What’s on the menu at Kiin, the new Thai restaurant from the team behind Pai, Sukhothai and Sabai Sabai

What’s on the menu at Kiin, the new Thai restaurant from the team behind Pai, Sukhothai and Sabai Sabai

Name: Kiin (Thai for “eat”)
Contact: 326 Adelaide St. W., 647-490-5040, kiintoronto.com, @kiintoronto
Neighbourhood: Entertainment District
Owners: Jeff and Nuit Regular (Pai, Sabai Sabai, Sukhothai) and Janet Zuccarini (Trattoria Nervosa, Gusto 101, Pai)
Chef: Nuit Regular

The food

Nuit Regular says that for years now she’s been obsessed with learning the techniques behind Royal Thai cooking: delicate, beautifully presented dishes painstakingly prepared (seeds removed from fruits and veggies, bones removed from fish) using the freshest of ingredients. “It’s such an intricate, delicate cuisine that was going extinct,” Regular says. “When I was growing, up there were no schools teaching it and it was too time-consuming for most restaurants to prepare, so the cuisine was being abandoned.” So she spent some time during a visit to her home country learning Royal Thai techniques. There are only four traditional Royal Thai dishes on offer, but Regular has taken the same attention to presentation and applied that to the rest of the menu, which includes dishes from all over Thailand.

Root vegetable chips (sweet potato, taro, squash) with tom yum spices. $9.


A classic Royal Thai spread. From left to right: thoong thong, a deep-fried parcel filled with chicken and shrimp; rhoom, an egg net parcel filled with chicken; chor ladda, a flower-shaped dumpling made from butterfly pea-dyed jasmine rice and topped with crispy Thai garlic; and mha hor, pickled turnip carved into a pineapple flower and stuffed with coconut and peanut paste. $12.


Left to right: stir-fried angled gourd with garlic and Thai basil ($10); and yum tua plu, another traditional Royal Thai plate of wing beans with chili shrimp paste, toasted coconut, peanut and soft-boiled egg ($15).


Khao yum, originally a southern dish, gets a royal makeover here. Served in a golden bowl, it’s centred around gem-coloured rice pyramids (dyed with beets, turmeric and butterfly pea flowers). The multi-ingredient dish is made with long beans, lemongrass, sawtooth coriander, lime leaves, cucumber, toasted coconut, pomelo, fried chilies, sunflower sprouts, edible flowers and white turmeric imported from Thailand. $24.


Mieng pla is a traditional northern plate of a whole, sea salt-crusted sea bream stuffed with aromatics and grilled for 17 minutes. The fish is deboned at the table and served with Thai kale leaves. The kale gets the Royal Thai treatment with a heap of garnishes: Thai garlic, Thai basil, finger mint, peanut, ginger, shallot and lime. $32.


Nuit and Jeff Regular.
The drinks

“Chardonnay is the most basic grape we have,” explains bar manager Emily Robertson. Her international wine card stops in the Azores for a volcanic rosé and includes some esoteric varietals like Albariño from northeast Spain. The cocktail program sticks to the classics (negronis, paper planes) but with Thai garnishes.

Thai iced teas (left to right): matoom (boiled, grilled and dried quince), ka jiab (hibiscus), and pandan topped with butterfly pea flower. $6.


The YYZ–BKK (a paper plane variant made with Amaro Montenegro, Maker’s Mark and Aperol) is garnished with a tiny paper airplane folded out of a Thai fortune. $15.


The Colada is made from real coconut cream, Bacardi and Galliano. It’s topped with edible flowers. $15.


The bourbon sour comes rimmed with lilac sugar. $14.


This super boozy negroni is made with Dillons gin, Campari and Dolin vermouth. It’s garnished with a lime leaf and an orange rind rose. $16.
The space

The 35-seat room is decorated to look like the gorgeous high school Nuit attended in Phrae, Thailand. She was keen for designer Katherine Gudov to capture some of the subdued opulence of the colonially influenced mansions in her hometown—this translated into marble floors, stained glass shutters, glimmering gold accents and a collection of framed Thai Royal Family photographs. Lush potted plants add some extra tropical breeziness to the space.