Opened by acclaimed restaurateurs Siska Silitonga, Ervan Lim and Anne Le Ziblatt in July 2021, Warung Siska's ambitious leadership set out to showcase Indonesian cuisine. Le Ziblatt's resume also includes operating Palo Alto's Tamarine (and growing up in her family's Vung Tau restaurants). Silitonga was featured in Bon Appétit, and Lim's experience included years at San Francisco's iconic Cliff House and M.Y. China.
Using these extensive credentials, the team set out to create high-quality Indonesian cuisine harnessing local ingredients and earned media attention and inclusion in the Michelin Guide. "It's been quite a dream of mine to push this cuisine forward for the Bay Area. I think it's quite odd that we don't have Indonesian food represented here. We want to pioneer that," Lim said in an August 2021 interview with the Foodist. There are few Indonesian restaurants on the Peninsula, and many of them brand themselves as "Southeast Asian" instead of embracing the Indonesian label, Silitonga added.
"We are sad to announce the closure of Warung Siska due to ongoing challenges with staffing issues that have plagued our industry as a whole. Opening and operating a restaurant at any time is a challenge, doing so during 2+ years long pandemic has made it an unending obstacle course," Le Ziblatt and Lim said in a joint statement.
Silitonga was no longer associated with the restaurant as of January and made an Instagram post on May 4 disputing how Le Ziblatt characterized her in an article by the San Francisco Chronicle as the restaurant's "opening chef to develop our culinary program and write recipes for us." In the post, Silitonga writes that she "was brought in equally as partners just like the other partners. I wasn’t there just to 'start the culinary program.'"
Le Ziblatt and Lim responded through a spokesperson with a prepared statement: "Anne and Ervan are sorry to hear that she’s harboring these feelings. To be clear, at no point was she a financial partner nor did she have an actual ownership stake in the restaurant. She was brought on as Chef to develop the opening recipes. The hope was that the relationship would evolve into a partnership at some point, but that never materialized. Perhaps that is the source of her IG post."
When contacted by the Foodist, Silitonga said she is focusing on the positive and wants people to look forward to her ongoing journey spreading Indonesian food.
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