The first rule about Underground Dining is you don't talk about Underground Dining. Hahaha...actually, in the foodie world, the opposite is true--all people do is scurry around trying to get their hands on the hippest and hottest so they can blog about it and rave about it to their friends. Word of mouth spreads fast in this big little city, and I'm not just talking about foodie gossip...
When I was in Sydney, there was a guy in Surry Hills who started Table for 20 and opened up his space for friends and strangers and people who want to share in good food. Carl, my co-worker at the time, had been and recommended checking it out, but I never got a chance to!
I have been doing some investigative work of my own into the underground dining scene in San Francisco. My friend Jason is going to check out Radio Africa Kitchen, which is a nomadic restaurant that focuses on using sustainable methods and foods. I will have to find out what he thought of it.
I didn't have my camera since we hussled over in a cab as soon as we realized it was Thursday, so thank you to Jesse Friedman of Beer and Nosh for his well-captured photos:
"PB & J" : Kurobuta Berkshire Pork Belly & Jicama w/ pickled jalapeno and cilantro aioli on fresh homemade roti pancakes. ($5.50) The roti was chewy and warm and bursting with a delicate flavor that took me right back to my roti canai obsession when I was in Suva, Fiji. I don't have any photos of those days, but I did come across this awesome photo. You know, roti canai is generally made with a simple list of flour, water, salt and ghee but you can just taste the love that is put into making it...I don't eat pork, but I grabbed a quick inaugural bite of the piping hot roti with a bit of crisp jicama with the really fresh cilantro aioli. It was delicious and my friends, who are pork eaters, loved it too!
"MSF RICE": Smoked Rice fried with duck fat and served with liberty duck confit, cracklins, shitake, scallions and cauliflower. ($7)
My friends loved the rice! I ordered the Vegan VSF RICE, which I loved! It was smoked Rice fried with olive oil and accompanied by breaded tofu, shitake, scallions and cauliflower. ($5.50):
"ONO KAUSWE": Coconut Curry Soup with noodles, spicy chicken, egg, cilantro, lime, chili flakes, and fried shallots. ($6): This dish was....sexy. Silky, thin noodles in a rich, creamy curry sauce with just a faint touch of heat that is mellowed out by the fresh taste of lime and cilantro. Yum!
We also ordered dessert for $2, which was homemade coconut ice cream with a little "fortune cookie". The ice cream was absolutely fantastic. It was smooth and creamy with a rich coconut flavor and a hint of salt--imagine "salted caramel ice cream" but with coconut instead of caramel. Delicious!