Satay . . . Slightly Delayed

It was a tough job but someone had to do it.

Yesterday I got the call on my Wallyhood bat-phone that Satay (1711 N. 45th St.) had opened and someone had to go over there for lunch and get pictures.  Not one to balk at a challenge, I grabbed my trusty little Canon and headed down 45th Street . . .

Peter, a co-owner, greeted me at the cash register.  The menu is simple:  four types of satay, three “dishes” (wok-fried yellow noodles, spicy noodle soup and red curry) and three sides, all ranging from $2.50 to $10.95.

He recommended the chicken satay, their most popular dish.

Patrick, the other owner, dished up my meal in the kitchen.

Peter’s folks were there too to help out on their first day, including his mom Francie.

My food!  Three generous skewers of deep, complexly-spiced, tender chicken, rice, peanut sauce and side salad, obligatory bottle of hot sauce (I’m a spicy food gal) and a surprise “Dessert Roti” which was crisp, light and sweet.

I also got to chat with Peter’s dad Merrill, and his cousin Leslie (who had driven all the way up from Portland).

Merrill said Peter’s interest in Malaysian cooking came from his sister-in-law whom his brother (Peter’s uncle) had met while in the Peace Corps there.

He also told me it took the guys a whole year to perfect the satay recipe, and that they grind the peanuts themselves for the sauce.

Famished from all this photographing and interviewing, I devoured my lunch and then enjoyed the warm, clean, contemporary decor.  They are especially proud of their “batik” mural which was painted by Tom who happened to be there eating lunch too.

But disaster struck when I got home from my mission ready to report in when the card reader hooked to my computer malfunctioned and I could not get any of these shots off my camera.  Back on the Wallyhood bat-phone to call for assistance and their crack team of blog professionals whipped together a substitute post at lightning speed.

Phew!  After sending my husband out to get a new card reader, I am finally able to bring all of you this report.  Roving reporter Helen, over and out!

  1. Chris W. said,

    Ooo, I want a bat phone! 😉

    Haven’t had the chance to drop in yet but spotted the mural from all the way across the street. Looks really nice in there! Welcome to the neighborhood, boys!

    Sat, December 11 at 11:37 am
  2. Peter said,

    5 of us had dinner there last night. The place was full and there were barely enough tables and chairs. Food was simple but very tasty. Lamb and chicken satays were delicious. Nice to have a choice of brown rice. Red curry was spicy but seasoned just right.

    My only complaint is the same one I had when Avila occupied the space. LIGHTING! It felt like we were eating in a cafeteria under the bright incandescent bare bulbs. The bright sconces on the walls didn’t help. Easy fix, buy some dimmers and bring the candlepower down a notch. Also, a little blocking of the flourescent kitchen lights would be welcome too.

    Sun, December 12 at 11:25 am
  3. jope said,

    We went there yesterday for a late lunch and sat at the counter. The chicken satay was my favorite by far, incredibly tasty and tender. The best part of the meal to me was the peanut sauce, which was incredible.

    The whole place has a cool vibe and I’m excited that it’s part of our neighborhood.

    Sun, December 12 at 3:11 pm
  4. cathy said,

    I will be there asap.
    Thank you so much.

    Sun, December 12 at 5:50 pm
  5. Luna said,

    I was EXCITED when I read about the opening of Satay. The food sounded delicious, they have a great “back story” and I LOVE supporting small businesses.

    So, I visited the website, but couldn’t find any info about the ingredients–though the word local was in the description of the beef. Since local doesn’t mean organic, I wrote to them and quickly got a reply from Peter, the co-owner.

    He said they aren’t using local meat after all, because it’s “…too expensive to keep our prices low…” and will update their website to reflect that change. Peter added they buy from “….MacDonalds meat in SODO and I can’t tell you exactly where it comes from but I’ll ask for details next time we order but they said it wasn’t local.” He concluded by saying their tofu is made in Seattle by Chuminh Tofu. (He didn’t say anything about their other ingredients such as veggies.)

    The commitment to balance prices is much appreciated. And, I eat in Fremont at Homegrown and Blue Moon Burgers — both of whom use organic beef AND keep their prices reasonable. So why not Wallingford? Based on conversations here at Wallyhood, it seems we also value local, organic, the environment, etc., and would probably pay a little extra for those things.

    I really want to support Satay with my dining out dollars–and enjoy tasty food only 10 minutes from my house. However, since I can’t have soy and won’t eat commercial meat, the Satay menu is limited and I’ll likely go elsewhere.

    *****I’m sharing this so others who care about the source of their food will have this information too, not to undermine this wonderful new business.*****

    Mon, December 13 at 11:22 am
  6. Chris said,

    I’m guessing the more organic they go, the less authentic it gets. :)

    btw: Blue Moon reasonable? I took my wife and two kids 8 and 5, and we were north of $50, and that was after a $5 off coupon.

    Mon, December 13 at 1:38 pm
  7. iyqtoo said,

    Finally got to try Satay today. At Peter’s suggestion, we had the chicken satay and an order of the mee goreng. They were outstanding!! Just a tiny bit shy of being just like the same dishes I bought from street vendors and food courts in SE Asia. Of course, cooking with palm oil and fewer laws governing food & prep would make the food tastier and more authentic, but with all things considered, we decided Satay’s food is even better! We’re eager to go back, next time we’re going to try the beef satay to see how it tastes different using American instead of Aussie beef. We’ll be really happy and keep going back if Peter, Patrick and team decide to stick with food that’s wholesome and affordable without jumping on any high-priced, trendy bandwagons.

    Mon, December 13 at 2:40 pm
  8. Rob C said,

    How do you reconcile “Yesterday… Satay… had opened” and “the chicken satay, their most popular dish.”

    Um, popular with *who*? Like, didn’t they just open? 😉

    – rob

    Mon, December 13 at 3:40 pm
  9. Margaret said,

    I know, strange at first. But I can tell you that before they opened, they ran a taste test with several different demographic groups. Out of that, I believe they learned the chicken was the most popular. I gotta say, at least these guys did diligence!

    Mon, December 13 at 6:43 pm
  10. Luna said,

    @Chris: You’re so right. Organic & authentic don’t always go together. (Then again, everything was organic in our grandparents’ time–when many authentic recipes may have been created.)

    As for how much it cost your family to eat at Blue Moon, YIKES! And, maybe it’s all relative — and semantics. Reasonable vs. cheap–especially with multiple diners involved.

    The prices I’ve seen at some organic places are outrageous! So, $8 for a dolled-up Thundering Hooves burger at BMB is reasonable (to me) by comparison. Especially since prices at other local burger places are similar for commercial meat. (Hey, no fair–can’t include Dick’s in this analysis!) 😉

    Tue, December 14 at 3:32 pm
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