A new gourmet Chinese restaurant is now in North Jersey. Chef Yang 46 in Clifton specializes in a Sichuan menu that fans of spicy food will love. But it’s not just about piling on the spice until you’re red in the face; Chef Yang blends flavor with heat to create dishes that have a real kick to them while also tasting great.
Before diving into the menu highlights, there’s one thing to note: While Chef Yang focuses on spicy cooking, they are more than willing to accommodate guests who don’t like spicy food. The wait staff will ask a few questions about your preferences and can tone down the spiciness of most meals.
The specialty dishes at Chef Yang will sound familiar at first, but their Sichuan variants offer something new. For example, their take on crispy prawn adds some spice to the seafood dish. Meanwhile, their version of Peking Duck adds cucumbers and scallions; in addition, the chef slices and serves the duck in front of guests.
Of course, if you do enjoy spicy food, then you’re in for a real treat. I tried two dishes during my visit. First up, the Sizzling Beef Flank Steak with Cumin. At Chef Yang, they marinate the beef before cooking it with onions, peppers, and a sprinkle of cumin. They serve it on an iron plate to keep the dish sizzling hot. The beef is tender and delicious, and though the dish really is spicy, the heat only enhances the meal.
After that, I tried the Chongqing Chicken Nuggets with Chili Peppercorn. This dish comes in a bowl, and is pretty self explanatory. Bite-sized chunks of breaded chicken are mixed in with a whole bunch of chili peppers. This is for sure the spicier of the two items, and will definitely clear out your sinuses. Despite the high heat, the taste is great, and this is something I plan on eating again.
Service with a Smile
I have to also point out that one of the best reasons to visit Chef Yang is their wait staff. The top notch service really makes for a great night out. The staff is a real pleasure to speak with; from their polite explanations about the spicy menu items to their casual, fun, and entertaining banter. Sometimes I prefer a waiter simply take the order, bring the food, and check in for drink refills. But in this case, the great conversation is part of the charm and appeal.
The restaurant doesn’t look particularly large, but it can actually fit up to 160 people. Add to this the fact they serve very generous portion sizes, and it becomes a great place for large groups. Whether you’re dining for two or bringing the whole family, there’s something for everyone at Chef Yang 46.
You can visit Chef Yang 46 in Clifton. For more info, or to see the full Sichuan menu, visit their website. To keep up with the restaurant on social media, you can find them on Facebook as well as Instagram.
All Images: © Chef Yang 46