I walk around Adelaide with a camera and a tripod.
Getty Images: https://tinyurl.com/ycg9zne3
Published September 8th 2019
The Best Thai Restaurant in Adelaide?
Shallow water sparkles and foams against pristine white sand in Khao Lak. Retreat from the murmuring sea and the tropical sunlight is shrouded by a canopy of verdant green, the singing rainforest a bare coconut's throw from the water's edge.
It's a marvel how quickly the music changes. Two steps forward and the sea is a chorus immutable, a melody rhythmic and burbling. Two steps back and the sound of waves fades, replaced by leaves rustling on trees and stirring on the forest floor. The denizens of the forest. Birds screeching. A lonely, haunting series of echoing calls. The constant sibilant drone of countless insects.
In my memories I stand at that interface between ocean and forest, the sand sinking slowly beneath my feet.
A crescent of white sand against a seashore eternal.
Memories of the distant past, a recollection tinged perhaps by the seraphic brushstrokes of memory, made vivid by the rarity of a Paradise Remembered.
If there is one thing that resurrects those memories, it is food.
Walk into Kin Kin Thai Eatery at 4/242 Hutt St, Adelaide SA 5000, and one is greeted by wood tones and brick wallpaper, with brightly coloured flags suspended from the ceiling and posters (not out of place in a tourism brochure) with information on Thai festivals decorating the walls. An extensive menu also serves as a placemat.
Here there are empty cans of coconut milk, Thai cooking utensils on shelves and photographic portraits of smiling locals; there a small statue of an elephant for luck. Behind a front counter with a cheery tile mosaic is, in contrast to the kaleidoscopic colour outside, a gleaming professional kitchen with shimmering surfaces of stainless steel.
A Thai tea is strong and sweet with condensed milk. Chicken wings are juicy and tender with a crispy exterior, nestled gently over a thick, moreish, deeply complex, fiery, umami sambal sauce. Pork dumplings are reminiscent of Siu Mai from a Yum Cha, here with a slightly herbal bite.
Pillowy, flaky, crunchy and charred roti is paired with a creamy chilli peanut sauce, the heat balanced against smooth coconut notes and crumbly crushed peanuts. A Pad See Ew is more delicately flavoured with wok hei, seasoned chicken and vegetables.
The Sai Oua Chiang Mai Sausage is a coarsely ground, succulent blend of spices, herbs and pork in a glistening and snappy casing, served with pork scratchings, a pleasantly searing, fresh-tasting green chilli sauce and lettuce cups. The papaya salad? Crunchy spears of green papaya in a tangy, piquant, acidic citrus marinade against the savoury flavours of fish sauce and sweet palm sugar.
If you're in the city and looking to sample a comprehensive range of delicious Thai dishes, Kin Kin Thai Eatery on Hutt Street provides delectable representations of the Thai culinary triumvirate - sweet, savoury and sour with a balanced chili kick.