Kin + Deum’s name means ‘eat and drink’ in Thai and was more apt perhaps when it was a Thai pub, opened by expat Suchard Inngern in 1975. Now taken over by Inngern’s three kids, the emphasis is very much more on eating than drinking in a dining room where the plain decor (pale green walls, bistro chairs, random pot plants) give little to indicate that this is a Thai restaurant.
The younger generation of Inngerns have shortened the menu while keeping a focus on the familiar – there are none of the detours along the byways of regional Thai cuisine that have recently taken London by storm. Full houses suggest it’s an idea with mass appeal, although we found that some fairly humdrum cooking offered little that was different to the old style of Thai restaurant you can find on almost any London high street.
The peanut sauce, rich and deeply flavoured, accompanying chicken satay to start was the best thing we ate, and we appreciated the chunks of absorbent brioche to soak up what was left. Deep-fried garlic squid was springy and crisp-battered, but chicken and prawn dumplings encased in stiff pastry should have been steamed for longer and slices of fried aubergine tasted of nothing at all.
To follow, duck in a honey and coriander sauce and weeping tiger steak were ok enough, but like all of the food, we thought the portions seemed small for the prices. Service, meanwhile, bordered on the chaotic, although the staff were very sweet.
Suchard Inngern’s children are to be applauded for offering a contemporary spin on the cooking that they grew up with, and there will be diners glad to discover a contemporary Thai restaurant that doesn’t dynamite their heads with a chilli explosion. But we were disappointed to find a somewhere that instead of offering new takes on old favourites, simply offered more of the same.