Kaki Lima Is Back Sundays at KO Pies at the Shipyard

After a winter hiatus, the Indonesian pop-up is refining its menu and focusing on finding a permanent home.

Kaki Lima Semur Betawi

Kaki Lima’s semur betawi, served at the Honey Paw in Portland, Maine, in 2015. / Photo provided

UPDATE, May 20: Kaki Lima announced that Sunday, May 22 will be its last, regular service at KO Pies at the Shipyard this spring.

We learned so much during our time at KO. We want to thank Sam Jackson (and the entire awesome staff of KO Pies!) for letting us make a mess in his kitchen every week during these last few months, as well as last fall. It was an invaluable experience. And, most important, it was fun! Incredibly, we pretty much sold out every single Sunday we were there,” Retno Pratiwi and Pete Gelling write in their newsletter. 

This summer, Kaki Lima will focus on finding a permanent restaurant location, and it will pop up around town. “So stay tuned for news of those,” the couple writes.


Chef Retno Pratiwi and Peter Gelling, the wife-and-husband team that has introduced Boston and beyond to Indonesian food with their pop-up Kaki Lima, is back in East Boston every Sunday for the spring. KL @ KO reopens Sunday, March 13 with a streamlined menu.

“It’s going to be a slightly different set up this time around,” Gelling says. “We are going to be serving a limited menu alongside KO’s pies and fries. Since it’s a small menu we hope to change it up every so often.” Opening day’s offerings are shared below, but expect to see things like the spicy, meaty soto mie back on offer as the weeks progress.

Kaki Lima took over chef/owner Sam Jackson’s East Boston restaurant every Monday and Tuesday from October-December. During the two-month hiatus, it popped up at Shojo, and Pratiwi and Gelling also traveled to Austin, Texas to cook alongside chef Martin Wilda at Sway. Gelling is a longtime friend of Jesse Herman, who co-owns the southern spot, which has Australian and Thai influence.

We returned more confident than ever,” Gelling says. But that means Kaki Lima is cutting back its hours at KO and honing in on finding its own home. That’s been a longterm goal of the venture from the outset three years ago.

“We decided to limit the KO residency to just Sundays so that we can focus more on pop up dinners both in the city and outside of it,” Gelling says. “We will also be spending a lot more time this spring and summer working toward a permanent location. We are in the beginning stages of talking to investors and looking for spaces.”

Stay tuned on social media to see where Kaki Lima pops up next, and in the meantime, check it out at KO and let them know what you think of the new dishes. (See update.)

“This little residency at KO is all about continuing to experiment with various dishes and to see how a general audience reacts to them,” Gelling says. “Our goal is that by the end of the residency, and also with our experience of the pop ups, we’ll have a pretty good idea of what we’ll want to offer on a menu at a permanent location.”

KL @ KO sample menu

Bubur Ayam $10
Rice congee, chicken broth, lemongrass, turmeric, kecap manis

 Gado-Gado $12
Steamed vegetables, tempe, spicy peanut sauce, crispy shallots, krupuk

 Sate Lilit $8
Skewers of minced chicken, kaffir lime, lemongrass, coconut. Served with sambal matah and turmeric rice.

 Nasi Campur $14
Rice Plate. Includes the following:

  • Semur Betawi: Slow-braised beef, tamarind, kecap manis, galangal
  • Acar Kuning: Pickled vegetables, turmeric
  • Sambal Bajak: Chili, peppers, shrimp paste, garlic
  • Nasi Putih: Steamed jasmine rice
  • Krupuk: Shrimp crackers

KL @ KO, Sundays, 12-9 p.m., 256 Marginal St., East Boston; 617-650-0696 or kakilimaboston.com.