Yet another reason to frequent the block of Olive Way just south of Denny: Malaysian street food enterprise Kedai Makan is moving into the 1510 Olive Way address that currently houses Taco Gringos.
Here's where things get a little complicated: Montana owners Rachel Marshall and Kate Opatz took on the lease for the space, up the street from their establishment, which is currently in the throes of a major expansion. Kedai Makan proprietors Kevin Burzell and fiancee Alysson Wilson in turn contract the space and have agreed to be open during Montana's business hours. You can still order food from nearby places like Dinette, says Marshall, but with her 30-seat bar about to become a 100-seat bar, it made sense to ditch Montana's basic bar snacks in favor of a reliable kitchen program. "They have the best street food in Seattle," says Marshall. "I'm not going to be making any more nachos."
Kedai Makan debuted this past spring at the Broadway Farmers Market (later adding Virginia Mason and Columbia City) and continued to draw enormous lines even in the final, chilly days of the season. Burzell and Wilson have done some pop-up dinners, but Burzell says their new brick-and-mortar outpost will focus on their signature street food-style dishes like nasi goreng, a fried rice dish with scallions, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, and egg. Or a curry served with roti canai flatbread to sop it up. Dishes feature housemade (aka labor-intensive) sambals and curry pastes. The Kedai Makan website has some sample farmers market menus that should explain why a permanent location is very exciting news.
Official hours and menus are still in flux, but Burzell says he intends to carry on the Taco Gringos tradition of serving late-night drinking food--it will just be from a different continent.The tiny storefront, essentially a walkup counter with a trio of seats, may be a modest space, but it's a huge step up from a tent and generator-powered burners. Kedai Makan hopes to be up and running in its new space by mid-January.
A full-on restaurant is still the plan, says Burzell. "But this is a very logical step."