Smoked duck jook with duck leg confit, pomegranate, and salty duck egg, and Chinese doughnut. Photo courtesy of Rob Lam.
The Saturn Returns (Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro, pineapple). Photo: Breeane Furlong.
The White Elephant (Lo-Fi Sweet Vermouth, coconut cream, cold-brew coffee, allspice dram).
How many of you are as obsessed with jook or congee as I am? It’s the only thing I want when I am under the weather or hungover, or when it’s a cold and rainy morning. It’s also my favorite way to use a leftover turkey or chicken carcass (my freezer is always stocked with this magical rice porridge). Put an egg on it! Fortunately my chef buddy Rob Lam of Butterfly is also obsessed with jook, and since there isn’t anyone in SF doing anything very fun with this magical breakfast item, we decided to throw a brunch pop-up for you: Jook Joint.
We’re hosting the brunch on Sunday December 11th (in one-hour time blocks, from 10am-2pm), which is perfect for those of you who may have had a little too much holiday party cheer the night before. We’re excited to be partnering with Lo-Fi Aperitifs, who will be making a range of low-ABV cocktails for you to get you back in the game. Bartender extraordinaire Claire Sprouse (Tin Roof Drink Community) will be on deck, offering four inventive concoctions using Lo-Fi Dry Vermouth, Sweet Vermouth, and Gentian Amaro. As they like to say, “Lo-Fi Aperitifs are made with botanical conviction, crafted with superb California wines and whole ingredients.” Cheers to that.
This jook brunch will be prepared by chef Rob Lam of Butterfly, a good friend and one of my favorite people to eat with. Rob was born in Vietnam, and when his family moved to Southern California after the fall of Saigon, his mother opened a restaurant called Vien Dong, just outside of Los Angeles. Rob cares deeply about using quality ingredients, so expect things to taste extra-special. I have been lucky over the years to enjoy some of his home cooking and dishes you won’t find on the menu at Butterfly, so here’s your opportunity to try his seriously delicious Vietnamese cuisine.
You’ll be able to choose from three different jooks: there will be one with rock shrimp and crab (with XO chile sauce, crab-uni butter, century egg); smoked duck (with duck leg confit, pomegranate, salty duck egg); and vegetarian (poached farm egg, cilantro and kale pesto, bamboo pith, pickles)—and vegans, you can have it without the egg, no problem! All the jook will come with a traditional savory Chinese doughnut (youtiao) and Vietnamese coffee, and it’s $15 for the whole set ($2 extra if you want to put an egg on it).
You can also order a side of housemade shrimp dumplings (five for $8), and one, two, or three Lo-Fi Aperitif cocktails ($9 each)—you can take your pick from four at the brunch, including the White Elephant (Lo-Fi Sweet Vermouth, coconut cream, cold-brew coffee, allspice dram) and the Saturn Returns (Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro, pineapple). There are also nonalcoholic options (yuzu soda and a lychee Palmer, $4 each). Please note you’ll need to order these items in advance as a ticketed item, so if you plan to bring a jook home for the next day (or your roommate), order an extra bowl in advance!
It’s going to be a fun, lively, and casual brunch, and is designed to move pretty quickly, so we’ll be selling tickets in one-hour time blocks (10am-11am, 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm, and 1pm-2pm). You don’t have to show up on the dot, but somewhere in that time frame would be great. We’ll reveal the Mission location when you get your ticket.
Tickets are available on Feastly. We can’t wait to see you, let’s eat!