Feb. 16, 2018, San Francisco —The first (mouthwatering) milestone in the Asian Art Museum’s ongoing transformation project will be Sunday at the Museum: a revitalized café experience helmed by chef Deuki Hong in partnership with Andrew Chau and Bin Chen of Boba Guys.
Sunday at the Museum (affectionately, “Sunday”) will open to the public in mid-March 2018 after a six-week-long refurbishment of the museum’s current café. In addition, following the construction of a rooftop terrace designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast — to be completed in mid-2019 — lighter refreshments from Sunday will be available al fresco for visitors looking to enjoy what will be one of the city’s most unique outdoor public art spaces.
“We are excited to be part of the energy of the Asian Art Museum’s transformation, rethinking how food and beverage can augment visitors’ visual experiences in the galleries with the tastes and smells of Asia,” says the Seoul-born, U.S.-raised Hong. “Like the museum, we want to be a platform for talking about Asian culture.”
Previously a chef at New York City destination restaurants Momofuku, Jean Georges, and Baekjeong, where he was admired for his ability to showcase the mass appeal of Asian and Asian American cuisine, Sunday will be Hong’s first standalone eatery in San Francisco.
Known locally for his Korean fried chicken pop-up Sunday Bird, where he collaborated in the back of a Boba Guys with Chau and Chen, Hong brings a fresh perspective to iconic Asian cooking traditions. Hong’s menu will highlight a seasonal rotation of bahn mi, dosa, soup dumplings, jianbing (Chinese breakfast crêpes) as well as less familiar favorites from the home kitchens of Asian American families.
“I am interested in nostalgia and in sharing culture. I want to feature tasty dishes that are close to people’s hearts,” says the chef, a Culinary Institute of America grad and co-author of the bestselling Koreatown: A Cookbook. “I want to create a place that is open and inviting, where you don’t need reservations or have to dress up, but a place that is your kitchen, your home.”
Chau and Chen, founders of instant San Francisco classic tea shop Boba Guys, will oversee Sunday’s beverage program. Known for their high-quality, distinctive milk teas (the basis for Taiwanese tapioca bubble or boba tea), Chau and Chen will develop a full bar of carefully selected, handcrafted hot and cold brews. “We’re also excited to offer a sommelier-style tea service for people interested in a more elevated, intimate experience,” says Chau. “It’s really letting guests learn about the culture of Asian teas, their variety, their depth, in a delicious and fun way.”
As its name suggests, Sunday at the Museum’s guiding philosophy is hospitality. The trio selected the name to evoke the warmth associated with a day dedicated to being with friends and family. “It’s a restorative day, one that celebrates togetherness, comfort, and reconnecting with the things that matter most,” says Chen.
With its rotating menu inspired by ongoing programs and special exhibitions, Sunday is a reminder that there’s always something new cooking at the Asian Art Museum.
“A seat at Deuki’s table is, like a visit to our museum, a true cultural experience, one that weaves together history, memory, geography, and flavor to touch all of your senses,” says Asian Art Museum director and CEO Jay Xu. “Starting this spring, visitors can experience the genuine hospitality, the world-class expertise, and above all the glowing joy Deuki, along with Andrew and Bin, bring to the museum.”
The Asian Art Museum’s café will be closed starting February 6 to prepare for the opening of Sunday at the Museum in March.
Previously, for 15 years, the café was operated by McCall’s, one of San Francisco’s leading special events caterers. McCall’s will continue to provide services for many special events, including the museum’s annual Gala on March 1.
The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures from throughout Asia spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.
Information: 415.581.3500 or www.aamstage.org