After three years of delivering slabs of smoked Central Texas-style brisket and bowls of Indonesian soto padang soup to homes across the Bay Area, the owners of Fikscue and Gurih Table are taking the next step in their journey: opening a permanent restaurant in Alameda. Couple Fik and Reka Saleh are bringing their distinctive combination of cuisines to the former Mama Judy Singapore Hawker at 1708 Park Street, which closed just weeks after opening last month.
It’s been a whirlwind as the Salehs take over the space, but with the restaurant mostly built out and a convenient space ready to park the custom Fikscue barbecue pits, they’re hoping for a quick turnaround. The couple says they expect to open in late October or early November, if permitting goes as planned. From there, they’ll ready a menu brimming with smoked meats by the pound, dino ribs, beef back ribs, and smoked chicken, as well as Indonesian dishes incorporating those smoked meats, such as smoked brisket-topped soto padang, or an ayam bakar plate with Padang-style barbecue chicken.
Other favorites from Fikscue and Gurih’s delivery days will remain, such as the Indonesian fried rice, an Indonesian-style slaw, and dessert. But with the new space comes the opportunity to expand the menu down the line. “The advantage of what we’re doing right now is we have a lot of time to think about new menus,” Fik Saleh says. A version of sop buntut, a popular Indonesian oxtail soup, will feature smoked oxtails in the Salehs’ rendition. They’re also working on some Indonesian small bites, such as batagor, a fried dumpling with peanut sauce; sate ayam, or chicken satay; and murtabak, a stuffed pancake that will feature smoked brisket. They also plan to serve the dessert drink cendol, made with caramelized palm sugar, coconut milk, and jellies. The Salehs are also both Muslim, and they added halal items to their menus in May, but plan for the restaurant to be fully halal by opening.
The Salehs’ style of food has caught the attention of local food critics (but is sometimes styled as Fik’s Cue) and the opening of the restaurant is a nice cap to the evolution of the two businesses. Fik Saleh started experimenting with brisket and smoked meat in his backyard and recently purchased a custom pit and smoker from Texas. Gurih Table started with Indonesian cookies before expanding to bigger dishes, such as kepiting saus Padang, or boiled crab in Padang sauce. “Our whole concept is trying to infuse smoked meats into Indonesian flavors,” Fik Saleh says. “We’re excited we have a space now to do even more experiments with our flavors.”
Fikscue (1708 Park Street, Alameda) debuts in late October to early November.