With San Francisco’s high rents and labor costs, many chefs are jumping into the somewhat more flexible delivery game, and chef Brandon Jew of Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s is no exception. This weekend he’s testing a delivery-only pop-up of his own, called Mamahuhu.
Jew is partnering with Anmao Sun and Ben Moore of Shanghai’s Hunter Gatherer, a restaurant that bills itself as “seed-to-table.” Together, they’re planning a menu built around duck, using local ingredients whose origins they intend to include on the menu.
It’s ironic that Jew is plotting a menu with no dining room, since Mister Jiu’s doesn’t offer takeout from it’s menu of Chinese dishes: Michelin-pedigreed food doesn’t usually do well when transferred to takeout containers, and Jew wanted to to veer away from the what Americans expect from Chinese restaurants. Mamahuhu’s menu has been tweaked to take travel time into account, with stable dishes like “tingly cabbage chips,” and Napa cabbage in Liberty duck broth. The short menu also includes a peking tofu sandwich on flatbread, large salads with duck or tofu, and a black sesame cake.
To execute the limited-time pop-up, Jew and his partners will cook from the kitchen of Sababa, the fast-casual Israeli street food restaurant known for its fluffy pita, and which is conveniently located down the street from Mister Jiu’s. Eventually, Jew hopes to turn Mamahuhu — which means “so-so,” a “tongue-in-cheek name to express the feeling that super high-quality food ought to also be fast, lighthearted and fun” — into a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
It’s not the first time a restaurateur has dipped their toe into the delivery-only game to test a concept. Chef Anthony Strong’s short-lived Young Fava is such an example; he’s now turning that project into a full-time restaurant in the Mission’s Hog & Rocks space.
The pop-up will be available for order through Caviar on Saturday, February 24 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 26 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Check out the full menu here.