Brandon Jew Is Getting into the Delivery Game

The chef behind Michelin-starred Mr. Jiu's is trying a delivery-only concept called Mamahuhu.

chef brandon jew
Photo: Courtesy of Mister Jiu / Kassie Borreson

Don't want to go out this weekend? Here's your ultimate excuse to stay in. Chef Brandon Jew of the Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant Mister Jiu's is testing out a new project this weekend that will have San Franciscans reaching for their Caviar apps: A delivery-only concept called Mamahuhu.

The pop-up will only run this weekend—February 24th and 25th—for now, but Jew tells The San Francisco Chronicle that he hopes to eventually open a full-service version of Mamahuhu. First, he'll test the pop-up at a couple locations.

Though Jew is acclaimed for creating a Michelin-worthy experience that pays homage to the Chinatown in which its situated, creating food for delivery has its own set of obstacles. Everything must be made for travel, and ingredients need to hold for up to an hour. For Jew, whose famed plates are elegant and delicate, creating durable food is something new.

"It's unique because we had to look at things and ask ourselves if certain ingredients could hold up over 25, 35, or 45 minutes. It's a new area for us," he tells the Chronicle.

The name Mamahuhu means "so-so," suggesting the idea that exceptional food can be casual and playful. For now, the menu consists of scallion pancake sandwiches, salads, one soup, "tingly cabbage chips," and a dessert.

While delivery is a new adventure for Jew, it's not the first time big-name chefs have experimented in this realm. Though David Chang's Ando has now merged with Uber Eats, it began as a delivery-only concept back in 2016. Similarly, Anthony Strong of San Francisco's Delfina dabbled in delivery-only with his project, Young Fava, in 2017.

From the rise of food trucks to fast casual to on-demand delivery, it's no secret that chefs and restaurateurs have been exploring alternative, more accessible forms of dining. It offers new possibilities for both the restaurant and the customers—owners can survive skyrocketing city rent costs and diners can experience prominent chefs' food for a fraction of the price, in the comfort of their own home.

Mamahuhu will be delivering in San Francisco on Saturday, February 24th from 7:30pm to 9:30pm and Sunday, February 25th from 5:00pm to 10:00pm.

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