Sherman's Food Adventures: Kin Kao Song

Kin Kao Song

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air...  Wait, I meant believe it or not, I've never been to Kin Kao before.  Well, I did try the one in San Francisco, but most people know that they are not affiliated.  So I finally did try the place out, but not the original location on Commercial Drive.  Rather, I waited so long, they had actually opened their second spot on Broadway and named it Kin Kao Song.  There are slightly different menus for both, so one day I will still have to go to the first location.

For now, I'll just have to blog about my experience at Kin Kao Song.  So we started with the Lemongrass Wings that were split centre-cut portions.  This ensured that the wings were uniformly crispy and much easier to share and eat.  Even though the skin was well-rendered, the meat itself was still juicy.  They were aromatic and tasty on their own, but the dip on the side added a bit of spice, tang and aromatics.

My favourite dish of the night was the Grilled Pork Jowl since I personally love the fatty gelatinous bouncy texture.  This version was beautifully grilled where there was a nice char and all of the fats were activated.  Even better, the portion size was quite generous.  Again, there was enough flavour on its own, but the spicy jaew dip added elements of sweet, spicy and saltiness.

A bit of an understated dish was the Crispy Tofu with a tamarind, sweet chili and peanut sauce. Naturally, the tofu by itself was not very flavourful, but that was mainly the dip's responsibility.  It did its job with good tanginess with a mild spice and of course the smooth nuttiness of the peanut.  The tofu was soft with a uniformly crispy coating.  However, I would've liked to see a bit of seasoning on the tofu itself.

Another favourite of mine was the Shrimp Toast made with Fife milk bread topped with shrimp paste coated with eggs and a side of achat pickles.  Loved the toast as it was crispy but not completely soaked with oil.  Shrimp paste was delicate and not rubbery.  It had a good amount of herbs mixed into it.  To brighten things up the achat pickles did their job beautifully with a crunch.

One more small dish was the Beef Satay atop Fife milk bread and served with peanut sauce.  These beef skewers had a natural meaty texture while still tender at the same time.  They were nicely marinated and aromatic from the lemongrass with a moderate char.  The side of peanut sauce was really good where it wasn't too sweet and provided a nice punch of flavour.  

We did a defaultish dish in the Pad Thai without any meat.  So I guess it was a vegan version then.   Didn't matter as it was good with noticeable wok hei (good wok heat) where flavours were caramelized.  The noodles were a touch wet, but still al dente.  There was the unmistakable tang from the tamarind balanced off by enough palm sugar.  Loved the crunch from the bean sprouts but would've liked some dried turnip too.

One dish that seemed like just a side turned out to be very good.  The Vegetable Stir-fry featured cabbage, carrots, woodear mushroom, mushrooms and broccoli.  Again, good wok heat and the veggies remained crisp.  The best part was the use of the classic garlic and mushroom sauce where it had umaminess and impact.  Good that there wasn't excess moisture on the bottom either. 

For dessert, we had the Lemongrass Coconut Mousse Cake with was a collab with Oh Sweet Day! Bakery.  The mousse was smooth and light while very understated in terms of sugar.  Although there was fruit on the place, this needed something with more tang and sweetness such as mango.  Unfortunately, it isn't in season, so the dessert was mostly flat, despite the great textures.  Overall, we enjoyed the food at Kin Kao Song and for me, I want to visit the original location to try other unique dishes.

The Good:
- Well-prepared eats
- Great service
- Lots of small plates to share

The Bad:
- A little on the pricier side, but okay
- Dessert could be sweeter



Joy Dancer said...

The pad thai might not have been vegan, as most of them contain fish sauce. It definitely has less meat though!

Sherman said...

@Joy Dancer That is a good point. Definitely has fish sauce. Not vegan.

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