The new Thai restaurant, Kai Yang, looks expensive. I had assumed it was. But after trying it with some friends, I came to realize that Kai Yang is not expensive, as long as you choose the right dishes.
While the food is authentic Thai comfort food with familiar classic dishes, Kai Yang has an appealing modern vibe, with an interior filled with bright colors and patterns.
For starters, the chicken dumpling appetizers ($8) are small flavorful bites stuffed with shitake mushrooms and served with a slightly sweet ginger sauce. When it comes to entrees, you absolutely must try the Kai Yang chicken, with options for a half chicken ($17) or a full chicken ($25) perfect to share with friends. The chicken is tender and infused with delicious flavors, while the skin is slightly crisp, chewy and too good to resist. The Kai Yang chicken comes with one of three options: 1) Two grilled pork sticks, 2) Sliced grilled beef, and 3) Minced chicken. All of the options also come with a papaya salad, which provides an refreshing, acidic slice through the savory dish, and sticky rice. The sauces, one sweet and one salty, add a twist to the already good flavors.
Another favorite dish, the pineapple fried rice ($11 to $13), features onion, scallion, egg, and pineapple with a choice of either chicken, shrimp, or vegetables. We tried the shrimp, and there was definitely a lot of it and the shrimp were a good size. When it comes to green curry ($14 to $17), choose your level of spiciness. This is a great dish if you’re looking to satisfy your vegetarian needs. Lastly, save some room for mango sticky rice ($9) for dessert, a sweet sticky rice that comes with sliced mango, is not too sweet, and is completely delicious.
Try the Kai Yang Chicken! It’s delicious and is great for sharing.
The Kai Yang half chicken is most likely enough to feed 3 and the full chicken can feed at least 4.
Kai Yang, 345 Bloomfield Avenue, 973-509-2110.
Georgia Chen is a sophomore at Montclair High School. Here’s 20 Bucks explores affordable and adventurous eats around town for students.