Kinn Thai restaurant is located at The Rooftop dining precinct at Westfield Kotara shopping centre in Newcastle. The Rooftop is an attraction in itself, with cinemas and an open-air, rustic space, which is inviting as soon as you walk in. The best part of discovering this rooftop gem is wandering around and deciding where to stop for lunch or dinner, with eateries such as Grill'd, Zeus Street Greek, Mad Mex, Hong Kong Chef, Sushi Musa, San Churro and Cold Rock to choose from.
On a Saturday visit to the shopping centre, our family were excited to find Kinn Thai restaurant amongst the range of delicious options. We had often walked past another Kinn Thai restaurant in Canberra when we lived there and sadly, never got the opportunity to try it. Kinn Thai has several locations across the ACT, QLD, Victoria and NSW (including Greenhills in East Maitland). We were interested to learn that the word "Kinn" means "eat" in Thai...and that was exactly what we were looking forward to doing!
Kinn Thai Restaurant, on The Rooftop at Westfield Kotara
When we walked into the restaurant we were warmly welcomed and asked where we would like to sit. As we had our young daughter with us, the waitress kindly asked if we would like to sit near the playground, so she could have a play before the meal. There was a spacious dining area out the front of the restaurant and then down the side, there were also tables for four which had views to the playground, much to our daughter's delight!
As we settled in, we had a quick peek in the dining area behind the bar nearby, which wasn't obvious at first glance. This area was full of character, with black and white photos on the wall of Thailand and wood panelling, which created a sense of warmth and intimacy. This would be the ideal spot to sit for a romantic dinner for two, with a cocktail (or three!) from the bar.
As you would imagine for a Thai restaurant, everything on the photo menu looked fresh, colourful and delicious. Although there is a lunch menu on their website, on the day of our visit we had the full dinner menu to choose from for lunch. There were entrée-sized meals, soups, vegetarian options, specialty meals, salads, stir-fries, curries, noodles, fried rice, a side menu and also a kids menu, with two options under $12.
For the three of us, we chose the Chicken with Oyster Sauce, Massamun Beef Curry, boiled rice for three people and roti. After a quick play at the playground, it didn't take long before the food was presented in front of us, with spicy aromas which made all of our stomachs rumble!
Chicken with Oyster Sauce is a favourite dish for our family at any Asian restaurant and the Kinn Thai recipe was up there with some of the best we have ever had. The oyster sauce had a good punch of flavour, with the right level of garlic, and the chicken was tender and moist. The Massamun Beef Curry was a hit with all of us for its creamy, well-spiced broth and melt-in-the mouth beef, which fell off the fork with every bite. The broth was so good that the roti disappeared into it in record time and the last of it was poured over our leftover rice, for one last taste of spicy, creamy goodness.
We didn't expect our young daughter to like the Massamun Beef Curry, but by the end of the meal she was devouring every last grain of rice with the Massamun sauce and wiping it up with the roti. We couldn't have asked for a better meal for all of our tastes.
Although there was a wide range of restaurant choices for locals on The Rooftop, Kinn Thai seemed to be a popular choice for Novacastrians. As we sat there, the dining areas started to fill up with couples, groups of friends, families and people dining on their own, happily enjoying their meals in a social buzz of activity. We watched as sizzling hot plates whizzed by and locals who had been there before ordered their favourite dishes with matching sides. If you look on the Kinn Thai Kotara Facebook, the photos of the meals all look appetising, so finding your own favourites may be difficult!
Why don't you try Kinn Thai for yourself this weekend? Once you smell the sizzling hotplates, you won't be able to walk by...
Kinn Thai Kotara - open for lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. Image: Original photos from Kinn Thai Kotara Facebook