Chef Chi Hang Ngai, also known as Chef Ken, is finally opening his own restaurant in San Francisco.
Ngai worked for Sushi Ran in Sausalito for 10 years and most recently for five years with Kusakabe, both jobs with head chef Mitsunori Kusakabe, before setting up his own restaurant Ken on Divisadero.
However, it wasn’t a straightforward path to opening.
“As soon as I told my chef that I had decided to open my restaurant, [it was] Not even a week and then the city, everything was just closed, “said Ngai of his decision to go into business for himself in spring 2020.
Ngai has had the keys to his restaurant for a few months, but he works like a take-away pop-up outside of the room for the most part. He set up an ordering system using a Google form to organize on-the-go orders and has been doing this since December.
Chef Chi Hang Ngai creates beautiful take-away sushi orders at his Ken restaurant in San Francisco.
He works mostly on his own, creating beautiful boxes of sushi omakase to take away before moving on to other items like sashimi and chirashi, all of which have been artfully prepared and arranged. However, he prefers to make sushi so customers can eat right away and hopes to see customers at home soon.
“I think that is [what] All cooks want, right? In the final stage, they have to open their own [restaurant]”Said Ngai about his career.” … because I want to try something in my style. I wanna see how much I can do you know “
Ngai has plans to expand its menu even further. The focus will of course be on sushi, but the Chinese Ngai plans to include some Chinese ingredients or noodle techniques in new menu items, he said.
Kenlocated at 252 Divisadero St. in San Francisco. Check her Instagram account for a link to the latest menu options and order in advance at instagram.com/ken.sf.ca for the weekend.
Here you will find a selection of exciting restaurant, bar and bakery openings for April and early May:
Chef Dominica Rice-Cisneros has opened her newest restaurant. FirefighterJust months after their last restaurant, Cosecha, was in Oakland’s Swan’s Market. The new location is in a former fire station in the Dimond District and inspires the name of the restaurant, which means firefighter. The new space gives Rice-Cisneros more space for new equipment – like a mesquite grill and wood-burning oven – to make items she couldn’t reach in Cosecha, such as Carne Asada. She will also have items like seafood and slow-roasted barbacoa. Read more here in the salon.
The South Korea-based fried chicken chain, Bonchonfinally opened a location in San Francisco after opening locations in the Bay Area like Berkeley, San Leandro, Sunnyvale, and South San Francisco. The Metreon location offers Bonchon’s signature “Glasshatter Crisp” chicken and sauces, as well as a few extras. Read more about SFGATE here.
Toscano brothers is the latest from pizza chef Tony Gemignani, a North Beach bakery filled with sourdough bread, baguettes, and more. Gemignani is also trying a “real NY bagel” which is also being sold in the room, albeit under a controversial business name in the same location. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here. (SFGATE and the San Francisco Chronicle are both owned by Hearst, but operate independently.)
The highly anticipated location of San Francisco in H Mart In April it was opened to many fans. Many buyers were delighted not only with the variety of fruit, meat and food, but also with the adjoining food hall. The dining room offers ready-made Daejo Kalbijjim and Beef Soup dishes, as well as the Left Wing Bar and a few others. Paris Baguette is expected to open shortly. Read more about SFGATE here.
Other is the newest restaurant from head chef Nick Cobarruvias and Mrs. Anna Sager Cobarruvias, the duo behind Son’s Addition. Originally planned as a fine-dining restaurant, Ostra has been remodeled as a more casual, modern Mexican restaurant that focuses on the food the chef ate while growing up in Texas. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here.
Sunday bakeshop Oakland has a pastry playland where nostalgic treats are brought up to date by Chef Elaine Lau. Expect strawberry pocky cruffins and matcha white rabbit cookies, as well as some hearty options like pineapple sausage croissants, inspired by both a love of Asian bakeries and Lau’s French culinary training. Read more about SFGATE here.