Food

Post image for Malaysian cuisine comes to Menlo Park with opening of Black Pepper

A funny thing happened to chef Kay Tan on her journey to open a second Malaysian restaurant. At her new Menlo Park location, she’s now more frequently in the front of the house while her husband, David Yim, does the chef duties.

Their new Black Pepper restaurant, in the former and completely remodeled Menlo Hub space, opened in early March and features Malaysian food with a sprinkle of Thai and Chinese dishes. It follows Banana Leaf, the restaurant they’ve operated in Milpitas for the past 18 years.

Kay’s story is one of an immigrant. She arrived in the U.S. 30 years ago, with San Francisco the first stop. She took ESL classes in high school and went on to San Francisco city college and San Francisco State before joining the workforce in high tech.

“But I always loved to cook and enjoyed the hospitality of serving people,” she said. “I was working at a computer company and one day told my husband, ‘I’d like to have my own restaurant.’ And he was willing to support me with all the money he had.”

Kay taught David to cook. “He’s from Hong Kong, so this is not his cuisine,” she said. “Now he doesn’t listen to me anymore, he’s that good!”

She describes Malaysian cuisine as “complicated to make.” “We are so picky. We want to do things in a particular way. It’s time consuming.”

Kay learned to cook from her mother. “She’d come to Banana Leaf and go back home and say ‘Banana Leaf is better!’ That made me proud.”

Black Pepper is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday; closed Sunday.

Photos by Irene Searles; the collage was shot while Kay was making roti

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Mr. & Mrs. Chocolate coming to Menlo Park Library to discuss the “food of the Gods”

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“Mr. & Mrs. Chocolate,” chemists Howard and  Sally Peters, are coming to the Menlo Park Library (800 Alma St.) on Tuesday, April 11 at 7:00 pm, for a talk for teens and adults titled, “Chocolate: The Food of the Gods,” discussing the science, history, composition and health effects of chocolate. Chemists Howard and Sally Peters are known as […]

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Jason Kwan is Menlo Park’s unofficial “Mr. Restaurant”

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You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at restaurants Jason Kwan owns in Menlo Park, and you can actually walk from one place to another. That’s what Jason does daily as he looks in at each of his businesses. Three of his restaurants bear his namesake, at least partially — J & J Hawaiian BBQ, […]

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Posh Bagel’s Anthony Lao shares his refugee story – Part 2

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Editor’s note: Here is the second part of a story about a downtown Menlo Park merchant, Anthony On Lao. It was reported and written by Menlo-Atherton High School students Megan McDonnell and Jackson Confer with photos by Erica Miner. The first part can be found here. Finally, in 1985, Lao and his sister’s family arrived in Los […]

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Posh Bagel’s Anthony Lao shares his refugee story – Part 1

Thumbnail image for Posh Bagel’s Anthony Lao shares his refugee story – Part 1

Editor’s note: From time to time, we’re pleased to spotlight the good work being done by Menlo-Atherton High School journalism students. This story about a downtown Menlo Park merchant, Anthony On Lao, seems particularly timely. It was reported and written by Megan McDonnell and Jackson Confer with photos by Erica Miner. Due to it’s length, we […]

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Snacks to eat while watching the Academy Awards on TV this Sunday

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Editor’s note: We’ve come to count on Menlo Park resident Alexis Murphy for showing us how to make celebrations and holidays special. Here she takes on the Academy Awards, which will take place this Sunday night (2/26). Oscar Night has always been one of my favorites. The stars, the fashion, the movies and most importantly, festive […]

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21st century green grocer Kevin Bianchini is an enthusiastic foodie

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Kevin Bianchini is the amiable owner of Bianchini’s Markets in Ladera and San Carlos. He started Bianchini’s Market with his late father in Ladera in 1998, taking over the space occupied by Long’s Quality Foods since 1957. Father and son were already veteran grocers: Al was a long-time partner in the Foodville grocery store in San Carlos, where […]

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Charlie Parker returns to his hometown as new chef at Flea Street Cafe

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Growing up in Menlo Park, Charlie Parker would walk with his parents and siblings to Flea Street Cafe. “I remember some of [owner] Jesse’s signature dishes from the time I was 12,” he said. “Like ‘which came first the chicken or the egg’ and the sardines. There was always a good salad and a warm dining room.” After […]

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Super Bowl hot dogs make perfect game day snack when filled with super food

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An event as epic as the Super Bowl needs Super Food. This year we are keeping it simple and vibrant by kicking things off with “super food” topped hot dogs. A quick rush to the Menlo Park Farmers Market to intercept fresh greens was all it took. Loaded with vitamin C, calcium and carotenoids, my bunch of […]

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Freewheel Brewing Company founder Malcolm McGinnis remembered at fundraising benefit

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Freewheel Brewing Company at Marsh Manor is hosting the Malcolm McGinnis 1st Annual Benefit Party to raise money for the Menlo-Atherton High School Head, Heart, and Balls Scholarship Fund on Thursday, Jan. 19, starting at 6:00 pm. This is a party to remember the brewery’s co-founder and head brewer, who passed away last September,  and celebrate the fourth anniversary […]

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Menlo Park’s “Mr. and Mrs. Chocolate” set to reveal everything about America’s favorite sweet

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park’s “Mr. and Mrs. Chocolate” set to reveal everything about America’s favorite sweet

Menlo Park residents Sally and Howard Peters were trained and worked as chemists, but now it’s as “Mr. and Mrs. Chocolate” that they’re best known. The reason: Since 2004, they’ve  toured the United States sharing their presentation, “Chocolate — Food of the Gods,” which explores the history and chemistry of one of America’s favorite treats. Their […]

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