Behind the Name: Toronto’s Kiin

The story behind celebrated chef Nuit Regular's Kiin restaurant

When Toronto was first introduced to the splendour of Northern Thai cuisine in 2008 by way of the now city-wide Sukhothai franchise, Torontonians welcomed culinary couple Nuit and Jeff Regular with open arms. 

In 2017, after expanding their award-winning Northern Thai offerings through Toronto institutions Pai and Sabai Sabai, the Regulars opened Kiin. The concept centres around ingredient-driven Royal Thai cuisine, something which chef Nuit says is on the verge of extinction. 

“Royal Thai cuisine is a dying culinary artform in Thailand and I wanted to showcase this incredibly beautiful and intricate Thai cuisine to our guests,” chef Nuit explains. “When guests come to Kiin to eat with their family and friends, I want to create a unique and memorable meal and food experience while they relax and linger over a shared meal together.”

When it came to deciding on a name for the restaurant, the Wall of Chefs judge says Kiin was the only option. 

“Kiin means ‘to eat’ in Thai. In Thailand, sharing food with one another is an important part of our culture, and we wanted to create a place that brought people together over great Thai food and warm Thai hospitality,”she says. “With Kiin, I wanted to introduce Toronto diners to traditional Thai dishes that they are not familiar with but showcases the rich food culture and culinary history of Thailand.”

Although Kiin is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, Canadians can try their hands at replicating chef Regular’s renowned Royal Thai cuisine with her bestselling cookbook, Kiin: Recipes and Stories from Northern Thailand.