Daughter Thai Kitchen, a spicy Southern Thai-focused eatery, is headed to Montclair in early December. The restaurant comes from the owners Ling Chatterjee and husband/chef Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang, who also co-own SF’s Farmhouse Kitchen Thai, Kitchen Story, and Blackwood.
The restaurant is opening in the space formerly occupied by Chowhaus, which closed in March. Now it will be a lively Thai bistro offering large communal tables, individual tables, and a small full bar with seasonal cocktails. According to Chatterjee, the name Daughter Thai is based on the story of partner Kim Gamble and her mother, who owned Lanna Thai in Livermore. As the story goes, Gamble learned the restaurant business by watching her mom, and hated it because of the long hours— until she grew up and found her passion in restaurants. This is her first foray into the restaurant business, alongside Chatterjee and Saengsawang.
The food is “innovative Thai highlighting Southern Thai Cooking,” according to the owners. That means the food will be both spicier and richer than the dishes of other regions, with influences from India and Malaysia. Spices like turmeric and cumin are common, as well as tamarind; some dishes will be served with Roti, a flatbread. “This type of cooking is a rare find in the Bay Area, and even to the Thai community,” Chatterjee, a Bangkok native, told Eater. “We are super excited to be in the diverse neighborhood of Oakland and Piedmont.” The menu includes dishes like a Dungeness crab fried rice with twice cooked rice, egg, onion, tomato, and cilantro that is wrapped in a lotus leaf and served with both broth, as well as Panang Nuea, a signature dish that includes a 48-hour braised short rib with panang curry. (Check out the full menu below.)
The restaurant will open for lunch and dinner daily, from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Stay tuned for more information on opening date.