Betelnut Closing Next Week; Will Shed Its Nineties Skin and Reopen Quickly as Hutong
Following on news that the Real Restaurants group is overhauling Fog City Diner this spring, the Scoop breaks the news that eighteen-year-old Betelnut (2030 Union Street) is also going under the knife. Chef Alex Ong, who's been with the restaurant since 2001, will remain executive chef, but the place will be closing after service on March 3 and reopening a week later as Hutong. Partner Robert Wellbeloved says that the menu will focus on the back alleys and "hidden streets of Beijing, Vietnam, Malaysia and elsewhere in Asia" the word hutong means "back alley." So, it will be similar in concept to Betelnut, but allow Ong to do some of the more unusual food that he's lately been featuring on the specials board, and get away from the dated aspects of Betelnut's core menu (chicken satay, fried calamari, etc.).
For those concerned, the amazing beggar's chicken will still be available with 24 hours notice to the chef.
Also, the cocktail program will be getting a much needed revamp as well.
Look for them to reopen, if all goes well, by March 11.