The three guys behind Kraken Congee have been busy studying their water-to-rice ratios and scouting locations for their first-ever pop-up dinner. Now Garrett Doherty reports that Kraken will debut April 1 from 5 to 9pm at Grub on Queen Anne. This is a walk-in affair—no reservations—but keep an eye on Kraken's Facebook page for menu updates. Oh, and diners can also get those steaming bowls of rice porridge to go, too.
Doherty, who runs the bistro kitchen at The Ruins, went to culinary school with Irbille Donia and Shane Tyler Robinson. Donia is now lead line cook at Ray’s, but his Irbille Edibles Filipino pop-up is one of the more established in the city. Robinson cheffed at Stopsky’s, though he now works with Doherty. You know, your typical background for cooking Asian porridge.
The three of them bonded over their love of congee and conceived of this pop-up as a sort of test balloon, to see if Seattle might embrace a food truck or cart of some sort. (Preferably on that delivers to my house on Saturday and Sunday mornings).
Congee (or jook) is often considered a food for the very old, very young, or the infirm. Or, at least in my case, the very hung over. Kraken’s motto is “therapy for the well”; however you want to look at it, congee is warm, comfortingly bland, and readily augmented with pork, minced onion, egg, fish, ginger, hot sauce, and more.
Queen Anne Ave will be a veritable pop-up alley on April 1. Down the street, LloydMartin's Sam Crannell is turning his restaurant into a tapas spot for the night. If Kraken's debut is an April Fool's joke, I will be righteously disappointed.