When it opens today, July 14, in downtown Redwood City, Warung Siska hopes to transport diners to the small, neighborhood restaurants of Jakarta with a menu of sticky rice, curry, and grilled meats. The restaurant takes its name from two sources — the first being the word “warung,” a type of family-owned restaurant that’s common in Indonesia, and the second being “Siska,” the name of chef and partner Siska Silitonga who’s become known for being one of only a handful of Indonesian food chefs in the Bay Area.
Silitonga made her impact initially through pop-ups and catering events, later launching a food truck called ChiliCali in 2019. Now she’s partnered with fellow industry veterans Anne Le Ziblatt and Ervan Lim to bring Warung Siska, a sleek but warm full-service Indonesian restaurant to the Peninsula.
Le Ziblatt and her family come to the Bay Area by way of Vietnam. Her parents founded a local chain of Vietnamese restaurants in San Jose in 1985 and Le Ziblatt has since opened a handful of her own dining spots including Tamarine in Palo Alto and the now-closed Bong Su in San Francisco. She debuted Nam Vietnamese Brasserie in Redwood City in 2020, in the space that’s now been transformed into Warung Siska. Managing partner Ervan Lim meanwhile brings experience working with restaurant groups including Cliff House and M.Y. China to the team.
The restaurant’s tight menu includes small plates, mains and sides, and two seasonal items: an eye-catching plate of crab (though the dish will feature a rotation of types of seafood) fried noodles, and a more meaty option in the form of braised short rib served over a pool of coconut milk that is seasoned with cloves, turmeric, shallots, and coriander. Small plates include lemper, or grilled sticky rice sandwiched around spiced and shredded organic chicken, and bakwan, vegetable fritters made here with corn, okra, green onion, and marukut lime leaves. On the larger side, plates including Balinese grilled pork make up the backbone of the menu; the entree highlights pork jowl served alongside sautéed spinach, tomato relish, and peanuts.
There’s also a small menu of beverages available including four draft beers from local breweries and four tap wines — a white, a rose, a red, and a sparkling. For those looking for non-alcoholic drink, there’s coconut water and green tea, but more out-of-the-box options include Teh Botol, a sweetened jasmine tea, and Soda Gembira, a popular Indonesian drink that combines carbonated water with condensed milk, strawberry syrup, and whipped cream.
To start the restaurant will be open for dinner and indoor dining from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday with plans to add lunch and takeout service down the line.