In a strip mall simply south of Carkeek Park, throughout the parking zone from QFC and sandwiched between a hairdresser and a therapeutic massage therapist, there sits an unassuming little eating room.
Carried out up in various shades of blond plywood, clean, black concrete flooring and filament bulbs hanging in copper cages, it appears to be like higher than you’d count on, higher than it must. The chrome steel open kitchen gleams in again.
That is Kiin Kiin Thai Consuming Room, the place the meals, additionally, goes past the anticipated.
There are the requirements of Thai takeout — curries and kee mao, fried rice and som tum.
There are additionally “Thai model recent rolls” ($9), that are not like some other roll I’ve seen. Salty-sweet Chinese language sausage, fried tofu and cucumber are rolled in a skinny omelette, which is then rolled in rice paper. The rolls perch in a pool of tart tamarind sauce and are topped, incongruously, with crab meat and jalapenos. It’s like a fevery cross between a spring roll, jianbing and an overenthusiastic sushi roll. It’s confounding — and superb.
Dee Dee Techasetthachai, who opened Kiin Kiin in 2018, mentioned she realized the roll from a Cantonese vendor who bought them on her road when she was rising up in Bangkok.
“This outdated Chinese language man, each time he stopped in entrance of my home, everyone walked to his cart and ordered it,” she mentioned. “Lots of people, after they order, I’ve to allow them to know that is form of totally different.”
Techasetthachai realized to prepare dinner from her mom, serving to put together weekend meals for her eight siblings, in addition to from neighborhood road distributors. She’d watch the distributors, questioning them about method.
“I study, I ask, I study,” she mentioned. When vital, she’ll discuss with YouTube.
Kiin Kiin, then, is Techasetthachai’s homage to the distributors of her youth.
Grilled squid ($eight) comes unadorned, save for a scattering of cilantro. The large, thick rings are meaty and mineral, smoky from the grill, with a fiery lime-chili dipping sauce.
Pork stomach ($12) is slow-roasted till tender, then lower into beneficiant hunks and deep-fried earlier than service. Then it’s wok-fried to order, with branches of gai lan, Thai basil and chilies. The meat is a deep-burnished copper, crisp and fatty. The chilies, practically entire, are vibrant pink and fiery. The greens are on your well being. The colours interaction as properly because the flavors.
Techasetthachai mentioned that when she returns to Bangkok to go to, the smaller portion sizes imply she finally ends up attempting far more issues than she would at an American restaurant. To that finish, nearly all of the menu is $10 or much less. “Bangkok noodle boat” ($6) is a vibrant, herby beef broth with rice noodles, balls of meat and slices of beef or pork. It’s pho-adjacent.
Additionally the proprietor of Naam Thai in Madrona, Techasetthachai immigrated to Seattle in 1997. She left Thailand, the place she’d been working on the Financial institution of Tokyo, to get a graduate diploma in finance at Seattle College. However when she completed college, nicely, she had household to help. She received a job within the kitchen of a now-shuttered Thai restaurant on The Ave. She’s labored in eating places ever since.
“I quit lots for cooking, you already know?” Techasetthachai mentioned. “However I’m pleased. You do what makes you content.”
Kiin Kiin Thai Consuming Room, Wednesday by Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 10023 Holman Street N.W., (Greenwood) Seattle; 206-922-3234