Vegan caterer and pop-up S+M Vegan will open new vegan restaurant Lion Dance Cafe in Oakland, CA next summer. S+M Vegan founders Marie Chia and Shane Stanbridge have been operating the pop-up up in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly six years, offering patrons a menu that combines their Teochew-Singaporean and Italian-Californian heritages with items such as their award-winning General Tso’s Brussels sprouts and ever-changing and wildly popular Shaobing Sandwich served on homemade flatbread. The new Lion Dance space will seat approximately 40 guests and will offer coffee and grab-and-go items for breakfast and lunch, a full menu for dinner, and brunch on weekends. S+M pop-up favorites such as laksa and congee balls will find a permanent place on the menu, along with Singaporean hawker dishes such as char kway teow, savory carrot cake, and a variety of spicy sambals. Their General Tso’s Brussels sprouts might be offered as an occasional special. Chia and Standbridge are also working on a selection of milkshakes that are reminiscent of desserts found at food stalls in Singapore such as bobo chacha and kaya toast. For brunch, the team is developing items such as scallion biscuits with laksa gravy, everything shaobing toast, and Teochew-style rice porridge. “Over time [we] have been refining our food language, which highlights the cuisines from our respective Teochew-Singaporean and Italian-Californian heritages and organically combines them, sometimes more obviously than others,” Chia told VegNews. “The food at Lion Dance Cafe will be in continuity with our more recent menus from the past couple years, which have been focusing more on my background but with the same influences—from Shane’s roots and passion for baking but also from the cooking of the Chinese diaspora in the US—that our regulars have come to associate us with.” Starting in November, Chia and Stanbridge will also be presenting their newly named popup Lion Dance Cafe by S+M Vegan at locations around the Bay Area, including at Eli’s Mile High Club.
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