Kinkao Thai restaurant makes a big claim – it calls itself the best Thai restaurant in London. Having tried it myself, I have to say that their food is pretty darn good, which is all the more ironic as Kinkao is located on Brick Lane, an area in London more famous for its Indian restaurants.
Despite having Brick Lane practically on my doorstep, I don’t often dine there, mainly because the curry houses all seem a bit same-y to
me. However, I uncovered an authentic Italian which served halal pizza and pasta options (for that review, click here
), and now I can add Kinkao to my list of international reasons to stroll down the famous Brick Lane.
So what is so good about Kinkao? Well here’s my lowdown…
Kinkao Thai Restaurant – The food
Kinkao Thai Restaurant spares no detail when providing an authentic Thai dining experience, right down to the delicate garnishes of decorative carrot.
The food – all of which is halal (bonus) is on point. Hubby and I sampled a few starters (well, it turned out to be quite a lot), and we weren’t disappointed.
The prawn crackers were all you’d expect from an authentic Thai place, none of those white crispy things you usually get. These bad boys were strong in flavour, with a distinct prawn tone and a hint of heat. The chilli dip was the perfect accompaniment.
The beef satay was tender, flavoursome and well-cooked. It was great that they got beef right, as so many restaurants tend to overcook, or under-season.
The ‘thung tong’ money bags filled with chicken shrimp and herbs were delicious with their thin crispy pastry and fleshy filling.
As for the prawn toast… One of my favourite, oil-laden dishes, well it was definitely worth an order, even if it’s not the healthiest of options.
To be honest, I was less enamoured with the aromatic duck. I really wanted to try this as there are precious few opportunities to try halal duck. However, the dried meat wasn’t really for me, and the dark soy sauce felt a little strong. Luckily the pancakes, sliced cucumber and carrot helped neutralise the flavours. But I personally wouldn’t order that dish again.
Another ‘not so great’ was the tom yum soup. The dish I was perhaps the most excited about. If you’ve read about my Thai odyssey, you’ll know that I became somewhat obsessed with hot and sour tum yum soup. Kink’s version was tasty, though I felt it had a slightly powdery texture to it. I’d had a similar Tom Yum experience in another UK Thai restaurant, and personally, I prefer my soup smoother.
Anyway, after eating our body weight in starters, we figured it would be rude not to share one main. That honour fell to a delicious chicken and rice dish, which was lighter than a Thai curry, and the perfect antidote to all those starters.
Kinkao Thai Restaurant review – The décor
Food aside, it’s worth mentioning the amazing décor of Kinkao. The restaurant is decked out in carved wood. Every detail, right down to the traditional Thai dress of the staff, is made to create an authentic experience. The platters wouldn’t look out of place in Bangkok, and even our tables featured intricate wood etchings.
Kinkao Thai Restaurant review – The service
Having visited Thailand
, I was lucky enough to experience some of the best service Asia has to offer. It was great to see that Kinkao had brought this level of service to Brick Lane. The staff were attentive but not intrusive. They and constantly came to top up our glasses with water, removing empty starter plates and efficiently serving our food. It’s worth also bearing in mind that we weren’t the only diners there, it was a busy weeknight, but they didn’t slip on service.
I think other restaurants in Brick Lane and beyond could take a leaf out of Kinkao’s book. Such great service is usually reserved for more high-end restaurants. However, Kinkao serves fuss free, affordable food with an authentic Thai experience and the best service of Asia.
Have you visited Brick Lane? If so, what are your favourite restaurants? Scroll down to the comments section below and share your thoughts. I read them all.