Another restaurant is opening in the Stadium neighborhood. Coming later this year will be a Southeast Asian-themed restaurant called Indo Asian Street Eatery.
Buoy Ngov and her husband, Vathunyu “Yu” Nanakornphanom, are hoping for a summer opening for the restaurant and lounge, if all goes as planned.
Buoy is the youngest of the sisters who own Southeast Asian-focused restaurants in Tacoma. Older sister Ly Ngov co-owns Indochine Asian Dining Lounge in downtown Tacoma, with her husband, Russel Brunton. Another older sister, Hong Ngov, co-owns two restaurants with her husband, Sean Yean: Indochine on Pearl in Ruston and Fuzion Cafe in the Narrows neighborhood.
The family has serious history in South Sound restaurants. The three are daughters of Kim Taing and Chhung Ngov, who opened Cafe Indochine in Federal Way in 1995. At that time, it was one of the first restaurants in the area serving Thai food. They later sold that restaurant and “retired” to helping out at the restaurants owned by their daughters.
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Indo Asian Street Eatery will be located in what’s shaping up to be an interesting block for dining. The retro burger restaurant Shake Shake Shake is just a few doors down, and the Art House Cafe is across the street.It was a trip to Shake Shake Shake for burgers that led Ngov and Nanakornphanom to the long-empty space that previously was home to Taqueria El Guadalajara. It was the exact home they had imagined for their first restaurant.
Right now, the restaurant is stripped to the studs, which Ngov called “a great canvas.”
“We can put all of our touches on it,” she said.
Those touches include banquette seating, communal tables and an on-display eating counter with little separation between diners and cooks. Flanking one wall will be secluded wood-lined booths. They also plan a fire pit. The restaurant will have a full bar featuring steeped liqueurs, Japanese whiskeys and a selection of soju.
The food will be a collection of small plates, noodles and skewers with a nod to Southeast Asian street food. Said Ngov, “It’s like comfort food that you can find on the streets of Asia.” She described banh mi sandwiches with house-roasted meats and pork belly slider sandwiches. A menu of eight yakitori skewers covers land and sea. Rice and noodle bowls will be what “we grew up eating,” said Nanakornphanom, whose parents operated a food stall in Thailand. The menu of snacks sounds intriguing: an oyster pancake, edamame dumplings, Thai-style sausage and several other small plates.
Added Ngov, “We want to do easy food and casual, and maybe introduce people to different flavors they might not be used to. Traditional stuff that we eat at home, a little bit spicier and with unusual herbs.”
The restaurant will be at 110 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma.