Sherman's Food Adventures: Kin Khao Thai Eatery

Kin Khao Thai Eatery

The first time I ever heard of Pim Techamuanvivit was when she was more affectionately known as Chez Pim at a food conference in San Francisco many years back.  She went from cooking, reporting and writing about food to opening her own Northern Thai joint in Kin Khao Thai Eatery.  For 2 years running, the place has earned a Michelin Star for its flavorful Northern Thai cuisine that tries hard to not be cliched.  We decided to hit up the place for some lunch since we were longing from so form of Asian food.

To start, we had the Pretty Hot Wings marinated in nam pla fish sauce & garlic.  We had the sriracha & tamarind glaze served on the side (so that the kiddies could eat it).  Featuring rendered and lightly crispy skin, the wings were succulent and well-brined.  I could taste the fish sauce and garlic immediately.  I found the glaze to be balanced where the spice from the sriracha wasn't overwhelming.  We also gave the Nam Tok Beans a go and they were surprisingly tasty (I wasn't sure about this dish when I ordered it). As described on the menu, it consisted of ayocote negro beans tossed Isaan-style with lime, chili, rice powder, light soy, shallots, scallions, mint and cilantro. What we found was nicely blistered beans that were soft, yet firm enough with an impactful level of tang, spice and aromatics.  

Onto the mains, the Khao Man Gai was a surprisingly small portion consisting of 4 pieces of chicken breast (albeit a good size), that were tender and not dried out.  The rice was aromatic and the chicken fat did come through.  It was only mildly salty which was fine since the ginger condiment made the dish.  Compared to another famous version of this dish found in Portland (Nong's Khao Man Gai), I found the sauce to be saltier with the soy sauce being more apparent.  It was equally tangy and sweet though.  Featuring a large confit, then fried muscovy duck leg, the 5-Spice Duck Noodle Soup was solid.  The broth itself was not overseasoned with 5-spice, hence, I could taste the duck meatiness as well the garlic oil.  The flat rice noodles were slippery and not too soft (as opposed to the rice vermicelli as stated on the menu).  I found the duck leg really good with tender meat that was flavorful without being salty.

Our favorite dish was the Pad Kee Mao (stir-fried drunken noodles with ground pork, rice noodles, garlic, Birds Eye chili, onions, bell peppers and holy basil ).  This was the beneficiary of caramelizing wok heat that created a mild smokiness.  The dish was lightly spicy with aromatics coming at us left, right and center.  There was only a hint of xiaoshing wine to go with the sweetness and savoriness of the noodles.  The squeeze of lime completed the wealth of flavors.  Although this meal was on the pricier side, the flavors were on point and then some.  Execution was also on point.

The Good:
- Wealth of flavors
- Spot on execution
- Solid service

The Bad:
- Pricey
- Portion size is modest 

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