Restaurants

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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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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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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British Bankers Club is once again abuzz in Menlo Park

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We admit to being a bit nostalgic about the British Bankers Club in Menlo Park. When we moved back to our hometown of Menlo Park in 1990, the BBC was “the” place to hang out, although we weren’t quite in the right demographic. But we had lunch there with girlhood friends and delighted that a […]

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Spotted: Activity at Borrone MarketBar and British Bankers Club

Thumbnail image for Spotted: Activity at Borrone MarketBar and British Bankers Club

Lots going on today at what’s been a quiet corner of the Menlo Center. Marina Borrone, who owns MarketBar, was having a pop-up featuring all the MarketBar favorites, many of which were displayed in pretty jars in the front counter. She promises more activity there in the months to come. Nextdoor, the British Bankers Club has […]

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Flea St. Cafe is a Menlo Park fixture for 36 years

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We stopped in at Flea St. Cafe last week, just a couple days after the restaurant celebrated its 36th anniversary. That’s one long run for a restaurant that, as founder/co-owner Jesse Cool writes, took root in “an unlikely neighborhood just outside of the city of Menlo Park, in the county of San Mateo, on an […]

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Sights and sounds on an August Sunday in downtown Menlo Park

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Was it our imagination, or did downtown Menlo Park appear to be jumpy more than it was for many a summer month? By mid-morning, the line at always popular Cafe Borrone stretched almost to El Camino — something we don’t see very often. While there we spotted new signage for the British Banker’s Club nextdoor […]

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Spotted: Pokémon Go bonbons at Madera

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Madera, the restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, has added a new trendy dessert — Pokémon Go-themed bonbons. The flavors, pictured top to bottom, are: Gotta Catch ‘Em All (Pokémon collage: vanilla bean ganache); Articuno (blue bird: dark chocolate infused with icy mint): Pokéball #1: (strawberries, crème and a touch of pop rocks); Moltres (red bird: a blend of chili […]

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Get a taste of summer at Borrone MarketBar pop up this weekend

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As they did around the holidays, the folks behind Borrone MarketBar are having a summer pop-up, perfect for those planning picnics, big or small celebrations, or just missing Chef Josh’s prepared favorites. There will be a variety of foccacia bread, pastas and sauces, chicken, fish, sides and ready-to-grill sausage and smoked ribs. The pop-up hours are […]

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French wine is half off at Left Bank Menlo Park

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From now through August 18th, Left Bank Brasserie in Menlo Park is offering the restaurant’s full selection of French wines by the bottle at half price. Comments General Manager Jennifer Hancox: “I think that this is a great way for us to celebrate our 18th anniversary. With every bottle of French wine half priced, it’s fun and […]

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Google and McDonald’s team up for a free meal at McDonald’s this weekend

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From Friday through Sunday, you can get a complimentary meal (worth $9.00) at the McDonald’s in Menlo Park (1100 El Camino) by paying with Hands Free by Google, part of a wider Google promotion covering the fast food franchise’s locations in the South Bay. You’ll need to say “I’ll pay with Google” when you are at the […]

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