November 28, 2022


The Food Universe

What’s Next For The Indonesian Chef Behind Now-Closed Warung Siska in Redwood City

The announcement arrived on Monday: Adhering to considerably less than a calendar year in assistance, Redwood City Indonesian restaurant Warung Siska would close quickly. It was a hard blow to the local Indonesian meals community, primarily immediately after Warung Siska managed to get paid a mention in the esteemed Michelin Guide in its brief timespan. But Siska Silitonga, who was a chef spouse in the Redwood City cafe but parted strategies in January to go after other ventures, states she’s determined to assure the closure will not be the finish of the Bay Area’s Indonesian foodstuff motion.

Since leaving Warung Siska, Silitonga has been focused on a quantity of future jobs. She’s in talks with a few investors for a new restaurant in San Francisco, which she envisions as a way to both of those feed and uplift the Bay Location Indonesian neighborhood. Her original eyesight for Warung Siska was for it to be a area for Indonesians to consume, but also rejoice Indonesian tradition amongst the designs that under no circumstances made it to light-weight was to build a local community area of sorts. She hoped the location could host Indonesian musicians and language courses, and be a room for Indonesian pop-up distributors to provide food items and find out how to operate a restaurant on Warung Siska’s off days, Silitonga says.

Siska Silitonga

Aron Pruiett

While all those options never came into fruition, Siska nonetheless would like to generate that dream cafe. “The reiteration of whichever my up coming cafe is likely to be, now I can laser focus on that community facet — and there is no negotiation, it has to be that way,” Silitonga claims. “I imagine in it, I know people today will come. I want to prepare dinner my foods, allow me set what I want to place in it … No censorship of menu, no censorship of flavors.” She’s looking into how she can support her foreseeable future team and deal with them well. Mentioning her admiration of chef Reem Assil’s progress in a employee-owned cafe product, Silitonga states she hopes to create an equitable fork out design at the time she receives going on the new cafe.

Almost nothing is finalized however, on the other hand, so in the meantime Silitonga is occupied with some impending events and pop-ups. 1st is a evening with Excellent in the Field on June 15, an al fresco meal series that pairs a chef with a farm and diners eat at a very long communal desk in an out of doors setting. Silitonga will also resume her pop-ups soon after that, mentioning a opportunity partnership with Mission Bowling Club this summertime, though also continuing to market her sambal sauce as a result of Very good Eggs. And if trying to open a different restaurant was not enough, she’s also looking to create an Indonesian cookbook Silitonga paired up with a author to enable store the notion about to publishers. “This is an interesting job simply because we have to have additional Indonesian cookbooks out there,” Silitonga says. “The cookbook is one thing wherever you can use local substances and does not involve a trip to the Asian industry, something you can just do at house and is quick to use, quick to cook.” The e book will also be portion memoir, Silitonga provides, subsequent her journey as a pop-up chef together with the recipes.

As significantly as the now-closed restaurant goes, Silitonga remembers the Indonesians who came from all over the Bay Place to Warung Siska to eat her food stuff and give her a hug, some even carrying batik, the standard clothes from her house country. “We require a area to symbolize individuals like this, wherever a grandma can appear and don her best batik, and make it welcoming for the grandmas and the kids,” Silitonga says. Warung Siska closing does not have to be a sad celebration, she adds. “It did not do the job out this time, but there’s gonna be yet another one particular.”