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darkstar965

Maketto, Chef James Wozniuk's Asian Street Food and Fashion Market at H Street and Linden Court NE

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Now that the Washington Post has done a full profile on Mr. Bruner-Yang and most media outlets have already broken this news, makes sense to start a thread here.  This is yet another really ambitious concept for the area with $300K of the startup money crowdsourced, a chef from Lyon Hall and plans for it to include a full retail mix of apparel, a donut shop, specialty coffee and Range-like stations simulating Asian markets/hawkers with all day/all meal coverage . Great to see and wish it well. If it works, this is big time for DC. Really fantastic the amazing amount of food-related development activity for a city that's relatively small.

From the Post here

City Paper coverage here

Eater's renderings of the space here

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I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what this ends up being (I'm hoping for fried scallion pancakes with a fried egg):

As for the food, my recent trips to the night markets of Taiwan and Cambodia have heavily influenced the specialties we will be reproducing daily and seasonally.

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Actually looks like plenty of spots still available a couple of weeks out (and more) out. Interested to hear any reports from any who've been. We booked for a few weeks from now.

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Four of us had dinner here tonight.

I'm not going to write a ton about the experience here other than to generally describe it with some specifics as best I can.  Not fair to judge or opine about this since it's:

- a semi-permanent pop up (Maketto has taken over Hanoi House; no more Hanoi House menu available here, following the few months planned with Maketto running the kitchen, not yet clear what the Hanoi House space will become given it's location at ground zero of the city's most valuable commercial intersection)

- experimental.  As Erik explained to us, they'll be changing the menu here frequently to test may different ideas.  A "take on a papaya salad" was described as a "pillar" meaning near certain to appear on Maketto's ultimate menu but most of the other dishes to be determined.  They're emphasizing fresh, local, in-season as I guess near every restaurant now does. Tonight's menu was largely Cambodian inspired but that won't always be the case.

- really inexpensive. Maybe the most surprising thing about this to encourage traffic?  We paid only $40/person for a 7-course tasting menu, 4 or so glasses of wine (just one red and one white offered; the white was a vigonier), one beer (maybe a dozen or so beers offered) and a few extra dim-sum style items ordered with upcharges from carts ($2 each!).  So, calling this great value probably understates the case.

----------------------

Asked for a menu but they don't have anything printed.  Erik offered to email what the dishes were but I forgot to follow up on that before we left.  So, as best I can recall, some limited descriptions in case helpful to others:

- Two crisp, fresh Asian salads started us off. One was the take on a papaya salad with white cabbage, thai chilies and crispy pig skin. The other had cold rice noodles, carrot, bean sprout and served with crispy spring roll and charred pork belly slices. .

- Large sweet/sour soups to share with prawn, tofu, maybe chicken, herbs and not sure what else. Stock done with basil and cilantro stems along with whatever protein scraps.

- From the dim sum style carts, we tried a steamed pork bun that also had egg and a cold eggplant with chili tofu

- Squid stuffed with pork sausage

- A take on chili crab using prawns

- A sweet BBQ style pork meatball

- Baked oval ramekin type dishes with sea bass, coconut milk and collards

Forgetting what else though dessert was shaved ice with a touch of coconut milk and fresh seasonal fruits including peach and blackberry served in a jar.  Mix and go.

I'll be interested to hear what others experience if they try this. Maketto will be manning the kitchen for at least a couple of months and, as best I can tell, reservations aren't too tough to book at least for now.  Erik couldn't have been any nicer talking with us and answering questions. I still haven't been to Toki and rally need to go. Daikaya got me off track there becoming my more regular ramen stop since it opened.

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what this ends up being (I'm hoping for fried scallion pancakes with a fried egg):

Sorry cheeze!  No sign of any scallion pancakes tonight but, as Erik explained, the menu will be switching over next by Friday and regularly thereafter so you should check from time and time. They'll be offering different Asian cuisines with different menus.  They're doing all their own butchery buying whole animals and fish. Erik shared that they have 40 or 50 ducks that are currently being cured so those will likely be a prominent part of the weekend's menu.

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^We had almost the same menu (same dishes but maybe a few different ingredients in some of them) on a different night.  The soup had no prawns, but did have pineapple, wood ear, and tamarind; it was funkily sour and sweet and quite delicious.  With the exception of the steamed pork bun, I thought everything was excellent.  Interesting contrasts of flavors and textures.  The chili sauce on the prawns was out of this world.  Like darkstar, I won't comment on the other things given the nature of the place.  But anyone who likes southeast Asian cuisines and likes to be surprised should have a good time at Maketto.  I'm looking forward to going again when the menu has changed a bit.

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Got a call yesterday cancelling our reservation for Friday because of some sort of equipment damage in the kitchen? No more detail than that. Apparently we will get priority for reservations before they open them for the month of September, but still disappointing. Was really looking forward to trying it out.

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Got a call yesterday cancelling our reservation for Friday because of some sort of equipment damage in the kitchen? No more detail than that. Apparently we will get priority for reservations before they open them for the month of September, but still disappointing. Was really looking forward to trying it out.

Me too for my reservation that was supposed to be yesterday.  Pretty annoying to have to remember to call back to find out if they've opened their September reservations calendar (and, if they haven't, to have to keep calling back) -- I would have preferred being able to give the person a September date on the phone and have them slot me in there.

