand) said they are too hot for her! Alexa and I began to order dishes that we thought we would like (our safe dishes are dishes that we would see in an Americanized Thai Restaurant). We quickly learned after speaking with the owner about the menu that we were missing key dishes that would give us that authentic experience we were craving. We left the ordering in her hands but mentioned to keep the spice to a medium! Pad thai at Kiin is not just any pad thai.
Most of the dishes play on Thailand’s family-style eating practices; this is great to do with a couple friends and it allows you to taste more of the menu. Every dish that came out on to the table was presented perfectly and elegantly.
To start off, we tried a number of appetizers including Crab Nham Prik Pu, which had a spicy crab dip and an assortment of vegetables and egg. I could definitely taste the spice in the dip, so the next dish was on the mellow side and was a refreshing taste on spring rolls. The grilled summer shrimp wrapped in rice paper was served with a tamarind-coconut dipping sauce and was one of our favorites of the night. We adored the thick but light dipping sauce: I could put it on everything!
Our final two dishes turned what we thought we knew about Thai food upside down. The Pad Thai with Shrimp came out wrapped in an egg crepe, something that neither of us had seen before. The noodles were filled with flavor and the shrimp were cooked to perfection. Last but not least, with just enough room left in our stomachs, we were presented with the pineapple fried rice which is literally served in a hollowed out half a pineapple. It was a twist on fried rice we were used to eating but totally unusual with the quirky new flavors.
If you're looking for a cute date night spot, or a place to bring your girls for fantastic cocktails (I'm 22!) and food, we highly suggest Kiin Thai Eatery!