This past weekend, I was determined to cross another restaurant off of my ever growing list of places I want to try. I threw a few ideas around in my head before telling myself I hadn’t had Thai food in a while, and that was enough to narrow the list down, which meant I would be heading to Kin Shop Saturday night.
For anyone out there who is, like me, a Top Chef fan, the executive chef here is Harold Dieterle, season 1 winner. While by no means does being on the show mean I will immediately run to the restaurant of any Bravo “cheftestant,” (nor does it make them a good chef for that matter), this place has been getting a lot of buzz in the New York restaurant scene, and has been on my radar for months. It was time to head to the West Village, this time joining me were my brother and girlfriend.
The restaurant itself is not very big, but has a pretty open feel to it. We were given some prime people watching real estate in the front by the window, (but once the food started coming, our eyes did not leave the table.) Toward the back you could see an open kitchen, although I didn’t see if Harold was in this night. The wait staff was extremely nice and accomodating as well.
Time for the important part, the food. For starters, we ordered the grilled river prawns and the snow peas and sea scallops as our two appetizers. Both of these items were delicious. We ended up with one scallop each and they were sitting in a bath of an amazing coconut curry sauce. The prawns were served head on with a black pepper sauce. One idea that I thought was pretty genius was that the prawns were priced individually and you could order as many or few as you wanted. We ordered three so that we could each get one to ourselves. This is something I think would be nice to see on more menus because often times apps can be some of the best dishes. In this case, we all knew what we would be getting and no matter your party size, you don’t have to miss out on the app and know how much to contribute to the overall bill at the end of the night. The sauces of each dish also provided some serious table debate as to which was better. While I found myself scraping up the last of the peas and coconut sauce, my brother encountered an awkward exchange with the waitress as she wasn’t sure if, when clearing the plates, she should leave the pepper sauce for him to continue eating the sauce…by itself. Needless to say, you will be satisfied with either dish.
The entrees: While we each ordered our own dish, plenty of bites were shared around the table. The stir fried rice flakes entree came with rock shrimp and cauliflower. While the taste was certainly on par with the rest of the food that night, I would have liked to see more substantially sized pieces of shrimp. The pad see ew with white asparagus was also delicious, and certainly a level above what you would get from your neighborhood delivery. The real winner of the night for me was the roasted duck breast with crispy roti. The duck was phenomenal and the sauce added a little spice, but when combined with the roti, pure heaven. I could live happily eating only that crispy roti for the rest of my life.
We each had a beer to compliment the food that night and while my one complaint would be that when we thought of ordering a second, by the time our waitress came back the meal was pretty much over and we decided it’d be easier to just settle up. The service was still pretty good, however, just I think bad timing in the last 10 minutes or so. When the experience came to an end, I knew I had to come back soon for multiple reasons. 1. I often end a meal in one of two ways, having not had enough and going home to search my apartment for something to fill me up or having eaten way too much and going into a food coma. This meal left me at that perfect point where I was full but not stuffed, and completely satisfied. 2. The food was very reasonably priced for a dinner out. While with tip, I hit 50 dollars, you could easily settle for an amazing one course dinner here and pay half that price if you weren’t looking to splurge. 3. The crispy roti is 5 dollars as a side, which means I can order it no matter what else I decide to get Trust me, I am not overselling it.