SEA by Kiin Kiin is one of the many casual eateries in the progressive Thai cuisine restaurant empire of Henrik Yde. While less prestigious than the one-Michelin-starred Kiin Kiin, this little brother still delivers at a pretty high level for such an affordable and available place. Try the tasting menu, which starts with a series of snacks, followed by some of the signature dishes from the flagship restaurant. You can also order them à la carte. Go here for lunch or dinner, and eat Michelin-food on a budget!
In 2008, restaurant Kiin Kiin on Guldbergsgade was awarded one Michelin-star by the renowned French food bible. An achievement they share with only one other Thai-restaurant in the world outside of Thailand. Danish restaurateur Henrik Yde and his partner Lertchai Treetawatchaiwong had succeeded with their innovative Thai haute cuisine – a fusion of Thai flavors and French and Spanish techniques. Since then, the star has been renewed each year and the duo has opened a host of restaurants at different levels. Most of them with a reference to Thailand. The two even have a restaurant in Bangkok, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, which also got one star from Michelin when the guide launched there last year.
SEA by Kiin Kiin offers many of the same dishes that you will find at the now-famous Nørrebro venue, but in a different setting. The location is Nyhavn 71 – an old warehouse on the harbourfront. Right smack in tourist mecca! The interior is described as a 1930s Hong Kong speakeasy, complete with orchids in large wooden cargo boxes. Still, I found it very Scandinavian in style too, with the raw wood against white-painted brick walls, and elegant designer chairs. We had the set menu, priced at DKK 595, with wine pairings (DKK 495). Most of the plates can also be ordered separately.
After a round of lovely one-bites and snacks, where squid and egg yolk cream was my favorite, came the meal’s top dish: Lobster served with a scoop of frozen red curry ice cream. Sounds weird? It worked amazingly well in a Nordic-style presentation with well-balanced Thai flavors. Cold and spicy, salty and sweet, with a light and airy cream and crunchy peanut powder to add contrast and texture.
Next up came another lovely serving – this time prepared tableside. On our plates was a simple green salad. The real magic was happening in a mortar next to us, where the waiter was smashing spices, herbs, and juices together to make a tangy Thai marinade. The main dishes were also tasty, but less special. We had simply been spoiled with a great start. Luckily, the meal ended on a high note with two excellent desserts. Hedda’s favorite being the acidic lime sorbet with Thai basil, while mine was the banana cake with coconut milk snow and salted caramel ice cream. Again, that great balance between salty and sweet, of which the Thai kitchen is famous.
This lunch had me positively surprised and puts Kiin Kiin even higher up on my to-visit-list.
Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in the Danish capital? Check out my foodie map of Copenhagen.
Have you been to any of the Kiin Kiin-branches? Please share your experience in the comments.