You may have noticed the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream trucks parked outside the former Kormoran Polish Restaurant (152 Driggs Ave) on Driggs Ave near McGolrick Park. You may have also noticed all the construction work going on inside the space. We chatted with Laura O’Neill, Van Leeuwen owner, to find out what they are cooking up in there.
Greenpointers: What is going on in the new space?
Laura: The space is a wood shop at the moment as we finish building all our furniture, but we hope to get open very, very soon. For now I can tell you it’s a Balinese restaurant called Selamat Pagi and the menu is tasting awesome! BTW Selamat Pagi means “good morning” in Balinese.
Greenpointers: Why a Balinese Restaurant?
Laura: Ben and I went to Bali a few times (its very close to Australia where I’m from) and became obsessed with the place and the food in particular. We’ve always wished we could get Balinese food in nyc and after blowing everyones minds and palates with a Balinese Feast at the Van Leeuwen staff party last year, we started to think seriously about opening a Balinese Restaurant here. The restaurant is the storefront of VL HQ, we’ve been sitting on this space for over a year and decided a few months ago to just go for it!
Greenpointers: Can you tell us about the menu?
Laura: We are still fine tuning the menu but you can expect to see a lot of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf and chilies. Dishes will include beef rendang, bali style prawns, bali bluefish salad, nasi goreng and other delights made using the best meats, fish and produce available in the area.
Greenpointers: Tell us about the chef?
Laura: Sophia Loch is our head chef and we have been working closely with her on creating our dream menu.
Greenpointers: What the vibe be like?
Laura: We will be open breakfast lunch and dinner and have around 25 seats. Ben has been building all the tables and benches from silver maple. We want the space to be super simple, light and inviting. We will have table service.
Greenpointers: Will you have a liquor license?
Greenpointers: Will there still be ice cream?
Laura: Yes, we will have coffee (toby’s estate), ice cream and pastries as well as the full Balinese menu. We will be serving some Balinese influenced ice cream flavors such as Sticky Black Rice, Lemongrass, Smoked Vanilla and Coconut Avocado.
Greenpointers: Is there an opening date set?
Laura: Shooting for next week, keep you posted!
What do you think about a Balinese Restaurant coming to Greenpoint?