Brace yourself, Seattle. I think I found the one hole-in-the wall that is not a one-hit-wonder. The street food that really involves something besides pretentious “sliders” and “authentic” tacos. Let me preface this post with the fact that I have never been to Asia. I am nothing close to an expert in tasting exotic Asian foods. However, have faith in my palate and critical eye to suggest to you what I think is the most heavenly street food that 8 dollars can buy in Seattle, and that is: Malaysian-style food at Kedai Makan.
The title? Hell if I know what it means. And can’t be bothered to ask. Where? On the one street in Capitol Hill (E. Olive) not exploding with loud, obnoxious “trend-setting” Capitol Hill trolls. Montana Bar does not count. The little strip where REAL beer pubs like The Stumbling Monk dwell, one of the original speak-easy style bars Knee High Stocking Company serves up and where sadly the gourmet crostini master Dinette used to spread her goodness through the Olive street nook. Dinette apparently closed in the last few years I’ve been prancing around Italy. Thankfully, a handful of the nearby bars allow you to bring in grub from Kedai Makan, which is perfect with a light ale or lager. Refusing to accept Dinette’s demise and entering her replacement “The Revolver”, I pop another door down to the Hillside Bar, the complete opposite of Montana Bar aka the tragically annoying hipster hang out with equally pretentious bar keep who boasts their “partnership” with Kedai Makan. I really like The Hillside. Solid craft and mass draft beers, well drinks which can be served with craft ginger beer, nice staff who don’t take themselves too seriously (see Montana Bar) and actually don’t mind telling you what’s on draft (quoted by Montana Bar staff when asked: “uhhhh what we have are on the beer handles.”) And you can bring in whatever street food gold you get whipped up for you in a greasy paper bag to The Hillside, and they WON’T brag about their “partnership” with Kedai Makan (see Montana Bar)
I rarely go to the same place more than a few times, especially in one week. Exception made for Kedai Makan.
The Lamb Murtabak (pictured in intro)- It’s like a phyllo dough pastry pocket filled with spicy, flavorful fried lamb meat. Bits of fennel seed lodged in between. And served with sweet, crunchy pickled red onions which turn down and contrast the heat. Pickled enough to not taste like intense raw onions. Breaking up this flavor party is a just rightly poured serving of lentil soup, made with fresh bay leaves and more exotic Asian spices which I do not know the names of. All this: 8 buck fifty. If you’re vegetarian, you can get the potato version for just 5.5
Pork Ribs (too messy for iphone camera)- Word to the wise: bring a wet wipe or something. These Malaysian food magicians are serving up barbeque and a big sloppy mess of sticky saucy, slathered, fatty, hint of soy, spicy pepper, sesame seeded rich tasty pork ribs. So tasty that your palate could get exhaused after 2 ribs. Fear no more, the ribs are served with sliced cucumber sticks to cleanse and refresh your palate. After enjoying this, you may feel that you could be served to the wolves as Human Belly stuffed with Pork Belly. Did that just ruin your appetite? 12 bucks. Pork Ribs. Rice. And Cucumber. A bit pricy for street food but it is a massive portion that must be shared with another person.
Another perk is that Kedai Makan is open late nights for either greasy spoon questing drunkards or late food hounds. Not as much selection but I do recommend the Spicy Pork Rice (flavored with sweet basil and ground pork fried with dried shrimp paste) to share for a real greasy craving or the Roti Canai (Lentil Soup and Malaysian bread) for a lighter option.
Kedai Makan: http://www.kedaimakanseattle.com/
In your street eats curiousity,
Have any street food in Seattle tips to share? Leave a comment- I’d love to check out new places. Liked this post? Scroll on up past “Instagram” and on the right to subscribe for food, drink and travel updates. Cheers!