We’ve been on a bit of a Vietnamese food journey recently, and when Kinhboy popped up on my radar last week with good preliminary reviews online we knew we had to try. Unfortunately they did not quite live up to their hype.
The banh xeo tacos with crackling pork belly (2 for $16) were pretty unextraordinary. While the filling of crackling pork, vietnamese slaw and sauce was tasty, juicy and fresh, the “banh xeo” exterior shell was a letdown. Taking our experience at Banh Xeo Bar as a baseline we would characterise this banh xeo taco shell as too hard (but not crispy) and a bit stale tasting.
Kinhboy’s beef short rib pho ($18) was actually very good. The meat was very juicy and tender, cut into bit sized pieces and rearranged on the bone. The broth was rich and tasty. My one complaint would be that this dish was served with the bean sprouts within the soup, meaning that we did not have the opportunity to add our own at our own pace. This meant that they got quite soft and cooked by the end of our meal, while we like them a bit more crunchy and less cooked.
I had very high expectations for the Crispy Chicken Supreme ($21), cooked in the French style in nuoc cham buerre blanc. Unfortunately my expectations were not met. The chicken itself was dry, and the skin hard but not crispy – a significant downgrade from the chicken I recently had at Khoi’s in Surry Hills. The sauce, while tangy and creamy, didn’t really go well with the chicken. Even when dipped the chicken had difficulty holding onto the sauce, and my partner felt like the flavours did not match well ( I don’t feel as strongly about this.) While the Jasmine Rice ($4) was a good suggestion from our waitress (like at Banh Xeo Bar, all of Kinhboy’s waitresses were White while all the Asians were kept in the kitchen) to soak up the sauce, it ultimately just didn’t cross the line into P+ territory for us.
My partner wanted me to leave some good vibes about this Cherry Bomb ($18) cocktail.
While the beef short rib pho was a hit, our other two dishes were a disappointment – sad because I really wanted to like it. Despite a pretty average time at Kinhboy we did dine at sister restaurant Tokki a couple of days later – keep your eyes and noses peeled for that review soon.
3.5/5 racially segregated staff pools
Shop E/66 Regent St, Redfern NSW 2016
(02) 8399 0535