Sekali (Greater Boston Area)

Sekali is an exciting popup restaurant:

It was brought to my attention by our indefatigable @digga on another thread, but it deserves its own thread for its ambition. (I haven’t had any of their food.)

Here is their latest event:


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I’m actually the polar opposite of “indefatigable.” I wonder at my potential if I actually sleep > 4 hours a night or could keep up with all the new posts.

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Sekali’s latest popup was today, at Lamplighter in Cambridge:


I got everything, and everything was excellent. The top of the top were the curry puffs, the duck roti (except the “roti” were soft buns – delicious, but I had to make a quick expectation adjustment), the tomato-cashew rice, and the green curry sausage. But, really, there was nothing that was not superb. Haven’t had the cheesecake yet, and am looking forward to the kaya jam at breakfast tomorrow.

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A few observations that might be useful to others who want to sample this terrific food:

  1. Dinners (either takeout or onsite) that accept reservations sell out early – in under an hour in my experience.
  2. The Lamplighter one was first-come-first-served. They said they’d start selling at 4:30, serving the food either to be eaten there or in containers to be taken out.
  3. I got there at 4:10 and I was about 15th on line. By 4:30, I estimate there were at least 30 people behind me, possibly more. Most people took away large bags of food, although the person ahead of me waited patiently for over half an hour only to get one order of curry puffs and one of chicken skewers to share with a companion at the bar.
  4. They were starting their second large sheet pan of curry puffs by the time they got to me. The young woman at the counter whispered that people getting there after 4:30 were unlikely to find much food left.
  5. The people on line were almost all young, and obviously with money to spend on food. A group of twenty-somethings behind me were knowledgeably discussing summer truffles vs winter-.
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I missed several Sekali popups this summer because their schedule did not match mine, but I made it to their latest at Lamplighter yesterday. This was the menu:

I sampled each of the dishes (I’ve bought their kaya jam and chili crisp previously). They were mostly hits, but there was a miss or two. The shumai were excellent but there was some package variation. One container had a nice balance of salted egg-yolk and chili crisp in the sauce, another was mainly chili crisp. The two containers of nasi padang were also dissimilar, one a but bland, the other nicely dotted with anchovy. The biggest miss was that the pastry for both the curry puffs and the egg tarts was a bit soft, and even a bit soggy on the tarts (a consequence of the tart cups being covered with plastic lids). The fillings in both were, however, delicious.

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