I bumped into Azalina Eusope, the inspiring entrepreneur behind Azalina’s Malaysian. I knew her packaged products well and [spoiler alert] we can’t wait to get her products into our subscription boxes soon. She asked me why I hadn’t been to visit her at Off the Grid. I promised I would.
Off the Grid is a gathering of food trucks, organized in different venues around San Francisco. The biggest of their venues is at Fort Mason Park. Here, over 30 food trucks churn out food to hungry San Franciscans standing in line. If there’s one thing people here know how to do, it’s standing in line. San Franciscans will wait and wait and wait for not just any food. I think it’s a sign that people care about quality. When committed to the notion that there’s something good to be had, they just queue up without a concern and without fuss.
I was familiar with the delicious pork belly bao buns from the Chairman, chicken tikka masala burritos from Curry Up Now, roast pork tacos from Senor Sisig and others, but I was here for Malaysian food. (Fun fact: I was born in Malaysia, near Kuala Lumpur). So I was relieved to find that there was momentarily no line at Azalina’s. Deciding on what to eat was not hard: the Penang Chicken Curry bomb looked amazing. This tasty, tangy combination of spicy chicken curry mixed with shredded chicken was on a fluffy onion bun. Fresh cucumbers on top made it a perfect reminder of so many Malaysian flavor combinations I've learned to crave. We thanked Azalina and made our way around.
After some Trinidadian doubles (puri-like fried flat bread with chickpeas), Korean spicy pork tacos and Vietnamese garlic noodles, I still wanted more Malaysian. We went back to Azalina’s and had pumpkin fritters with peanut sauce. We were lucky, because we got the last ones. The crunchy fritters were matched by the slightly crunchy peanuts in this rich, dark sauce, which is a staple of Malaysian cuisine. We went home happy and full and I’m still dreaming of that curry bomb! I can't wait to go back for the banana fritters!
Off the grid will be in Fort Mason tonight. We suggest going early, bringing friends to share things, dressing warmly, and not being intimidated by long lines. Oh and do visit Azalina’s Malaysian!
Want a fun Malaysian recipe and the great story behind this food? Check out Azalina's interview: