Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Kiin

Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Kiin

Kiin

Nuit Regular built her empire of Thai restaurants with soporific bowls of khao soi. At Kiin, she’s dabbling in Royal Thai—a rarefied style of cooking that shares some of the hyper-finickiness of Japanese kaiseki. Everything is so daintily pretty, you’ll fight the urge to leave it untouched on the plate.

The artfully arranged Roy Thai platter.

Start with the platter of thoong thong, mha hor, chor ladda and rhoom: four single bites that combine the bright, contrasting flavours of pickled turnip, peanut paste, lemongrass, fried shrimp and gelatinous rice dyed with bright blue tea from the poetic-sounding butterfly pea. A grilled whole sea bream, flesh kept moist with a sea-salt crust, gets pulled apart and wrapped in leaves of baby gem lettuce with Thai basil, pickled shallots and ginger.

Chef Nuit Regular.
Blanched wing beans with shrimp paste, toasted coconut, peanut and a soft-boiled duck egg.

A slow-braised beef short rib, the bone rising out of an intoxicating sauce of tamarind and pearl onions, reminds me of an upmarket rendition of that famous khao soi. At the back, hanging above the tufted emerald-green banquette, is a collection of vintage portraits of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his family. They’d be pleased by Regular’s tabletop pageantry.

326 Adelaide St. W., 647-490-5040, kiintoronto.com

Braised short rib in a tamarind broth.