Sherman's Food Adventures: Song (by Kin Kao)

Song (by Kin Kao)

So you might be wondering why I'm blogging about Song (by Kin Kao) again so soon.  Well, first of all, if you have noticed, it is no longer Song because if you Google that alone, you come up with the wiki page about music.  So for those who are unaware, Song is the second location of Kin Kao Kitchen hence the new moniker after the name.  For me at least, Song is much better than the original Kin Kao Kitchen on Commercial Drive.  Second reason I'm posting about the place is that I love the food and I had some new dishes which were very good.  This post is actually an amalgamation of 2 separate visits.

So without further ado, here we go into the food!  One of the must-haves here is the Lemongrass Chicken Wings.  These mid-wings are split right down the middle ensuring that they are crispy throughout with only a bit of moist meat on the bone.  Skin is completely rendered and the seasoning is impactful complete with fried lemongrass on top.  The side of spicy namjim sauce on the side adds the perfect balance of brininess, sweetness and herbaceousness.

I also love their Shrimp Toast prepared atop Fife organic milk bread.  Even though it is deep fried, the bread retains its soft and airy texture.  Naturally, the crispiness on the outside only highlights the contrast in texture when you bite into it.  The shrimp is sweet and bouncy and amazingly the bread isn't soaked completely with oil.  This is further complimented by the side of achat pickles that offer up acidity, crunch and sharpness.

I don't know why I keep ordering the Grilled Pork Jowl because other than the first time I had it, it hasn't been grilled enough.  I'm not even sure if this is on the current menu.  As you can see in the picture, it isn't charred very much, hence it is more like lightly steamed pork jowl instead of grilled.  Therefore, the caramelization isn't evident and the texture is just soft.  However, the spicy jaew dip on the side does bring the meat alive.

Another favourite of mine is the Pomelo Salad with crispy shallots, shredded coconut and cashews.  Unlike many other version you'll encounter, this one here is mainly comprised of juicy and sweet pomelo.  it is further amped by the dressing that has all of the goodness of fish sauce and plenty of sweetness.  The aromatics from the shallots and coconut are addictive as well as the nuttiness of the cashews and peanuts.

So is it excessive to pay $50.00 for a Tom Yum Prawns Soup?  Normally it is a rhetorical question but in this case, it really isn't that simple of answer.  First, this is big enough to feed 4 people and second, you really can't see the prawns hidden within it.  Those prawns are huge and beautifully cooked with a meaty crunch.  The soup itself is super impactful with lingering spice and brininess.  Lots of aromatics from the ingredients too.

Currently, they have the Grilled Spot Prawns (since it is the season).  These are simply grilled without anything on them.  For such a beautiful ingredient, there really isn't much you need to add.  The natural sweetness of the delicate prawns really come through and further enhanced by the kiss on the grill.  Then the spicy namjum sauce only adds some tangy and spicy cilantro hits.

So one of the must-have new dishes is the Stir-Fried Clams in a house chili garlic sauce with fried Thai basil.  There is no way to have this dish without ordering a bowl of rice or two.  The sauce is so savoury and addictive, you just want to keep shoving spoonfuls of rice into your mouth.  There is the sweetness of the palm sugar, the aromatics of the garlic and the kick from the chili.  Trust me, you will lick the plate.

I believe that their Pad Thai has to be one of the better versions in town with chewy noodles laced with a sweet tamarind sauce that also has some spice and brininess from the fish sauce.  It is nicely caramelized and features all of the good things found in Pad Thai such as pressed tofu and pickled turnip.  However, if you look closely (and taste), there are some tiny dried shrimp strewn throughout.  Small detail, but makes a difference.

Another must-order item at Song is the Squash Stir-Fry (but not sure if that is on the menu at the moment).  It is comprised of sliced kobacha and egg with garlic and mushroom sauce.  The textures in this dish are off-the-hook with the soft, yet firm squash interwoven with the fluffy egg.  Then you have the sweet umaminess of the sauce that is the beneficiary of caramelized palm sugar.  More aromatics are provided by the Thai basil.

Another dish that is full of umaminess as well as textures is the Mushroom Stir Fry with Fried Silken Egg Tofu.  Absolutely love the contrast between the crispy fried tofu with the delicate silkiness of the centre.  Then you add in all of the earthy mushrooms bathed in an mushroom oyster-sauce with garlic and you have subtle, yet impactful flavours.  Instead of the actual oyster sauce, this vegan version is less salty and much more aromatic.

For dessert, the classic Mango Sticky Rice is elevated with coconut cream, young rice pop and edible flowers.  For some colour, the sticky rice is spiked with butterfly pea blue, yet still is sticky and sweet.  Mango is ripe and delicious.  Simple, yet satisfying.  So yet another delicious meal at Song (by Kin Kao).  The place has earned its Michelin Bib Gourmand status with good eats and service.  As a Bib Gourmand, the place should be relatively inexpensive, but in reality, the prices do get up there.  However, given that the food is so good, I think it is worth it.

The Good:
- Impactful flavours
- Solid execution
- Attentive service

The Bad:
- Seating can be tight
- Prices can get up there (but worth it IMO)


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