Suasday Cambodian Sandwich Shop opens in North Boston in June 2022

Suasday, a small Cambodian sandwich shop, is coming to Boston’s North End on June 10 with toasted baguettes stuffed with toppings such as kroeung beef curry; salads; beverages such as calamansi lemonade and Cambodian cold brew coffee; and desserts like pandan rice cake and pandan mousse.

Located in the former Cobblestone Cafe space at 227 Hanover St., Boston, Suasday is named after the meaning of the Khmer greeting Hi or welcome. The restaurant explores the Cambodian American heritage of two of the founders, cousins ​​Jessica Chiep and Menghong Hak. The team chose this name because “food is always the best way to welcome everyone to a home and a new culture,” says co-owner and chef Ronald Liu.

Although the food seems like a quick transaction at the counter, the preparation behind it is anything but quick. Chiep would often wake up to the sound of her grandmother or mother grinding spices for curry paste when she was growing up. Foods that took hours to cook were the norm in her home. “Dinner was sometimes at 10 p.m. because [her mother] I came home from work at five o’clock and cooked for four or five hours,” Liu says of Chiep’s mother. “No matter how tired his mother was – whether it was after work or on a Saturday morning – it was a production. We have brought a lot of this principle to this menu.

Menghong Hak (left), Jessica Chiep (center) and Ronald Liu are behind Suasday.
Will Wang/Blackfin Collective

Beef kroeung curry represents this experience with fresh ingredients, meticulous grinding and a long braising time. “You can’t take a shortcut there,” Liu says, “and it ends with a simple sandwich.”

The cooking starts with fresh turmeric, lemongrass and galangal. Once chopped and ground into a paste, it becomes the base of curry. Curry, beef brisket, coconut milk and a few other ingredients go into a pot to braise for eight hours. This tender, shredded beef is then served with homemade pâté, buttered aioli, marinated green papaya, daikon, carrots, cucumber and cilantro on locally sourced num pang bread. All sauces and pickled vegetables are produced on site. It’s Liu’s favorite sandwich and the one he’ll tell his friends to come in and get.

Suasday’s menu also points a hat to its location in the North End – Boston’s historically Italian neighborhood – with the Italia Twist sandwich, a baguette stuffed with prosciutto, mortadella, Black Forest ham, provolone, aioli, pâté, papaya salad, carrots, daikon, and cucumber. Another sandwich stuffed with crawfish salad riffs on the classic New England lobster roll.

Rounding out the menu: 4pm Cambodian cold brew coffee, lemonade made with calamansi (a common citrus fruit in Southeast Asia that tastes like a combination of lemon, lime and orange) and desserts such as pandan cream.

Interior of a small counter restaurant featuring Cambodian art and artefacts.  The counter is dark wood with decorative stone coating.

Suasday’s tiny interior is decorated with Cambodian art and artifacts.
Will Wang/Blackfin Collective

Cambodian textiles, stencils, and other art from Chiep’s family line the 300-square-foot restaurant. Woven light fixtures, wood accents, and a plant wall that showcases the menu give the space a natural feel, Liu says. There is no seating, although the team hopes to offer meals on the terrace in the future. Until then, it’s a take-out place, with delivery available through third-party apps.

Suasday’s parent company, Blackfin Collective, is also behind several other pop-up restaurants and food brands in Boston and beyond, including restaurants under the “Love Art” umbrella (Love Art Sushi, Poke by Love Art) and Cambridge’s Cloud & Spirits, which recently pivoted. from its original Korean-influenced New American menu to a more peaceful one. Blackfin also plans to open Kokoda by Love Art – what the team describes as “a Pacific/Polynesian-inspired poke bowl concept” – around the end of June in Boston’s Seaport District.

Starting June 10, Suasday opens at 227 Hanover St., Boston, and will operate Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with the potential goal of longer hours seven days on seven.

Laura J. Boyer