By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 03, 2019 at 11:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

A modern Asian restaurant is on its way to State Street Station, the new mixed-use development in the Village of Wauwatosa.

In fact, Kin, a new concept operated by Rice n Roll Bistro owners Tony Kora and siblings JJ and Tammy Lert, could open as soon as mid-April at 7484 W. State St.

Kora says the restaurant will be quite a bit larger (and more dine-in friendly) than the restaurateurs' East Side space, occupying approximately 2,600 square feet. In fact, it's expected to seat about 80 guests at a combination of two and four-top tables, a traditional bar and a small eight-person sushi bar.

The name, Kin, offers a wealth of meaning, translating as "eating" in Thai, "family" in English and "gold" in Japanese, all words which will come into play at the new venue, which will  feature a combination of traditional Thai street food, modern takes on sushi and a variety of Asian dishes from Japan and beyond.

On the menu

From the bar, guests can expect a menu of beer and wine, including two Asian brews on tap and a large selection of sake, which will be offered by the bottle, glass and in tasting flights.

The food menu, meanwhile, will feature a combination of appetizers, main dishes and a variety of types of sushi. And, while there will be similarities to Rice n Roll’s menu, Kora says that Kin’s offerings will be distinct. In fact, he says, they will showcase far more in terms of JJ Lert’s understanding of Thai and pan-Asian cuisines, along with Kora’s creative, modern approach to sushi.

"We want to do something that keeps us excited," he says, "And challenges our skills. The menu will be smaller, but we will be introducing a number of new things. We want to present new dishes that people won’t find anywhere else."

Among them are offerings like an izakaya-style bar menu, comprised of snackable dishes which can be enjoyed alongside drinks. There will also be a variety of appetizers, including Thai and Japanese style skewered meats, steamed buns filled with pork, duck and portabella mushrooms and Asian BBQ wings with wasabi cream.

Main dishes will include Thai curry and street-food inspired dishes like khao man kai, a variation of Hainanese chicken rice that’s popular in Southern Thailand. Kora says they will also introduce Japanese curry along with a number of Japanese-style rice bowls.

On the sushi side, Kora says guests can expect not only maki, but nigiri and sashimi. There will also be seasonal fish features, along with a showcase of new techniques including zuke, a sushi preparation method during which the fish is marinated before being served.

"At Rice n Roll, we do a lot of fancy maki," says Kora. "But in Tosa we will feature some new things. I’ve been working on a lot of different sauces and marinades for the fish. It will be a lot of fun for me and the customers."

Once open, Kin by Rice n Roll will serve both lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Both dine-in and carry-out will be available.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.