Kaishin Malibu makes grand opening

Kaishin opening

Malibuites seeking quality Chinese food at a reasonable price are in luck. Kaishin, Malibu’s latest Chinese eatery, is now open to the public in the Malibu Colony Plaza.

A sampling of their dishes was unveiled on the eve of Friday’s official grand opening, as Kaishin celebrated by throwing an invite-only dinner party at its well-appointed new space in the Plaza, next to the Wells Fargo bank branch.

Helming the new eatery are coowners Sacha Fetthai and his wife Shanaz, who also own one Subway restaurant a few doors down in the same complex as well as another Subway on Heathercliff.

“We are so happy that we could start the business,” Sacha said.

The new restaurant features a main seating area with high ceilings where guests can observe chefs preparing the meals, as well as a front patio and a secluded patio in the rear that offers privacy.

Their food, originating from the southern provinces of China and Hong Kong, is served with seasonal, organic ingredients. And their commitment to serving food with healthy ingredients remains a hallmark of their culinary philosophy, having also rolled out a gluten-free menu.

The dinner brought out a packed house of attendees who were among the first to try out the eatery’s cuisine, which came in a procession of small courses that included dumplings, chicken wings and shrimp.

From Kaishin’s gluten-free menu, guests can choose from an array of dishes, ranging from greens to red meat. Kick off their meal with the refreshing Kaishin’s natural salad, a mix of kale, spinach, carrot, bean sprout and radish, all doused in ginger vinegar dressing.

For a main course, they can sink their teeth into the spicy Mongolian beef, cooked in a stir-fry of hoisin sauce, green onion, and bamboo shoot. Shellfish lovers can indulge in the kung pao shrimp, served with peanuts, green onions, bell peppers, red bell peppers and Italian squash.

The idea to use these ingredients came in 2010, starting with the landlord of the space, which was previously occupied by Barrel wine bar, offering them the unit. The owners were well aware of Malibu’s demand for local business. Having lived in Malibu for about 20 years, they felt they should seize the opportunity by opening up another.

“We live here. Our children grew up here. We have another business here,” Sacha said.

With that in mind, they soon began taking suggestions from the people they knew best, and discovered a void in Malibu’s restaurant scene. “We asked many of our Malibu neighbors and friends … They said ‘We are missing, good, quality, affordable, Chinese food,’” Sacha recalls.

Hearing the message, they got to work. In the six months leading up to their opening, they devoted their time to tweaking some of the recipes, aiming to perfect them to Malibu’s liking.

With Kaishin now open, diners can witness the recipes being prepared behind a tall glass separating the kitchen and the sleek dining room, which is an approach by the owners meant to provide a sense of transparency to guests. “Our customers can come, see how the food is being made, and when and where it’s being made,” Sacha says.

The next step, post-opening, is locating and developing relationships with local growers to start using fresh, Malibu-grown ingredients up and down the menu.

“We will aggressively look for the local growers,” Sacha said.

Reservations can be made by calling 310.317.9777. More information and menus, including for take-out, are available at www.kaishinmalibu.com.