I have a long list of restaurants to try in Copenhagen.
And it seems to only be growing longer and longer, with new places opening at a break-neck pace.
Two weeks ago, I finally managed to cross one restaurant off my list, and it was one that had been chilling at the top position for quite some time: Kiin Kiin.
Kiin Kiin is by no means a newcomer to the Copenhagen food scene, and it’s made quite a name for itself over the years, being one of the very few Thai restaurants worldwide with a Michelin star. Head chef Dak Laddaporn, Jutland-born and with Thai ancestry, took the spot at the helm of the kitchen at just 26 years old and serves inspired, creative, and modern Thai cuisine in the restaurant’s cozy, two-floor location in Nørrebro.
The visit to Kiin Kiin was my Christmas gift to my boyfriend (and, admittedly, to myself!), who is normally not the biggest fan of fine dining, but has been talking about trying Kiin Kiin for quite some time. And this was – hands down – the best dining experience I’ve had in Copenhagen so far!
The evening follows a fixed program and menu, which starts with different snacks in the lounge area. The snacks are served in quick succession and are inspired by Thai street kitchen. We got a selection of caramelized lotus root, nuts in an edible bag, soy meringue, chicken satay, and chiang mai sausage from a tiny charcoal grill. Some of the snacks were served and presented to us by the head chef herself – who also welcomed guests, took their coats, and cleared tables!
We were then led upstairs to the main dining area. My recommendation is to book table 9, which is a secluded little alcove tucked away in the back corner of the restaurant and seats two on a cozy couch with loads of pillows.
We chose to opt for one wine pairing and one juice menu, because the juices sounded amazing, including for example fresh apple juice with vanilla, ice tea with jasmine and lychee, salted plum juice, and iced chai tea.
The menu changes regularly, so I don’t feel bad disclosing it in full here – if you’re going very soon, it might spoil some of the surprise for you, though. You’ve been warned.
We started off with a tom yam soup with a syringe filled with tofu paste to make our own noodles.
This was followed by one of the early highlights of the evening: a salad with poached cod, green apples, and topped with green cotton candy that melted away under the spicy marinade of chili, ginger, and fish sauce.
Probably one of the most exciting and delicious dishes I’ve ever tasted.
And we hadn’t even tried Kiin Kiin’s signature dish yet: frozen red curry with lobster and avocado. The lobster and avocado are served on a bowl containing ice cold vodka (due to the low freezing point) and topped with spoonfuls of red curry that has been frozen with liquid nitrogen. A real spectacle, but it also tasted absolutely divine!
Next up was the one dish I had been a bit worried about, to be honest – fried foie gras. I have to say, I’m usually not a fan of foie gras when it’s prepared this way; I tend to find it too rich and heavy (not to mention that I also have some ethical issues with it). Kiin Kiin’s version was served with a plum wine sauce and ginger, which brought the necessary sweetness but also helped to cut through the richness of the liver. I ate and actually really enjoyed every bite of it – served alongside a glass of champagne or, the juice menu equivalent, salted plum juice with mandarin.
As you can see, the menu is basically one highlight chasing the other, and the following course was no exception: braised pork shoulder (carved at the table) with five spice and mushrooms. The meat was fall-apart tender and practically melted in our mouths!
Along with the pork, we got a serving of delicious small pancakes.
Next up was the pre-dessert, a simple dish of foamy lime with basil – a tasty palate cleanser with zingy lime and just a hint of sweetness.
Ready for the grand finale, our expectations were once again exceeded with the amazing dessert of banana cake with salted coconut ice cream. Sounds simple, right? It definitely isn’t! So much flavor, so much complexity, I had to restrain myself to not actually lick the tree log it was served on! I can only dream of ever baking a banana cake with this much flavor.
If someone told me I could only eat one dessert for the rest of my life (nightmare scenario!), I would probably make it this one.
The entire experience was just absolutely amazing.
Now, I’m not about to tell you that this was a cheap affair. Kiin Kiin is one of the most famous Michelin starred restaurants in Copenhagen, and very popular with tourists, especially foodie travelers, as well. Apparently, foreigners often book table 9 specifically to propose – which one of the servers was happy to point out to my very uncomfortable boyfriend (who did not make the booking)! But it is absolutely worth every krone: it’s not only a spectacular experience (melting cotton candy, frozen curry), every dish is absolutely delicious, too. The menu costs DKK 975, the wine menu will set you back DKK 875, and the juice menu clocks in at DKK 425.
If you want to do yourself a favor, I highly suggest a visit!
Have you been to Kiin Kiin, or are you planning to go? Let me know in the comments below!
Kiin Kiin | Guldbergsgade 21, 2200 Copenhagen N | kiin.dk