About Kai Yang
Kai Yang is a fun, new casual Thai rotisserie-chicken concept located in Montclair, NJ. It’s the newest brainchild of serial restaurateur, chef/owner Sheree Sarabhaya, who also owns Boon Thai Kitchen in Livingston and owned Spice II in Montclair. A Bangkok native, Sheree grew up enjoying freshly prepared Thai street foods like kai yang, which translates to “grilled chicken” in English.
About the Food
With Kai Yang, Sheree brings the concept to New Jersey. The organic chickens are marinated in a mixture of garlic, lemongrass, black peppercorn, palm sugar, and coriander root that have been mashed in a traditional stone mortar and pestle, creating a wonderful depth of flavor to the tender meat.
I was recently invited to try out the already-popular restaurant situated on Bloomfield Avenue and loved everything I sampled.
For starters, knowing the chicken came with several sides, we limited ourselves to the chicken dumplings ($8), which are filled with chicken and shitake mushroom then perfectly steamed and served with garlic and ginger dipping sauce. On a future visit, I’ll try the shrimp Tom Kha soup ($5), with its coconut milk and lemongrass broth, served with mushroom, red onion, and scallion.
For our main dish, we (obviously) tried the Kai Yang chicken (pictured at top). The rotisserie chicken is incredibly juicy, tender and packed with Thai flavors. The chicken is served as a whole ($25) or as a half ($17) and from there, diners can opt for one of three combinations of accompanying dishes: one includes a papaya salad, Moo Ping (two grilled pork sticks—think satay) and sticky rice; two includes a papaya salad, Nuea Yang (sliced grilled beef) and sticky rice; and three, which includes a papaya salad, Larb Kai (minced chicken), and sticky rice. We selected the one combination with the nicely grilled satay chicken skewers, the cool and refreshing papaya salad, a perfect pairing to the spicy food, and sticky rice tucked neatly in a folded banana leaf. Kai Yang chicken includes sweet chili and tamarind dipping sauces.
We also ordered a second main dish, the Panang shrimp ($17) with giant prawns that are lightly fried and tossed in one of the best Panang sauce I’ve enjoyed then accompanied by string bean and carrot. While chicken is king at Kai Yang, this shrimp dish is a must-order.
On my next visit, I’ll try the duck red curry ($21) served with bamboo shoots, green pepper, eggplant and basil or the chicken pad Thai ($11) dish with its rice noodles, egg, scallion, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts.
We weren’t going to order dessert as the meal was sizeable, but tried the fried ice cream ($7) which was a perfect ending to the dinner. The coating on the ice cream was thin and expertly fried—simply decadent.
Kai Yang offers delicious, fresh, flavorful food at a modest price. It’s also a BYOB so bring your favorite bottle of Riesling or beer for further savings.
Hours of Operation
Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday/Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
345 Bloomfield Avenue