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Potluck: Casual Southeast Asian hawker street food restaurant set to open (PHOTOS)

Comfort eats with a bold, bright kick showcasing the flavours of Malaysia and more

The bright aromas and flavours of a mix of Southeast Asian fare served up in a casual counter-service space await, as Potluck Hawker Eatery preps for opening day in Vancouver's Cambie Village.

Potluck has set their opening date for Wednesday, July 15. The 35-seat, 993-square-foot space near the Park Theatre at 3424 Cambie Street has been fully renovated and updated, having previously been ZUN Chinese Dining and 3G Vegetarian restaurants. 

Potluck is the project of Chef Justin Cheung, who gained prominence behind the stoves at Longtail Kitchen in New West's River Market. At Longtail, under the direction of acclaimed Vancouver chef Angus An, Cheung was dishing up Thai and Southeast Asian street food eats for some time.

For his Potluck venture, Cheung is expanding on the concept of sharing food and the notion of coming together to enjoy a variety of dishes and flavours. “Eating together was a very important part of growing up for me,” says Cheung. He adds he will be focusing a great deal on Malaysian-style cooking, which will directly reflect his own heritage. 

Look for bold and vibrant dishes, often with a spicy kick (hello, tamarind chili jam!) that can be ordered up a la carte or bundled together for a family-style feast. Dive into a bowl of Mama Cheung's Laksa, a coconut curry noodle soup named for the chef's mom. Or tuck into a pile of crispy fried "P.F.C." (that's Potluck Fried Chicken) wings, tossed in your choice of fish sauce caramel or salted egg yolk. And that salted egg yolk and P.F.C. combo is also available in a crave-worthy "sando" served on Fife bakery milk bread and accented with a green mango slaw and that chili jam.

Potluck will also feature Cheung's take on familiar Southeast Asian dishes like Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice), and his Palabok - a Filipino noodle dish served in a smoked fish gravy with seafood, chicharron, egg, and kalamansi. Anchoring one of the family-style share options is the Crispy Pata, a whole pork hock that is braised and then cut into and dunked in the deep fryer. Served with a set of side dishes, the Crispy Pata and a whole Chili Dungeness Crab are meals meant to feed up to six people.

"It has definitely been an interesting journey during COVID-19 times, but we’ve learned a lot. All health and safety precautions will be taken, and of course, we’ll be doing take-out. In fact, we’ve added new items to our menu that will work incredibly well for those who want to take their meals to go," said Cheung.

If you are sitting in - or just popping in for take-out - take note the Potluck Hawker Eatery space was designed by Elisa Leung and Nathalie Koo of Vancouver’s Cutler and the branding by Graeme Jack. There are bright pops of colour and tropical vibes offset against natural wood.

Potluck Hawker Eatery will be open Tuesday to Friday, from 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. for dine-in and takeout. 

This article originally appeared on February 7, 2020 and has since been updated with new information

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