Chef Ben Bertei (Melbourne’s Longrain, the Sunshine Coast’s Spirit House, Brisbane’s Same Same) has been merging Western techniques with Thai flavours for almost two decades. But he takes things up a notch at Kiin. With sommelier and business partner David Wickwar (ex-Vaporetto), Berti’s cuisine-crossing menu stays true to the core tenets of Thai food – the right balance of salty, spicy, sweet and sour.
Dishes include a red curry cheeseburger with provolone, spicy ketchup, crispy shallots and pickled cucumber; a panna cotta made of coconut cream infused with Thai tea and sprinkled with sugared puffed black rice; and burrata served with green nam jim and roti. There might also be influences from other parts of the continent, including bao toast with blue swimmer crab and satay butter, Chinese doughnuts with spiced fried rice, and grilled “bao” flat bread with smoked lap cheong butter.
The wines are Wickwar’s domain, with a tight list of 60-odd drops of largely South Australian wines. Plus, on tap there are two wines (a chenin blanc and a grenache made by Aphelion’s Rob Mack) and a limoncello-based spritz with lemongrass and ginger.
Emmeline Barwick of Georgie Shepherd Interior Design and Sam Weckert of Tiger Build designed the interior, stripping the red walls and green carpet of its former life (previously Ming Room) to create a warm, inviting, and homey space of neutral tones, soft fabrics and lots of timber.
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