The delightful Azalina Eusope. Photo by Tim Benson.
Azalina’s will be going into the space at the left. You can also see the nice outdoor seating area she will have. Rendering courtesy of Market Square.
Azalina’s laksa with hand-pulled noodles (and it’s vegan!). Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Azalina’s curry bombs. Photo via Facebook.
I was absolutely thrilled to read on Chowhound that Azalina Eusope, the hardworking and crazy-talented woman behind ~AZALINA’S MALAYSIAN~, is finally going to be opening her brick-and-mortar location—and it’s going in the lobby of the Twitter building, aka Market Square (and prepare for music if you hit that link). She has catered meals for the Twitter office, and like most other people with good taste in this town, they love her food.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer and more deserving person.
She is mulling over the name, and is thinking of calling it Azalina (sounds right to me!). She said there will be an open kitchen, and both communal and bar seating, with 45 seats indoors and about 30 outdoors. Her good friend Edward Ngiam is designing the space. She said the vibe is going to be informal, an easy place where you can swing by for a meal or get it packed up to go. Both lunch and dinner will be served, with snacks in between and brunch on the weekends.
She is sourcing spices from back home (hopefully including poppy seed powder as a spice condiment, which can be illegal in some places), while using ingredients from local farmers and purveyors. They are not planning to serve alcohol, but she hopes to offer many fermented drinks from back home. She also wants to keep everything at a very fair price point that’s accessible to many income brackets. She says: “After all, I am fifth-generation [Mamak] street vendor, making accessible street food of my culture. I simply pray I do justice to the my community, culture, and the four generations before me with this opportunity.” You will, sweetie. You will.
She will have great neighbors on the ground floor: the AQ team’s project (their brasserie, Bon Marché) and the second Small Foods location (a grocery store). Her location is along the back wall at 10th Street and Market streets (you can look at a floor plan here). Azalina is going in where it says Market on Market, a shared retail-restaurant space that takes inspiration from Chelsea Market and Eataly in New York, as well as our Ferry Building. She said a couple of her Market on Market neighbors will be Nuubia chocolates and a juice company.
She is thrilled about all the natural light and glass walls—one of her walls is made of two huge windows that can slide to open up onto the back patio garden area on nice days (this outdoor seating area will also have a roof). She mentioned there are plans to do some fun things out back, from outdoor events to movie screenings to bonfires—she said people spend their time outside in Malaysia, so she hopes they can feel a little transported here.
The targeted opening date is September 2014. In the meantime, you can enjoy her delicious food at her stand at Off the Grid on Fridays at Fort Mason, where she is currently serving dishes like flower crab tamales, vegan laksa with her famous hand-pulled noodles, chicken curry bombs, spinach yam dumplings, sweet banana donuts, and fresh-spiced pineapple tea. September can’t come soon enough. 1355 Market St. at 10th St.