Chai Ko Tapas (Teaneck)
Chai Ko Tapas is open so I had to go try it. I was excited by the prospect of tapas, though my excitement was tempered by the sushi tie-in. No need for concern though – there are no tapas at Chai Ko Tapas; “tapas” is simply the name they have given to the Asian-themed appetizers. The manager did say that the tapas part was still in development but having experienced the oeuvre of the restaurant, I can’t see where tapas would fit in anyways.
At its core, Chai Ko Tapas is Estihana – Asia-themed food that includes sushi. Chai does feature a few more Thai and Vietnamese inspired dishes, which I welcome to the mix. Just as the overall quality at Estihana is (or was – I have not been in years) quite good, many of the dishes at Chai Ko are quite good. I had some very tasty yakitori (chicken skewers) which were slightly better than the very similar chicken satay. Steamed dumplings were pretty good. Sesame chicken and general tso’s were distinguishable from one other only by a slight elevation in spice to the g. tso’s. I liked the flavors of the Vietnamese beef dish I had and it is hard to come by a kefir lime leaf/lemongrass offering in a kosher place. The dish was a little too oily though. The udon/ vegetable/chicken soup was good – it is exactly like Estihana’s. Sushi was fine, though they should up upgrade the soy sauce they provide.
The biggest issue I had was price. The prices very closely match those at Estihana in Manhattan. In Teaneck, many people simply are not going to bring their families for Chinese/sushi with any regularity at that price point. It is better suited for a nice takeout for two. I didn’t find it so attractive inside that I would go out of my way to dine in – at their prices, I would favor going out in NYC. I did order a number of items (see above) but only one entrée and my bill was nearly double what it might be say at Chopstixs.
So unless the tapas arrive, Chai Ko will be a nice occasional take out for 2 option for me.
We happen to have dinner there earlier this evening. My husband and four of our friends. I must say that this restaurant compared to others here in Teaneck is quite needed. The ambience is very relaxed. We didn't have to sit Off the edge of our seats just in case we laughed a little louder than usual. The food was superb, we ordered a few appetizers and sushi along with our main courses. The bill was very reasonable. And to top it all off we had waiters who spoke English and were able to understand our order without us breaking our teeth. I would definetley go again, think we just found a new local spot.
We have eaten at Chai Ko Tapas 3 times now for dinner since it opened in Teaneck. Each time, the food, without exception, has been excellent. Two of the three times we visited, we ordered off of the regular meat menu. The third and most recent time was last night,on 8/3/2011, during the 9 days so they had a special menu with no meat.
We have had their sushi, soups, appetizers and various entrees and desserts and they have all been very good. We especiaaly like the Mongolian Steak entree and its flavorful sauce. We have also had their rib steak and several other entrees including beef and chicken, and all have been excellent..
On our most recent visit on 8/3/2011, they had a 4 course special for the 9 days (soup, 8 pieces of sushi, plus any fish entree among about 12 choices, and a dessert) for $26.00. You can't beat that!!
I had the Crusted Tuna entree which came with assorted vegetables and rice and was very good. The others in our group had the Mahi Mahi, Flounder and the Vegetable Lo Mein which I tasted and liked very much. For dessert, I had the warm chocolate souflee with a scoop of (pareve???) ice cream.....Good finish to a good meal.
The service on all our visits has been good to very good, even on nights when they were very busy.
All in all, this is definitely one of the better kosher restaurants I have been to and I recommend it without hesitation. Good food and good value. We will definitely be back soon.
My opinion was echoed by all the others in our group each of the 3 times we have been there for dinner. This restaurant gets a definite thumbs up!!!
I've been to Chaiko twice. The first time, I ordered two rolls of sushi. One was a baked sushi(I believe the volcano roll), the other a salmon special with salmon skin. They were both very good! Especially considering that I have felt the quality of sushi metsuyan slipping lately.
The second time, we ordered two appetizers and two sushi rolls. I wanted to order the salmon skin roll again, but it was no longer on the menu. Instead, we got a dragon roll, which was topped with lemon(very nice with raw fish) and the same baked roll I had before. We got the beef dumplings, which were not bad at all. We also got the jalapeno poppers, which were the complete favorite of the meal. Totally out of this world!
I'm actually going back for a third time. Both meals were previously at lunch, when the restaurant was very empty. Hopefully the service(which wasn't bad at all, but nothing remarkably interesting) and food will be the same even when the restaurant has more customers.
So my wife and I went on Sunday night. We had an amazing meal. We started with the Jalapeno poppers which were great. We followed up with the beef dumplings which were excellent. We then shared a main course of Portebello Mushroom steak, amazing flavors and the strip steak which was excellent. We had no issues with the service, which was prompt and attentive. Would highly recommend and look forward to coming back next time we are in Teaneck.
We ate there last night. Went out for a "date night".
We were very impressed by the service, but like KC were underwhelmed by the decor. The dumplings were some of the best I've had though.
The main was excellent - at the servers suggestion we tried a prime rib that had been marinating for four days, served with a mushroom sauce and a demi-glace, both on the side instead of smothering. The steak was massive, and they encouraged splitting, which was nice.
Service was speedy, and the presentation was excellent/