I have been to Kin several times with my children and enjoyed their meals. They're just on Chapel street in Prahran at number 233. Straight away I loved the look of their chunky timber furniture with industrial looking metal legs. The ambiance of the place fits right into the Chapel street vibe. A few table and chairs to hang out outside to enjoy the lovely weather and it seems that's the preferred spot for most patrons, unless of course it's bucketing down.
So how does an ex banker and exporter happen to be in the restaurant business? Tram and Andy, partners in all sense of the word had a dream that one day, when they're in their late 40s, they would open a restaurant together. Fate had other plans for them when they came upon the golden opportunity of this location in Prahran 20 years earlier than they envisaged. One would have to have lost all your marbles to not grab it with both hands at such a great location, and thus the birth of Kin.
Very pleasant wait staff ready to please with a hint of cheekiness that made you feel welcome
A typical asian restaurant in an asian strong community, traditionally and generally means one basically goes there, has a meal and leaves. The decor is never a talking point and turnover is quick. Tram and Andy both wanted something different. They wanted people to hang out and enjoy Kin, shooting the breeze with a few mates or family. Coming from a Vietnamese background and used to the eat and leave culture, they were passionate and determined to make it different at their restaurant.
Yum, great food coupled with a couple of fresh coconut juices went down a treat.
If you thought the name of the restaurant was a Vietnamese word, you couldn't be more wrong. It's English. It's kin, like next of kin, family. However, this English word kin is also a direct translation of a Vietnamese word; 'gia' (pronounced za), which also means relative, family, skin colour, clan, race. The stars aligned and so it was called.
Tram told me that a few customers think it's fusion food, but she assures me it's not. It's exactly what she would have in her own home, in her family's home. It's authentic and wholesome. I ordered the char-grilled chicken rice which is a chicken breast that has been marinated for 24 hours, char-grilled and served on a bed of steamed rice with a few salad vegetables like cucumber, tomato and pickled carrots as trimmings. It comes with a fish sauce which I pour over the rice so it's not too dry to eat.
Very pleasant modern surrounds where everything old is new again.
Chilli and fried tofu papaya salad is another of my favourite; with its fresh raw papaya full of crunch, you walk away feeling healthy and it was such a pleasant experience. There are vegetarian and vegan options at Kin, so let the wait staff know when you're ordering so they can adjust the dressing.
Meals on average are around $12 to $13 with entrees between $6 and $9. You can of course get the traditional Vietnamese Pho for around the same price range and other yummy meaty char-grilled meals. The fresh and refreshing coconut juice in its shell is a must have and they will break it open for you when you're done so you can scoop out the goodness of the flesh and that usually suffices as dessert for me.
Find them at shop 1, 233 Chapel street, Prahran (03) 9521 5268 and they're open Monday to Thursday and Sunday from 11am to 10pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm.