The Truck: Santi's Kitchen with multiple locations on the West side. Locations can be found on Seattle Food Truck website.
The Fare: Indonesian cuisine.
The Stop: If you are one of those people who regularly braves the seemingly infinite line at Salumi to get your grubby hands on one of their meat sandwiches, then Santi's Kitchen may feel familiar.
Making its second day debut at Starbucks headquarters, the shiny red truck is inciting a lot of interest. With 17 regular dishes on the menu plus a special, Santi's has got to have one of the most comprehensive menus on wheels.The lovely Chef Santi Hammie is cooking up eats inspired by her childhood, growing up in a small village in Indonesia. She has been in the states since arriving in 1979 at the age of 16. Prior to Seattle, Santi's Kitchen was stationed on the campus of Yale University, catering to college students.
I waited 27 minutes for my meal, along with a handful of other hungry lunchers texting colleagues they would be late for their one o'clock meetings. The unanimous consensus was that it was hands-down worth the wait for a shot at Santi's fare, although I would deny this statement in front of my boss.
The Nasi Kuning, a dish commonly eaten at breakfast time in the East Borneo region of Indonesia, made me want to book a ticket to Southeast Asia post haste. The tender chicken with a big ol' serving of yellow turmeric coconut rice mixed with a spicy orange-red sauce is a winner. I massacred my dish, leaving only the hard-boiled egg as a witness to warn other dishes I was coming.
If you are looking for a massive load of Indo', try the chef's smoked paprika fried rice with ground beef, spices, and topped with chicken.
Hammie proudly touts she doesn't add MSG or lard to any of her made-to-order dishes. She will even substitute canola oil for olive oil for an additional 75 cents. If you snoop around her truck, you will also notice organic sugar, organic NW tofu, and other goodies hanging around her kitchen.
When the Indonesian truck rolls to West Seattle, the residents seem to favor the green curry, while the popular dish in SODO is a toss-up between the chicken woku (chicken and veggies heavy on the flavor with Indonesian spices and lemon juice) and the organic tofu with veggies.
The majority of the dishes are 8 bucks and large enough to stand up to the appetite of a burly high school football player going through a growth spurt. Expect to have some leftovers.
Is it worth the wait? Yes. Will I have to wait that long again? Unlikely as Santi is actively looking for some help in the kitchen to deal with the high demand.
Tip: If you are in a rush, order the special of the day. It comes out lightning fast.