The four UC Berkeley alumni that brought us the Caviar food delivery app are about to serve up a whole new concept. This one, however, won't deliver.
Jason Wang, Shawn Tsao, Vince Cao and John Keh sold Caviar for a reported $90 million back in 2014 and since then the foursome has remained in the food industry. Under the umbrella of their restaurant group, Umai Hospitality, the friends bought the Northwest Coast rights to the Halal Guys franchise. And yep, you can order Halal Guys on Caviar.
While on a trip to Thailand, the business buds fell in love with a dish called khao mun gai, described by Eater as "a Thai version of Hainese chicken and rice where chicken is typically poached and served over rice cooked in chicken broth." Thanks to the fateful trip, Umai Hospitality will open a 900-square-foot restaurant called Chick'n Rice next month on Central Street in Berkeley.
One can definitely get khao man gai throughout the Bay Area. In fact, Yelpers have a whole roundup of the region's best right here. But Chick'n Rice aims to be more than just a fast-casual counter service spot for a quick bite. Umami Hospitality hopes it will become the McDonald's of khao men gai.
The Chick’N Rice menu, courtesy of Bangkok chef Chavayos (Bob) Rattakul, will center around chicken (or pork or veggies) served with rice alongside cucumbers, cilantro, sweet and sour sauce and a side of chicken broth to pour over the top. Coconut milk ice cream with sticky rice is Chick'n Rice's only planned dessert option.
Berkeley residents are already excited by the new food spot. “We’re always excited about new businesses adding to the flavor of downtown," Downtown Berkeley Association director of vitality Matthew Jervis told the Daily Cal. "The food culture here has always been really diverse and vibrant. It’s always exciting to see the downtown grow.”
Chick'n Rice plans to open at 2136 Center Street between Shattuck and Oxford this August.
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