Sunday, 4 March 2012

Kin - Leather Lane, London. Asian Street food brought to London

A year ago I was in Thailand treating my stomach to the finest time of its life. I loved the food, not just for the incredibly well balanced dishes, but also for their use of fresh ingredients and how healthy it all is. As Victor Kiam once said 30 years ago, "I liked it so much, I named the company after it." No matter where you travel, it's impossible to re-create that dining experience back home. The food can compare, but the sights and sounds cannot be replicated. Therefore, in search of some 'real' Asian street food, I ventured to one of my favourite parts of gastronomic London, Clerkenwell to see what Kin has to offer.

In Thai, Kin means food and I wanted to eat everything. The menu contains a range of Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Malaysian dishes. The Victorian building has been almost stripped naked with lots of exposed beams, brickwork and floorboards, but this simple decor merely allows for the excellent food to stand out more. One element of Thai culture which can be exported from the land of smiles is friendly staff and our waitress was adorable. To start we had Bun Cha, sweet pork strips with lettuce, rice vermicelli, chilli (mandatory in everything), herbs and pickled veg. A really good dish to arouse the taste buds for what lay ahead. The Chinese inspired salt & pepper calamari was divine, the squid was so soft and seasoned perfectly.

The Chicken Pad Krapao was one of those dishes that you wished came in a bottomless bowl. The spicy stir fried minced chicken with Thai basil, chillies, onions and red peppers took me right back to Chang Mai. It just satisfied all my senses not to mention palate which was having a ball. The red veggy curry was just about the creamiest curry I've ever had. The Coconut Monkey must've been working overtime to create this dish. To cut through all this richness, we opted for the Green Papaya salad which I often put on my own menu. This was slightly disappointing as it lacked a bit of punch and needed more lime juice and garlic in it.

Including a couple of beers, the bill for two was about £35, however are currently running a 50% off deal, but I'd be happy to pay the full amount. Their website isn't yet developed, but here's a link anyway. If you can't get yourself over to south east asia, get yourself up to Clerkenwell instead.

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