NYC’s Kin Shop: Rekindling Friendship

New York City is my happy place.  As I enter the Lincoln Tunnel on the Vamoose Bus, my heart races. There are few places on earth that give me this feeling of exhilaration, and I cherish every second I spend here.  It’s not all about the food, although obviously that is of prime importance.  The people rushing around at a mad pace, the shops and markets with merchandise seldom seen in the suburban malls that I frequent, exquisite displays of art, and more quirky people per capita than anywhere else.  I love New York.

I am spending two nights in the city with an old friend.  We’ve reconnected after many years of being out of touch, and this our second reunion in New York.  I’ve planned our first night’s dinner at Kin Shop.  Creative Thai-inspired dishes, a sleek setting, and a Top Chef owner/chef (Harold Dieterle, Season 1 winner).  What more could a person want? Or more precisely, what more could I want?  Not a thing.

Our hunger is palpable as we are seated with the drink menu.  Before we order our full meal, my friend requests an immediate delivery of a starter with fluke, Asian pear, shiso, chili jam, and fried garlic.  “We’re very hungry,” she tells our server.   I am impressed at the former Northern Virginia girl’s moxie.  Lots of time spent in NYC can do that to a person.

I can’t argue.  The fluke dish, along with a side order of crispy roti  flatbread, awaken our senses.  The fluke is fresh and tangy, and the fried garlic adds a perfect touch of crunch.
Kin Shop fluke.JPG
We are excited about the menu and agree easily about what – and how much- to order.  I love that there are no awkward moments of hesitation as we try to feel each other out in approaching the meal.  I am giddy with excitement.
Next up at the table is an order of fried brussels sprouts and Chinese sausage with young coconut gooseberry chutney and fermented apple vinegar.  We can only smile at each other with a deep sense of satisfaction.  I’ve had my share of creative brussels sprouts dishes lately, but this one takes the lead.  The sausage flavor is prominent, but initially we mistake the meat for the fruit.  It takes us several bites before we figure out what’s what.  I must attribute this to dim lighting and alcohol, as it seems perfectly clear in the photo.
Kin Shop brussels sprouts

I have had severe cravings recently for fried chicken , so I am delighted to see an offering of Thai fried chicken with coriander nam prik and sweet chili fish sauce.  The skin is crisp and flavorful,  and the chicken is perfectly moist. The chicken, marinated in ginger, garlic, lemongrass, oyster sauce, and Thai shrimp paste packs a delightful punch.  I couldn’t have picked a better fried chicken to satiate my desire.

Kin Shop chicken

Our final dish is Northern Thai style curry noodle with braised brisket, cucumber, and peanuts. The brisket is beautifully tender and I admire the spice that permeates the peanutty noodles. My friend finds the dish is a tad too soupy.  Perhaps we need something to soak up the flavors.  Here is where the roti would come in handy- if any was left on the table.

Kin Shop noodles

Kin Shop serves up Thai-inspired (rather than authentically Thai) dishes in a comfortable atmosphere, at prices that seem more reasonable than I expect at an NYC restaurant.  It’s the perfect place for two old friends to reunite for dinner and drinks, particularly when they have a long shared history that makes them feel just like kin.


Kin Shop, 469 6th Ave, New York, NY

 The New York Times review

Kin Shop on Urbanspoon

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