Kin Khao

I’ll be honest, I was sceptical at first when everyone started recommending Kin Khao as the latest authentic Thai restaurant in Luxembourg. Partly because it is situated in a cinema complex (I’ll come back to this), and also because I discovered that it is the latest venture in the growing portfolio of Concept + Partners; the guys who started Hitch. This adds Kin Khao to the long list of restaurants under the same umbrella which include Franz, Barrels, Edelwyss, Fabrik and Siegfried just to name a few.

I stayed judgemental up until we parked the car at Auchan car park, walked towards the Kinepolis, past the groups of teenagers coming out of the cinema and the other teenagers queuing up to go into Chi Chi’s. But the scepticism pretty much stopped there. The bar restaurant is really well decorated. The Asian red colour theme pops in a way which isn’t tacky, the bar is really trendy and features some pretty unique cocktails. Upon arrival, all the staff are smiley and friendly, offering you different options as to where you’d like to be seated. The restaurant is buzzing and you would never think that you were eating in a cinema complex. My issue with eating in a cinema complex is that it always seems as though everyone is grabbing a bite to eat while they wait for their movie to show. To me, it always suggested that the restaurant wasn’t of great quality but rather was there for the convenience factor.

Anyway, back to Kin Khao. While the menu is extensive, it’s kept really simple and easy to digest. There’s a separate menu for finger foodfor afterwork cocktails and nibbles which feature cool cocktails and moreish classics like ‘deep fried chicken Southern style’, ‘chicken in pandan leaf’ and ‘satay chicken, beef or prawns’. There is currently a lunch deal which offers a starter and a main for just 15 euros per person, which is extremely reasonable for the food you’re getting.

As we sat down for dinner, we noticed that the menu option had us drooling already, they’ve definitely got their finger on the pulse as to what we look for in authentic Thai cuisine. Being Asian, sharing food is a just an obvious strategy when it comes to trying to maximise the number of flavors you get to try but as I looked around, I noticed no one else was sharing. It would be great if the waiters could suggest this or if it was written on the menu as a tip, it seems wrong to me to eat Asian cuisine but only be restricted to the plate you ordered and have food envy when everyone else’s dishes arrive!

We started with the marinated chicken wings and the spicy seafood salad as a starter. For the main course we went for the tom kha gai, pad thai and the chicken green curry. Whilst every curry dish comes with Jasmine rice, we added an extra side of fried rice because, well just because we’re foodies!

The wings were good, they could have been crispier and unfortunately they did lack flavour but on the upside they weren’t too greasy which can sometimes be the problem. The spicy seafood salad, despite the name, actually doesn’t contain any green leaves or salad at all but is rather a cold  yet flavourful plate of mixed seafood, it was a pleasant starter and a must for seafood lovers. Tom kha gai is a tom yam soup with coconut milk, I order this at every Thai restaurant, I have to say this passed the test and I’d order it again. The pad thai had a deconstructed feel to it, you add your own fish sauce, soy sauce and freshly ground chili powder. It is probably the most authentic pad thai we’ve found so far in Luxembourg. I love the little touches like the soy sauce being served in mini pipettes, what a nice idea. The green curry definitely has a kick, our lovely waitress actually said that the green curry is extra spicy and extra flavourful but if you aren’t a fan of spice, you can order the red curry. We decided to go for the green curry and it definitely is not for the faint hearted. I like that they weren’t afraid to go all out with flavour and spice. The chicken itself is dark meat, which for me is a downside because I’m not great with thigh and other parts of the chicken but our waitress kindly explained that in Thailand they prefer to use this part of the chicken becomes it is most effective in absorbing the curry flavours. I loved that she was able to explain this, so often you’ll visit a restaurant and ask a question and you’re met with a blank expression. That didn’t happen here at all.

 

Last but not least, we couldn’t resist temptation and added a side of fried rice, which for me was the best indicator that this is a great Thai restaurant. So often, Asian restaurants fall flat on basics like fried rice. Perhaps they don’t consider these to be important dishes but they absolutely are! The fried rice was full of flavour and worth every calorie, I highly recommend it!

We didn’t make it to dessert because we were too greedy during our main course but there were some great options like ginger, red bean and mango ice cream. They also have mango and sticky rice which is a cult classic for Thai food lovers.

Whilst some of the food could do with a little work, everything else about this restaurant is perfect. The service is so good you forget you’re even in Luxembourg, the decor is trendy and the atmosphere is buzzing. It’s the perfect place to enjoy cocktails and dinner with friends either after work or to let your hair down on the weekend. I think Concept + Partners spotted a gap in the market, for a cool authentic Thai restaurant and they have definitely done very well to fill this void. It brings the trend factor to Luxembourg and it’s got me very excited to see what these creative minds will venture into next…

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Tip from the Editor: We love that this is open 7 days a week (yes, even Sundays!), this is the kind of restaurant that will inspire a wave of trendier, eateries with good service. The chili powder is a must-try as it’s made fresh every week. See that huge bowl of fresh chillies in the middle of the restaurant? Every Sunday the chef collects them and grinds them up before putting out another fresh batch to be dried during the week.