Kinaree Thai Restaurant

I like food. Come to think of it I love good food but the irony is that I can’t stand pretentious restaurants. Yet more often than not, in Johannesburg, it’s the poncy bunch who take extra care serving original, well presented meals and I’m the first to admit it. However, for me, a good restaurant experience is not just the tasty food but, almost more importantly, it’s also the atmosphere and that is why I am bringing this hidden gem to your attention.


Kinaree Thai Restaurant is a quaint (not to be confused with kitch) Thai restaurant in the Edenvale area. From the outside it looks a bit like a box with bamboo stuck to the side of it (see picture alongside) but I think this gives it a more adventurous feeling. Walking through the door you immediately realise that the outside is a ruse – the interior is laced with lush, authentic Thai décor in that nice burgundy and gold colour scheme you’d expect all Thai people love.

Our waiter greeted us, armed with some menus and a big smile, before rushing off to place our drink orders. After a quick look around the room I was relieved to see that there was a comfortable amount of customers dispersed around the restaurant, which for me is usually the first sign that the place is not a dive (nothing speaks louder than an empty room).

My girlfriend was hungry so she flipped through the menu looking for a starter to pick on while we kick back. She’s not an Asian fanatic by a long shot but found something pretty quickly, in fact she said it was actually hard choosing because of all the great sounding meals (as apposed to her not finding anything suitable for a half hour).

The starter was a delicious range of dip-able finger foods from veg spring rolls to chicken satays and even interesting Thai fishcakes accompanied by a sweet chilli dip and a tahini type sauce, which really hit the spot. We told the waiter to bring on another round of drinks and chose our mains, which arrived promptly after the starter was removed and the drinks served.

My girlfriend ordered the crispy pork and I the crispy duck (daring I know), but jokes aside they actually looked completely different. Hers came with fresh red pepper and that translucent sweet chilli the Thai always use while mine came with a few chopped green chillies and what tasted like a sherry type sauce. They where both presented on the most awesome looking serving trays powered by little candles, adding a bit more to the adventure side of the experience.

By the end of the meal we had to ask our waiter to bag the rest of our food. I’m not a fan of huge portions but I know this is a big hit with your average South African so can’t be a bad thing. Overall, it was delicious and rich and everything a treat is supposed to be.

Conclusion: Tasty food, brilliant service, warm inviting décor and if you’re like me and want something a little different then Kinaree Thai Restaurant should do the trick.

by Byron Marais

Follow me on Twitter!

Visit my Google Profile.


Did you like this article? Then get more of the same from our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox for FREE!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from Food Features: