as in any other big city with flourishing ethnic diversity, vancouver gains plenty of bonus points on the culinary front with a growing number of exotic restaurants. a funky new arrival in grandview, a buzzing area of town already brimming with a slew of appealing eateries, is thai restaurant kin kao. set up by bangkok transplant and chef tang phoonchai, his wife min phoonchai and business partner terrence feng, the place is a far cry from traditional thai eateries that we know. situated at the edge of an active manufacturing zone, at the back of a nondescript strip mall, the restaurant will primarily serve a demographic of shop workers and families for lunch, after work snacks or dinner.
the aformentioned trio asked scott & scott architects to design the interior of the compact space. the vancouver-based practice not only used simple materials that are economic and readily available, but also aimed to balance durability and the public elements to wear-in with use. the bar is constructed from fir plywood and features a soaped beech top which corresponds with the tables and seating crafted from the same material. the deep blue that adorns the floor extends onto the bar. the service area walls are finished with galvanized paneling for maintenance purposes and also serve as a magnetic board for hanging daily fresh sheets.
large windows already allow in floods of daylight, but are backed up by two linear pendant light fixtures custom-designed by the architects. kin kao's menu is obviously thai, but also has a personal edge as it harks back to chef tang's childhood and the food he feasted on. it features an appealing mix of home style and street style thai recipes using locally sourced ingredients. dishes are served with draft beer, thai beers by the bottle, and various ice tea options. location: 903 commercial drive [grandview].