You know how the concept of ”one size fits all” is so utterly useless and false that you just wanna find whoever came up with it and strangle that person with his/her own entrails? Well, if there is one context where it actually almost makes sense, it's when it comes to restaurant/café/bar K|I|D*.
K|I|D has been a regular hangout for me and my friends pretty much ever since I moved to Riga early 2011. This place is a chameleon which can be whatever you want it to be. You can hang on the ground floor, having drinks at the bar or on the high stools by the window overlooking the street. You can proceed up the stairs and have a nice dinner out in the restaurant section, or you can move further in and do coffee/drinks in a dark, loungey back room. Or, in the summer time, you can move to the small terrace out back, which might not have any good view of anything, but is still somewhat cozy thanks to the green, summery plant decorations that K|I|D has put up. And the best part of all this is: they actually get away with all the individual parts. Whatever your reasons are for coming here, I'm sure you'll not be disappointed.
”there is really no reason to be fundamentalist about anything”
Since this website is called Foodinriga.com, however, I'll focus on the culinary aspects of K|I|D. This is a modern, European restaurant, and their menu is a pleasing mixture of bold and traditional. What might at first glance seem like a straight forward dish often contains unexpected flavor combinations which throw you off balance. Therefore, if you're a fundamentalist traditionalist, K|I|D might be too adventurous for you. But, since there is really no reason to be fundamentalist about anything, my bet is that you'll find something that is both pleasing and surprising.
The chefs are really good with meat. Steaks are often juicy, tender and flavorable (is that a word? Well, it is now), and the daring marinades and sauces often give the meat an exotic touch. If only the mashed potatoes you can get as a side order would not be as timid, it would make a killer combo together with any meat or fish dish. The pastas are more traditional, but still good, and so is the seafood paella. My only complaint is that these dishes are somewhat under-seasoned, so a few turns with the salt mill will help a lot. If you're a sweet tooth who needs something to round off your dinner, the desserts will be both pleasing to the eye and the tongue.
”the K|I|D burger wins by a knee to the liver in the 5th round”
I also have to give special kudos to the burger. If you're an avid student of this website, you'll know that I have a soft spot for burgers, especially the ones you get at Street Burgers. However, the K|I|D burger really gives Street Burgers a run for their money. And actually, would this be a muay thai fight between the two, after a long, hard fought battle, the K|I|D burger wins by a knee to the liver in the 5th round. It's just great - juicy, full of flavor, it has just enough cheese and grease, and the onion crisps and fries that you can get on the side are perfect.
”that kind of courage is rare in this city”
One thing that I really like about K|I|D is how they are constantly reinventing themselves, not only in their interior design but also in their menu. They experiment, they try new things, they are shape shifters in the most positive sense. That kind of courage is rare in this city. It's also worth mentioning that part of this ever-changing characteristic of K|I|D is their interesting collaboration with local artists, so very often they will have completely new art hanging on the walls.
Prices are very affordable, although you should know that some dishes do not come in ample portions, so you should budget for a three-course meal to be full. Service is good for the most part. I often hear other foreigners in the restaurant, and the staff has no problems communicating in English. However, you will not receive your orders at a lightning pace, so be prepared to wait. Also, their timing could be better. The other day, the friend I was with received his coffee a good 20–30 minutes before the actual dessert arrived. Rectifying such hiccups, which can be a major annoyance for the guests, should be both easy and a priority for the staff.
* Note that this review is only of the K|I|D restaurant on Pulkveža Brieža iela. There is also one on Tērbatas iela, and please note that the two restaurants have different menus.