Suasday, a tiny Cambodian sandwich shop, is arriving in Boston’s North End on June 10 with toasted baguettes stuffed with fillings such as kroeung beef curry; salads; drinks such as calamansi limeade and Cambodian cold brew coffee; and desserts like pandan rice cake and pandan mousse.
Located in the former Cobblestone Cafe space at 227 Hanover St., Boston, Suasday is named for the Khmer greeting meaning hello or welcome. The restaurant explores the Cambodian American heritage of two of the founders, cousins Jessica Chiep and Menghong Hak. The team chose the name because “food is always the best way to welcome everyone into a home and new culture,” says co-owner and chef Ronald Liu.
Though food seems like a quick transaction at the counter-service spot, the preparation behind it is anything but quick. Chiep often woke to the the sound of her grandmother or mother grinding spices for curry paste when she was growing up. Foods that took hours to cook were the norm at her home. “Dinner was sometimes at 10 p.m. because [her mother] got home from work at five and cooked for four or five hours,” Liu says of Chiep’s mother. “It didn’t matter how tired her mom was — either after work or on a Saturday morning — it was a production. We brought a lot of that principle into this menu.”
The kroeung beef curry represents that experience with fresh ingredients, meticulous grinding, and a long braise time. “You cannot take a shortcut there,” Liu says, “and then it just culminates in a simple sandwich.”
The kitchen starts with fresh turmeric, lemongrass, and galangal. After it’s chopped up and ground to a paste, it becomes the base for the curry. The curry, beef brisket, coconut milk, and a few other ingredients go into a pot to braise for eight hours. That tender, shredded beef then gets paired with a house-made pate, butter aioli, pickled green papaya, daikon, carrots, cucumber, and cilantro on locally sourced num pang bread. All the sauces and pickled veggies are produced in-house. It’s Liu’s favorite sandwich and the one he’s going to tell his friends to come in and get.
Suasday’s menu also tips a hat to its location in the North End — Boston’s historically Italian neighborhood — with the Italia Twist sandwich, a baguette stuffed with proscuitto, mortadella, black forest ham, provolone, aioli, pate, green papaya, carrots, daikon, and cucumber. Another sandwich stuffed with crawfish salad riffs on the classic New England lobster roll.
Rounding out the menu: a 16-hour Cambodian cold brew coffee, limeade made with calamansi (a common citrus fruit in Southeast Asia that tastes like a combination of lemon, lime, and orange), and desserts such as pandan custard.
Cambodian textiles, stenciling, and other art objects from Chiep’s family line the 300-square-foot restaurant. Woven light fixtures, wood accents, and a plant wall that highlights the menu give the space a natural feel, Liu says. There’s no seating, although the team is hoping to provide some patio dining in the future. Until then, it’s a grab-and-go spot, with delivery available through third-party apps.
Suasday parent company Blackfin Collective is also behind several other restaurants and pop-up food brands in and beyond Boston, including restaurants under the “Love Art” umbrella (Love Art Sushi, Poke by Love Art) and Cambridge’s Cloud & Spirits, which recently pivoted from its original Korean-influenced New American menu to more of a Pacific influence. Blackfin also plans to open Kokoda by Love Art — what the team is describing as “an elevated Pacific/Polynesian-inspired poke bowl concept” — around late June in Boston’s Seaport District.
Starting June 10, Suasday opens at 227 Hanover St., Boston, and will operate Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with the eventual goal of longer hours seven days a week.