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Me too for my reservation that was supposed to be yesterday.  Pretty annoying to have to remember to call back to find out if they've opened their September reservations calendar (and, if they haven't, to have to keep calling back) -- I would have preferred being able to give the person a September date on the phone and have them slot me in there.

Hmm, they didn't say that I had to call back. They took my preferred date and time as well as my phone number and said that they would call me.  Was that not the case for others?

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I went last Thursday and thought it was some wonderful food and an absolute steal at $30. Maybe better than my last meal at Little Serow

Course 1: duck breast and heart larb with cicharron
Course 2: green papaya salad with tomato, peanuts and cabbage
Course 3: rice stew with duck confit, fermented soy beans and blood sausage style tofu
Course 4: whole fried prawn with a delicious chili garlic sauce and sautéed morning glory greens
Course 5: rockfish in coconut curry and saffron on a bed of banana leaves (tasted like collards)
Course 6: squid stuffed with sour sausage (their interpretation of a dumping they said, definitely looked like one)
Course 7: Taiwanese shaved ice with coconut milk, ginger, mint, and fruit

Did the $20 pairing which included your choice of cocktail, followed by a Vietnamese beer, Riesling, and a honey apricot dessert wine from NC. Got 2 items from the dim sum cart to go: hoisin meatball and steamed pork bun ($2 each). They had a special of a fried rockfish head with the same sauce as course 5 for 8 bucks but I was way too full for that.

Erik was there and soliciting feedback on all the dishes. He was particularly interested in what I added to the soup: it came with a little dish of sugar, sliced chilis and lime wedges. I added all the chilies and both limes with a little bit of sugar. Guess he's still trying to hone that flavor as overall the broth was a little bland, but the citrus brightened it up considerably. Definitely go if you get the chance before it closes in the next few months.

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Hmm, they didn't say that I had to call back. They took my preferred date and time as well as my phone number and said that they would call me.  Was that not the case for others?

It was not the case for me.  I specifically asked whether I could give him preferred dates, and he said I needed to call over the next two weeks to find out when they had available dates.

Sigh.

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Well, they're now taking reservations for September and October and I did not get a call, so that answers that question. I'm booked for September 5. 

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Well, they're now taking reservations for September and October and I did not get a call, so that answers that question. I'm booked for September 5. 

I also haven't received a call (and my res was cancelled too), but just did a little poking around on Open Table -- seems like they are taking reservations up until September 16, and then don't start again until Oct 1.

Maybe they are holding back those two weeks for people who had their reservations cancelled?

I called but no one picked up, so clearly this is wild speculation...

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I called last week and got the voice mail that said they would be calling people with canceled reservations to reschedule, but they haven't called me yet.

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Maybe someone affiliated with Maketto could chime in here and let everyone know what's going on?

A response from Maketto chef/co-owner, Erik Bruner-Yang:
--
 
Hey guys,
 
Thank you for everyone that has showed up and also shown so much interest in the pop-up we are doing at Hanoi House. It was been a wonderful time to experiment on our dishes. We have already tested 48 dishes and look forward to accomplishing our goal of 120. 
 
We apologize for the inconvenience the temporary closure caused everyone. We were closed for almost nine days, which resulted in over 600 canceled reservations. Needless to say it has taken sometime to go through the list while trying to get reopened. There has been some miscommunication on my end with Opentable about when we would reopen the reservations and I hope that has been resolved today. 
 
By Monday we will have the entire cancelation contacted via phone or email depending on what information was obtained during the reservation. All Opentable availability will be on hold from September. 17 to October. 17 to try to accommodate everyone's needs. Naturally this will take some time but we will work as fast as we can. Feel free to contact me directly via email erik@tokiunderground.com if you have any questions, concerns, comments, feedback, or if you just want to talk about the USMNT upcoming world cup qualifiers.
 
bests,
Erik Bruner-Yang

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Still haven't heard anything by phone or by email.  I went ahead last week and just booked a new reservation on OpenTable, although the time isn't ideal and I would prefer to reschedule.

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Still haven't heard anything by phone or by email.  I went ahead last week and just booked a new reservation on OpenTable, although the time isn't ideal and I would prefer to reschedule.

I got a call about an hour ago -- they are definitely working through the list.

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I got a call about an hour ago -- they are definitely working through the list. 

Well, I leave for Panama and Colombia tomorrow morning, so my window is closing.  :)

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This sentence caught my eye in the Tasting Table e-mail featuring a Fall Preview of food related events that arrived in my in box this morning:

WASHINGTON, DC:From the Toki Underground guys, Marketto is a partially crowd-funded Asian marketplace and street food space.

No further info and a Google search provides nada.   Anyone know anything about this?

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This sentence caught my eye in the Tasting Table e-mail featuring a Fall Preview of food related events that arrived in my in box this morning:

WASHINGTON, DC:From the Toki Underground guys, Marketto is a partially crowd-funded Asian marketplace and street food space.

No further info and a Google search provides nada.   Anyone know anything about this?

It's "Maketto" (you had me doubting the spelling and double-checking) -

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This sentence caught my eye in the Tasting Table e-mail featuring a Fall Preview of food related events that arrived in my in box this morning:

WASHINGTON, DC:From the Toki Underground guys, Marketto is a partially crowd-funded Asian marketplace and street food space.

No further info and a Google search provides nada.   Anyone know anything about this?

If you're asking about the crowd-funded element, this ought to clear it up for you.

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Maketto has open reservations now. I just confirmed with Erik via email who had his reservationist touch base with me on the phone. Looking forward to the dinner on Saturday!

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