A massively popular Chinese restaurant chain is headed to America, and they only serve one dish: clay pot chicken. Called Yang’s Braised Chicken Rice, it’s possibly the most simple kind of restaurant one could imagine, and the company’s first flagship store will arrive Tustin, California by September 10.
Eater has learned exclusively that the 6,000 store chain, with thousands of outlets across mainland China, plus outposts in Japan, Singapore, and Melbourne, Australia, plans to unleash chicken and rice restaurants across the U.S. But for now, they’re starting with one single fast-casual spot. This Orange County location will have 40 seats in a 1,500 square foot space.
Founded just six years ago in 2011 by Xiao Lu Yang, the dish is deadly simple: slow-braised chicken thighs cut into cubes then covered with a special sauce produced in China that’s been passed down through the family since 1930s. Because the sauce is produced in China and then imported into the U.S. (with FDA approval), Yang’s is saying the dish will taste virtually identical to how it taste in China. The chicken is then finished with mushrooms, ginger, and peppers, which add some sweetness and a spicy kick.
In China, the dish is called huang meng braised chicken, and it’s traditionally cooked and served in a clay pot. At Yang’s Braised Chicken Rice, customers can choose between three levels of spice, adding a bit of variety to the order. Rice then comes on the side, but they recommend putting rice straight into the pot to enjoy.
When Eater asked why they chose to open in Tustin instead of say, San Gabriel Valley, one of the largest Chinese-American communities in the country, CEO Xin Yu Zhang remarked that the landlord here gave them a plum deal. In addition, Tustin is easy to access from a number of Orange County communities. Still, the idea is to expand across the country, fueled by some corporate stores, plus with most of the expansion coming from franchises.