Fork and Stix has been critically acclaimed as some of the best Thai food in town, and we were excited to work with the owner to open a sister restaurant, KiiN Essentially Thai, downtown. In addition to some of the core dishes offered at Fork and Stix, KiiN would also offer traditional northern Thai “country” food.
The restaurant was a former gift shop in the MX District downtown St. Louis. Featuring a wall of windows and concrete floors, the space already possessed an honest aesthetic, and — with the owner — we opted to embrace this look by working with as many existing materials as possible. The palette was a combination of gray (concrete, paint, upholstery, steel) and warm walnut wood.
To bring some warmth to the dining room and lower the scale of the ceiling, our team delved into the geography of northern Thailand. KiiN’s food is inspired by the Chiang Mai region, and Chiang Mai is known for Yi Peng, the lantern festival. Our team opted to incorporate some of these visuals into the space. Our construction team suspended pieces of scrap strips of ipe (Brazilian walnut) to create a nest of branches above the dining area, and simple globe pendants were dropped at random heights through the nest to illuminate the space. The result is a cozy-feeling dining room in an otherwise tall space.
KiiN Essentially Thai
550 North 7th Street
St. Louis, MO 63101