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Critics Weigh In on Shinsei, Sushi Bayashi, and Kin Kin

Asian cuisines abound this week.


Scott Reitz reviewed Shinsei: Recently appointed chef Jeramie Robison hails from Austin's Uchi, and he's been introducing new menu items gradually, "slowly acclimating diners who have patronized Shinsei for nearly 10 years." Beef cheek "cooked until it almost falls apart" is a new favorite, as are "grilled oysters, shucked to order and topped with chili butter awakened with lime juice." Steamed halibut in yellow curry also dazzled, but in comparison menu stalwarts like uninspired lobster tacos "look pretty stale." In Reitz's opinion, "These dishes need an update, or, better yet, should be thrown back into the sea to be devoured by time. That's how Robison will realize Shinsei's full potential," transforming Shinsei into "something more than a neighborhood restaurant that serves lettuce wraps." [Dallas Observer]

Leslie Brenner checked out Sushi Bayashi: Trinity Groves' two-and-a-half-month-old sushi bar has "warm, attentive, engaging waitstaff," an "inviting dining room," and some very good food — but not all the menu items were a success. The best menu dishes included seafood-heavy chanpon noodles, halibut sashimi, "gently grilled yellowtail ribs," a custom sockeye salmon roll, and "admirable uni." Other sushi "too often disappointed," though, suffering from underseasoned rice and strangely watery wasabi and soy sauce. Overall, Brenner "hope[s], over time, the rough patches smooth out and the menu rounds out and evolves." Two stars. [Dallas Morning News]

Anna Caplan went to Kin Kin Urban Thai: Two more Kin Kin locations are on the way for Dallas, and judging by the state of things at the Fort Worth original, that's a very good thing. The menu "draws from the vibrant spices and flavors found in Bangkok, yielding a menu that fuses tom yum soup and pad thai with Thai-style burgers and scotch eggs." Five-spice ribs were "some of the best beef spare ribs we’ve ever eaten," and short rib green curry was wonderfully tender. The much-discussed sticky rice burger had good flavor thanks to a garlic-soy glaze, but was "a little on the dry side." Thai fried chicken is a "crowd-pleaser," while chile heads should opt for the fiery kao soi chicken. []