April 2, 2018, San Francisco — Sunday at the Museum, a new cafe experience overseen by chef Deuki Hong in partnership with Andrew Chau and Bin Chen of Boba Guys, opens at the Asian Art Museum on Tuesday, April 3.
The first (mouthwatering) milestone in the museum’s ongoing transformation project, Sunday at the Museum (affectionately known as “Sunday”) arrives after an eight-week-long refurbishment of the museum’s cafe space. Following the construction of a rooftop terrace designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast — to be completed in 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 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.”
Hong’s menu highlights a seasonal rotation of palate pleasers, with the inaugural menu featuring snacks, salads and sandwiches, as well as larger shareable plates and kid-friendly bentos… with more in store as things get going! Vegan and gluten free options will always be available. The yumminess includes:
Sunday will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays (the museum is closed to the public on Mondays). Anyone is welcome to dine at the cafe without purchasing a museum admission ticket. Guests will order food and drinks at the register and then select their own seats, ranging from cozy two- and four-top tables to a large communal table made of warm, golden wood that anchors the main dining space.
Beginning later this spring, on Thursday evenings when the museum is open until 9 p.m. Sunday will host San Francisco’s newest happy hour, featuring special plates and a selection of beer and wine. Starting at 5:30 p.m., a prix-fixe dinner menu will also be available, with final seating at 8 p.m. Check the Asian Art Museum’s website for upcoming late Thursday details and reservations.
After stints at New York City destination restaurants Momofuku and Jean-Georges, Hong became executive chef at Baekjeong, where he gained notice for his ability to showcase the appeal of Asian and Asian American cuisine. Sunday will be Hong’s first stand-alone eatery in San Francisco.
Known locally for his pop-up Sunday Bird, found in the back of one of Chau and Chen’s Boba Guys locations, Hong brings a fresh perspective to iconic Asian cooking traditions.
“I am interested in nostalgia and in sharing culture. I want to feature tasty dishes that are close to people’s hearts,” says Hong, 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. The drinks menu currently includes cold-brewed and espresso-based coffees, as well as classic, Hong Kong, and jasmine milk teas, a tasty green matcha latte and a selection of teas by the pot.
“Later this year, we’ll offer a sommelier-style tea service for people interested in a more elevated, intimate experience,” says Chau. “It’s about 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. “We’re at the nexus of everything that makes San Francisco a vibrant and exciting community: we’re in Civic Center, the political heart of the city; we’re at the edge of the Tenderloin, which is still a haven for new immigrants; the mid-Market area is in constant flux. The city is transforming itself and what we offer in our galleries and in our cafe reflects the unique spirit of that transformation.”
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