I didn't plan on going to Kin Shop last Wednesday; but I'm glad I did. My original intent was Soto; but I then heard they were closed till after 4th of July. Craving sushi, Christa and I tried Ushiwakamaru on West Houston; but had no luck. The lady at the hostess stand gave us that "are you kidding me" look right before she told us to come back after 9:30. It was an hour and a half wait next door at Miss Lilly's as our mood instantly changed to Jamaican. Disappointed, we walked to Thompson St so we could try Tomoe, another sushi spot on my radar. Only 20 minutes, I was down to wait; but Christa ran away once she noticed the "B" letter grade. I told her that a "B" wasn't that bad and made a crack about her wishing for a "B" in high school--she didn't appreciate that. Lupa, Mario Batali's italian Osteria was jamming; but Italian food wasn't tempting enough to wait. It then occurred to me that we were a short walk away from Kin Shop, so I called and they seemed less crowded with a half hour wait. We walked north and by the time we got there, we walked right in.
Harold Dieterle runs the kitchen at Kin Shop, a contemporary Thai restaurant on Sixth Ave. If you watch Top Chef, this name might ring a bell as Harold won the first season. Harold and his partner Alicia Nosenzo also own Perilla, a quaint restaurant on Jones Street.
We walked right into Kin Shop which was a bit of a surprise. Kin Shop always seems crowded as its a combination of a neighborhood spot and a destination. Regulars might come by for their weekly Thai fix while others travel from other neighborhoods to taste some of Dieterle's food. We started with the spicy duck laab salad and the fried pork and crispy oyster salad. The spicy duck was indeed spicy--probably the hottest thing we ate all night. But the heat brought flavor and had its purpose. The fried pork and oyster salad was another winning dish. The fried oysters were monsterous, the peanuts added a nice textural component, and the mint added a nice touch. The bacon added to the dish without overpowering it. All in all, the appetizers were a great success.
For our entrees, I was going to get the goat; but I went with the Northern Thai Style Curry Noodle-- a combination of brisket, cucumber, and fresh herbs. Christa got the Sour Yellow:roasted king oyster mushroom. Snow peas and turnips sat in the earthy broth and quickly disappeared. The entrees were good; but the appetizers were better. (I feel like this happens a lot!)
To full for anything else, we left and walked off a delicious dinner. Overall, Kin Shop was a great experience and I'd definitely go back to try out other items on the menu. Not only did the food excite me, but so did the beverage list. Kin Shop's beverage list was full of a ton of great treats from their beer selection to their wines. Grab a Singha lager from Thailand or a Nectar IPA from California. If you're interested in wine, Kin Shop offers 3 whites, 2 reds, 1 rose, and 1 sparkling by the glass. For a more extensive selection, keep reading down the menu for their bottle list. For whites, find your selection by section--aromatic, clean and crisp, or funky, rich, and full. Find a couple Rieslings under the aromatic section and continue down the menu if you're looking for something more clean and crisp like a Gruner or Vouvray Sec. Funky, rich, and full was the section that really got me pumped. A Marsanne from Napa, a Txakolina from Basque or even a Carricante from Mt. Etna. Reds are categorized by fruit driven or spicy/earthy. A great selection and all offered at a fair price. There's nothing worse than a restaurant that jack's up their wine prices and turns an average night out into a $200 night out.
Service was pretty good. Our server seemed knowledgeable although we didn't really ask him for anything other than recommendations. They kept up with water, which is important in a spice forward cuisine. Their credit card machines weren't working, but nothing to complain about--except the $3 extra i had to pay for the ATM charge haha. Definitely go check out Kin Shop.