2014 Award Winners ETHNIC RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2014
Kin Khao Thai, Athlone, Co Westmeath
There has been an ‘Ethnic Restaurant’ category in our awards since their inception in the early ‘90s. Originally interpreted as ‘oriental’, it now reflects the diversity of dining experience in contemporary Ireland to include all restaurants that truly represent any specific culture.
Dublin and the other major cities have more than their fair share of the top quality ethnic dining options, but this year’s winner - which is an excellent example of the authenticity we admire - deserves recognition for having brought a true taste of Thailand to the midlands for many years.
Vivid yellow exterior walls on two sides of a street corner and red doors and windows make it a beacon for hungry diners on the western side of Athlone. Run by Irishman and his Thai wife, whose family is steeped in the restaurant and food tradition, it has a foot in two worlds – the chefs are all Thai but almost all the ingredients are Irish. Flavours sing with fresh herbs, chillis and spices, and the cooking has real finesse.
A good selection of wine and craft beer, including a few Irish ones, rounds off the menu perfectly. This remains one of the best Thai restaurants in Ireland, offering outstanding, authentic food, cheerful service and good value.
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