Azalina Europe has had an inspiring, methodical trajectory from immigrant street-meals seller — she’s sincerely a fifth-era avenue-food vendor of Mamak descent, a Tamil Muslim tribe in Malaysia descended from South Indians who’re recognized for their meals — to complete-service restaurant owner inside the last 10 years due to the fact she moved to San Francisco. Now divorced from the husband who first delivered her here, Europe just debuted Mahila, her new restaurant in the former Contigo area in Noe Valley (1320 Castro Street), on Saturday, and it’s the culmination of a few years of delicate paintings in a notoriously unforgiving industry.
At Mahila, Europe gets to enlarge beyond the street food that she commenced making out of homesickness ten years ago, out of the kitchen at La Cocina. At meals fairs and her permanent food stall at The Market in the Twitter construction (opened in 2015), she becomes the center of curries. She now begins showing off her imagination and prescient for a broader menu of Mamak delicacies translated for an American target market. As she tells the Chronicle, her “white, American ex-husband become [her] taste-tester” as she advanced a number of the menu objects that now appear at Mahila, including some sardine puffs which can be her notable-grandfather’s recipe. “The ones he made were fucking delicious,” she tells the Chron, and while she made her very own model, her ex couldn’t prevent eating them.
In addition to her successful stall at The Market, she’s been jogging a catering business for the reason that 2010 and released her line of Malaysian food merchandise at nearby Whole Foods multiple years later. The 2013 video, with the aid of Dark Rye underneath, tells the story of this bankruptcy in Azalina’s very own words. She may also have a hand in Calabash, a new Afro-Caribbean-Malaysian-Persian eating place/market set to open in Oakland.
Back inside the fall, longtime proprietors of Contigo, Brett, and Elan Emerson, announced they had been decamping to Santa Cruz to open a new eating place there, closer to where they now live. And Europe says they approached her, as enthusiasts of her meals, to tell her the gap became coming to be had and the way the region will be excellent for her commercial enterprise. Europe tells the Chronicle that the undertaking is all her own, and they do it without traders.
Among her lovers, she can count Barack Obama, for whom she cooked. At the same time, he turned into nonetheless in office, the overdue Anthony Bourdain, and Lin Manuel-Miranda, who got here to consume at her meals stall again and again while he turned into in town for the first Hamilton tour.
At Mahila, you won’t find among the curry or noodle dishes Azalina has to end up known for at her food stands and on the Market stall, though there are still plenty of vegan and vegetarian alternatives. There is a salted black cod curry and mee Mamak, which are shrimp and corn fritters. There’s additionally a simmered fowl dish with green tomato chutney called Ayam Masak Merah and a bowl of conventional oxtail soup with roti and Chinese celery.