Serving up excellent food in stylish surroundings, Kin’s a great bet for authentic and affordable Pan-Asian cuisine. From spicy curries to noodle dishes, there’s a varied selection on the menu, and strikingly efficient service ensures it's equally as good for a quick bite as it is for leisurely dining.
Right in the heart of Farringdon, Kin works as a great spot to wander into once you’ve had a look around Leather Lane market, or as a laid-back dinner option if you work in an office nearby. Inside, bare brick walls and wooden floors and benches contrast with the vivid red tiles around the counter, with everything illuminated by swooping, industrial lighting. Simply decorated, it’s a fairly compact and modern space, and is one that's comfortable enough to put you at ease pretty quickly.
Pleasantly busy mid-week, lively background music and the buzz of conversations from nearby tables give this place a good vibe; the atmosphere is laid-back and friendly, with staff quick to seat you and always prepared to offer advice on menu options. Don’t expect to have to wait long once you’ve ordered here, either; dishes are served pretty quickly, with the co-owners often popping over to tables to check that guests are happy with their meals too, which is a nice personal touch.
Authentic and affordable are definitely the words to sum up the pan-Asian fare at Kin; there’s a wide selection on offer, ranging from Japanese to Vietnamese and Indonesian - and it’s all really rather good. Start with a tried-and-tested classic like spring rolls or chicken satay and you should be well pleased; the satay skewers, for example, are perfectly tender and the sauce is aromatic with a slight chilli kick.
For mains, the curries here are particularly good, not least the chicken katsu curry, offering lightly breaded chicken and a lightly spiced sauce that hits the perfect mark between sweet and sour. The spicier red vegetable curry is also well worth a try, with its potent piquant tang keeping chilli fans happy. With both coming in at around the £6 mark, and served with a bowl of flavoured, delicate rice, this is certainly great value street food.
There aren’t many desserts on offer but the brilliant banana fritter with coconut ice cream on the menu ensures that this doesn’t really matter. Made according to one of the co-owners' grandmother’s traditional Vietnamese recipe, banana pieces are warmly fried in a crispy, light batter with sweet coconut ice cream on the side. It’s a dish of contrasting flavours and heats, but it really works, and is once again seriously affordable.
With your meal, have a bottle of sake or a glass of the perfectly decent house white or rosé wines – sweet and floral, they’ll complement the food well, and are excellent value at around £4. If you’re a coffee fan, try the traditional Vietnamese black coffee on the menu. It's full of flavour and beautifully creamy, with the coffee dripping into the condensed milk at the bottom of the cup for a uniquely sharp, sweet and chocolaty taste combined with a smooth texture.
The Last Word
With a great atmosphere, perfectly attentive staff and impressive food at ideal prices, you can’t really go wrong with Kin. Whilst it might not be the place to come for high class dining, the authentic pan-Asian street food (and street food prices) ensure that you’ll be hard pushed to find better in London.