By West Village Bill
Kin Shop, a fairly new, Thai-inspired restaurant on 6th Avenue between 11th and 12th streets. I tried the place out for lunch almost a month ago, at the recommendation of my foodie friend Joyce, and had a wonderful, three-course prix-fixe meal that was a steal at $20. Dinner was much more spendy, but I was in the mood for splurging a bit and spent about $15 more on a bottle of wine than I typically do.
For our entrée, Tony and I both got the Steamed Red Snapper With Green Curry, Cashews, Bok Choy, and Kabocha Squash. It was a superb dish. My only regret is that I hadn't noticed jasmine rice is provided only if you request it—and at an additional charge of $3—so I had none to soak up the curry with.
For our starters, I got the enjoyable Garam Masala and Tomato Soup With Tofu, Mung Beans, and Holy Basil while the Tonester got the Spicy Duck Laab Salad With Toasted Rice, Ground Chili, and Romaine Hearts. The salad was marked in the menu with four asterisks, and the four-asterisked foodnote read as follows: "These are the spiciest dishes on our menu. They're hot and we mean it." Oh hell yeah! I liked the bite I tried, but I couldn't have handled a whole plate of it. Tony did. He said the lettuce had a cooling effect.
And so did our wine: the 2009 Clemens Busch Riesling vom Roten Schiefer ("from red slate"). Tony really enjoyed this semisweet, lemon-and-lime-flavored white and thought it paired well with our food. I wasn't quite as crazy about it but thought it worthwhile.
On my first visit, I'd gotten the Pumpkin and Bibb Salad With Pumpkin Seeds and Asian Pear–Peppercorn Vinaigrette and the Beef Brisket Madtarbark With Turmeric, Cucumber Relish, and Watercress. I had no idea what a madtarbark was, and I apparently couldn't have been bothered to ask my waitress, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the beef part of my entrée was wrapped in pastry. Mmmm. Beef and dough. For dessert, I ordered the Calamansi Sorbet, which—as my waitress had said it would, because I did ask her what a calamansi was—tasted more like lemon than anything else I could put my finger on.
On both visits, the service was quite good, and our waitress and another employee Tony had consulted earlier in the day were both very helpful in making sure he was able to avoid both gluten and dairy. The room was rather loud at dinner, which was to be expected on a Saturday night in this small, attractively decorated space.