Kunya Siam [Atlantic Highlands, NJ]

Since it’s snowing out, let’s talk about some spicy Thai food! I want to share my review of Kunya Siam in Atlantic Highlands. It’s my favorite Thai restaurant. The only place in competition was Mie Thai in Woodbridge, but that closed about two years ago. Heartbreaking!

I held off writing this review for years because I thought it would be a conflict of interest. I know the owner (Kunya) of this restaurant personally. I’ve even done some work for her during special events or down at her stand at the annual film festival at the harbor. She has graciously donated to the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society (of which I am a member) over the years. When my father passed away in June, she brought over three trays of food to my house that kept us fed for days. Can I impartially give a review of her restaurant? I thought about it and then figured that since this is purely a hobby and I make no money off this blog whatsoever, I’ll do what I want. So let’s talk about Kunya Siam.

My work with this restaurant, as limited as it is, will actually help this review. I’ve seen the kitchen—I’ve been back there. It’s clean. The food is fresh. The people doing the cooking are knowledgeable and passionate. If you realized how small the actual cooking area is, you would be even more impressed with how these complex dishes get cranked out during a busy dinner service.

You can read the rest on my blog if you would like: https://eatingnewjersey.net/2017/12/23/restaurant-review-kunya-siam-atlantic-highlands-nj/

Some pics:



Well I can write a ton on this topic. I go there a lot!

I’m just disgruntled that they jacked up the prices recently. My skirt steak and snapper dish were 20 bucks. Now overnight they are 24 :confused:

Besides the skirt steak, I find the beef dishes at Muang Thai to be superior.

The Kunya whole snapper is outrageous…best fish dish around here for the money.

2 of my “go to” dishes. The basil duck is the other one in my rotation



I’ve never had the skirt steak, shockingly enough. That picture looks delicious. They recently added a short rib curry with roti to the specials menu. But that too is pricey.

Even as a friend, yes, the dishes are pricier than what you would normally pay for Thai. But I can swear to you that the food is fresh and the chefs (Kunya’s husband and sister, and sometimes Kunya herself) are from the homeland and super knowledgeable. Hell, I don’t even think they have a freezer in the back.

They definitely are a hardworking family and care about putting out quality food.

I’ve actually been going there since they opened…quite a lot of meals over the years.

OOOH I loooove basil duck. Or really, ANY duck. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’ve got to get out and explore stuff north of me before the summer traffic hits! I’ve never been up to Atlantic Highlands but I know that the people who own High Voltage here in AP opened a place on a dock/pier and I reaaaaaally wanted to get there in the fall before they closed. #2018goals

It is a fantastic dish! They have 3 duck dishes and this one is a home run. I have to dig though pics but I’m sure I have some. It is one of my 3 favorite dishes there and it is worth a short drive. Greg may have a pic. I get it on the spicier side and they really deliver with the crispy skin. Damn…I might have to start a duck thread now :slight_smile:

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Okay, so as per your recommendation, I hit up Kunya’s tonight and got the skirt steak. I can’t believe it took me so long. It was FANTASTIC.



Nice man! It’s a seriously good dish! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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Some beef kee Mao and shrimp pad Thai for my friend. @gcaggiano

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Looks outstanding!

I’ll actually be working there on the 17th and 18th for their Thai New Year festivities. Can’t wait.

Nice! Can you elaborate on that or shoot me a pm?

Give that dish a try vk. I think you will like it if you’re a duck fan. I usually get it extra spicy. They really do a nice job making it crispy. I’m sad the prices have gone up, but I guess it is a sign of the times.

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She does a special Thai New Year celebration every year (except last year, when their King died). Pre-fixe menu of 3-4 courses, plus entertainment. Her sister dresses up and does an authentic Thai dance. Overall, its about a 90 minute seating. I believe she charged $30 but I am not sure about this year. Very stringent on details. You would have to call and ask. This year she is doing two nights with two seatings per night. I don’t know if they are sold out, but they do sell out every year.

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Thanks Greg. I will have to see what’s up :slight_smile:

No problem. This will be the fourth time I have worked her New Year festivities. I also help occasionally at other events. Treats us very well and we manage to have fun while working, though it gets insanely busy.

Some shots from this week’s dual night Thai New Year (Songkran Festival).

For the fourth year, I helped out doing all manner of things. From seating people and opening wine, to plating, and getting food out of the prep room. Kunya is a wonderful person and I enjoy every minute I spend there…even as crazy as it may get!



Nice pics Greg! I need to try to this next year for sure.

Have you had those curry pineapple shrimp? I don’t recall trying or seeing those ever.

I was able to, um, “borrow” a few the other night. Excellent! People raved about the duck, but personally, the Panang Curry Beef was the standout. The short ribs were just falling apart.