Kai Asian Street Fare comes from brothers-in-law Isra Sunhachawi and Quan Van.
Isra Sunhachawi and Quan Van know their way around a kitchen.
The brothers-in-law have tasted their fair share of cuisines from across the world. Sunhachawi, whose family is from Thailand but raised him in Israel, traveled often to South Korea, Japan, and other eastern countries for work with Lockheed Martin. Van used to live in New York and Boston and even had a restaurant for a short period of time.
They combined their knowledge to open Kai Asian Street Fare, a new restaurant at the edge of Winter Park.
“We had a lot of taste testings, and our main thing was, ‘Do we crave this a few days later?’” Sunhachawi said. “That was sort of the key to what we wanted on our menu.”
Sunhachawi, an Orlando resident, liked Winter Park for his new enterprise because of its close proximity to Rollins College, the University of Central Florida and other hotspots.
They picked a spot at 1555 FL-436, nestled away in a shopping center on the corner of Howell Branch and Semoran. He said they were going for a “cozy” feel with a grey color scheme accented with a red streak. The interior also has an illustration by renowned artist Banksy on the wall inspired by Sunhachawi’s routine trips to the United Kingdom.
Kai’s menu is a blend of Korean, Japanese and Thai dishes that include Pho soup, curries, special ramen and other delicacies.
He says he enjoys all of the dishes on the menu — the ramen, K-pop fries, garlic noodles — but there’s one in particular that will stand above the rest.
“I was in Korea and my friend told me that the fried chicken was really good,” Sunhachawi said. “I was like, ‘Really? I thought it was just Korean barbecue’… but I could eat those wings every day.”
Kai Asian Street Fare was originally going to be called Kai Wing House. Once they both realized that name would make their restaurant sound like a Hooters-esque sports bar, they pivoted to Asian Street Fare.
Sunhachawi said his brother-in-law grew tired with his job as a telecommunications engineer and wanted to return to his roots as a restaurant-owner. Sunhachawi, who also wanted to enter the food business, chipped in by selling a rental home, though he still works as a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin by day.
“I do two jobs — I go to work (at Lockheed Martin), and then I take care of the restaurant at night,” Sunhachawi said. “I do all the non-fun stuff from my brother-in-law’s perspective.”
IF YOU GO
Kai Asian Street Fare
1555 FL-436 No. 1171,
PHONE: (407) 821-3430