Kaki Lima Returns to East Boston in January
The Indonesian-restaurant-in-the-making will have a small menu on at KO Pies at the Shipyard.
This post was updated Monday, Jan. 15 with hours starting this Thursday, Jan. 18, and the menu.
The couple behind the popular pop-up Kaki Lima haven’t exactly been laying low since their Indonesian menu was replaced by Aaron Lhamon’s date-night tapas, Pareja, at Wink & Nod. Since Kaki Lima’s residency at the culinary incubator ended in the fall, chef Retno Pratiwi and partner Peter Gelling brought their aromatic street food fare to the West Coast, with a series of pop-ups in Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
But now they’re back in Boston—and back to business. Kaki Lima will debut a mini-menu at KO Pies at the Shipyard in mid-January, serving up five dishes of Pratiwi’s homeland alongside KO Pies’ meaty pastries, spicy shrimp on the barbie, wedges, and more. “There will be lots of warm spicy things to help us all survive until the spring,” Gelling reports.
Among those warm spicy things: ketoprak, a vegetarian option of local, organic tofu, rice cake, and vermicelli, with a mildly spicy tamarind-peanut sauce; Retno’s favorite elementary school snack, cakwe, which is a Chinese doughnut with a vinegar-sambal dipping sauce; and short rib rendang, with sautéed collard greens, spicy green chili sambal, and steamed jasmine rice. Check out the full menu online.
Pratiwi and Gelling, who are married, live in East Boston, and have a long history with Australian chef Sam Jackson. Besides one-off pop-ups at his Shipyard restaurant, Kaki Lima took on his days off there back in 2015, then they joined him on Sundays for a springtime spell in 2016.
With Indonesia’s proximity to Australia, Pratiwi and Jackson have a lot of shared knowledge and culture, and “it kind of makes sense, in a weird way, to do an Indonesian restaurant at an Australian meat pie place in East Boston,” Gelling previously told Boston.
This time, Kaki Lima’s menu will run alongside Jackson’s every Thursday and Friday from 5-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon-9 p.m.
“We are excited to return to our roots at KO Pies in the Shipyard!” Gelling says via email. “And also, of course, to work shoulder-to-shoulder on the line with the legendary Sam Jackson.”
KL @ KO begins Thursday, January 18.