Joe Kitsana is an impressive one-man show. He moves gracefully from affable host to server to bartender to chef; he’s been in hospitality for more than 20 years (and also worked at Longrain).
Kitsana opened Republic Sandwiches and Salads for lunch in June 2016 and began offering dinner in 2017 when he renamed the restaurant Joe’s Table.
The first rule of dining there should be: eat the smoked coconut ice-cream first. It’s made with a smoking candle that looks like a cigar with wicks at both ends. When extinguished it smokes abundantly and smells of herbs and incense. To make it coconut milk is smoked overnight and then churned into ice-cream in the morning. It’s served enveloped in smoke under a glass dome and topped with tender young-coconut shavings, sesame seeds and a pinch of sea salt.
Kitsana puts just as much care into his mains. Making the stir-fried pork hock is an overnight job too. Pork hock is braised for four hours, taken off the bone and then pressed under something heavy overnight. The result is succulent pieces of meat tossed in sticky chilli jam finished with slivers of kaffir lime.
A long mirror in the space creates the illusion of size in the narrow room and the walls are decorated with charming floral enamel plates that match the ones on the tables.