Breaking the rules twice this week by recommending you another place that is not even officially open right now… However, I want you to join in the fun early, in a phase where this new restaurant is still figuring out its menu, its specialities, and directions. Because the food is supreme – and you might also know it already. Because the head of the kitchen is Dalad Kambhu, who served some of the best Thai food during a two-week-pop-up at Mitte’s dottir last summer. After its success, Dalad now found a permanent home in the kitchen of the former Edd’s, now Kin Dee in Tiergarten, where she’ll be cooking Thai food with a local twist, using local vegetable instead of imported ones, and pushing the concept of Thai food into an even fresher, of-the-moment direction.
Edd’s has been a house-hold name when it came to Thai food in Berlin for many years despite or maybe even because of its odd location. In the wastelands between Tiergarten and Schöneberg, on a street frequented by sex-workers and loads of shady dudes, it presented one of the rare opportunities to get a quality meal. However, the family running it wanted to quit for years, and actually moved back to Thailand as soon as they found a worthy successor in Dalad. Raised in Thailand, she’s only been living in Berlin for a year after working and studying in New York. Her career as a chef accelerated when she met Moritz Estermann, who fell in love with her food, and urged her to head a kitchen. A couple months, and a financial backing of Stephan Landwehr and Boris Radczun – the creators of loads of successful and renowned restaurants in Berlin like Grill Royal and Pauly Saal – later, Dalad and Moritz are about to create the most contemporary and courageous place for Thai food in town.
Currently, Kin Dee is serving a tasting menu of sharing dishes that Dalad and her kitchen team came up in these weeks of extensive testing and tasting. The team is all about experimenting with flavors, ingredients, and concepts before they’ll choose the best of them to grace their new menu. Moritz tells us he’s the rigorous one, taking dishes Dalad perfected off the menu to make room for new creations.
Proving his method is a new sauce Dalad is serving us, bright green with red chili sparkles it’s like a rollercoaster ride on your tongue, starting with an all-comforting and sweet earthiness, before it comes back with a hot kick when you thought it was already over. Or a glass noodle salad with mushrooms different ways: fried, raw and sliced, and as a powder. Or the apple chili salad, that works kind of like a papaya salad, but also isn’t, because Dalad doesn’t see much sense in importing green papaya when fusing local produce with Thai flavors works so well.
Their curry paste is done in house, and you can taste it in the green curry with veggies, that – despite having finished most of the starters they served us – I couldn’t help but eat until the bowl was really empty. We finish our meal with a serving of intense dark vegan chocolate and banana ice cream, a treat I remember well from last summer’s pop-up. The current menu tells you a lot about what the future may hold for Kin Dee, and the thought is exhilarating – if they keep their courage and curiosity, this might easily be the most interesting place for contemporary Thai food.
As said, this place is in its soft-opening phase, open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 18:00, offering you a tasting menu for 45 Euro per person. To arrange a reservation, contact +49 (0)302155294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And have all the fun!