The other evening, I was finally able to check out Kin Kao. Super new in the food scene – (they recently just opened in February 2015) but making waves throughout the community. There were people touting the phrase ‘the best Thai in Vancouver’, which left me very intrigued because:
1) I love Thai food and
2) “The best”?

Challenge accepted.

The challenge wouldn’t be the same with my best friend and my “resident” Thai food expert, Nickie! So I’m glad she agreed to come along with me.


We started off the with Papaya Salad ($8-made with green papaya, tomatoes, long beans in a spicy dressing made of Thai chilies, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, tamarind, garlic, palm sugar and peanuts). They ask you how hot you want every dish and feeling adventurous, I said, let’s go spicy. But our waitress warned us that ‘spicy’ was really spicy. We took her word for it and ordered medium. This is one issue I have with Thai places in general – everyone’s barometer for spicy is all over the map – sometimes ‘spicy’ is not spicy at all. HOWEVER, in this particular case at Kin Kao – spicy must be melt your face off spicy. Consider yourself warned.

Our Papaya Salad was fresh, crisp and very delicious but pretty spicy for medium! Even Nickie, who can tolerate all types of freakish heats admitted that this was a spicy dish. Besides feeling like a fire-breathing dragon after downing this dish, I would say it is in fact, one of the best papaya salads I’ve had in the city.

For our mains, we wanted to try everything because it all sounded delicious – but we resolved to come back again to try other dishes and settled on two.


The Spicy Grilled Beef Red Grape Salad ($14- made with sliced sirloin strip steak, red grapes, lemongrass, mint, lime leaves, garlic, Thai chili, fish sauce and lime juice). This dish represents what I absolutely love about Thai food – its combination of spices and flavours that create this punchy but refreshing taste that I crave! The steak is served pretty tender and drizzled in this beautiful, vibrant sauce that makes you crave for more. We ordered this medium spicy and it wasn’t as spicy as our first dish, very tolerable.


Our last dish was the Stir-fried Chicken with Thai Basil ($12 – made with either chicken, pork or eggplant and stir-fried with garlic, long beans, soy sauce, fish sauce, Thai chilies, onions and Thai basil).


We added on a fried egg and jasmine rice for an extra $2. We ordered this dish medium spicy too and it wasn’t that spicy either. This stir fry was all sorts of delicious, more low key on the flavour but still quite flavourful. The portion size was good for the both of us.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Kin Kao, I suggest you do. With a lot of people giving the restaurant the ‘best Thai in Vancouver’ nod, I might have to throw my name onto that list as well.


Ambiance: mini5forks

Service: mini4andahalfforks

Value: mini4forks

OVERALL: fiveforks

Check out their website here.

Kin Kao on Urbanspoon