Word’s out about Secret Congee. The new takeout spot — tucked inside Wallingford health food shop Juisala — opens Wednesday, October 21, specializing in variations on the comforting rice porridge dish. And it appears to be an intriguing addition to the neighborhood, already generating some chatter.
Among the items to start are congee topped with blue crab, slow-cooked brisket, miso roasted Kabocha squash, Tom Yum shrimp, and braised pork belly. There are a few add-on options, including crispy fried dough, but otherwise the menu is short and sweet. Secret Congee also aims to be eco-friendly, using ingredients sourced sustainably and takeout bowls that are 100 percent compostable. Items are available for to-go orders only with credit card payments; no cash or sit-down service.
The new place comes from the folks behind the former Uwajimaya kiosk Congeez, along with chefs who worked at several venerable restaurants in the area, including Pestle Rock, Agrodolce, and Tilth. That’s quite a team assembled for a small location, and a treat for congee lovers.
Though the item can be found on menus at several other great restaurants around town (Mike’s Noodle House and A+ Hong Kong Kitchen in the International District are two standouts that come to mind), it’s a relative rarity for a local restaurant to focus solely on the one dish (Kraken Congee, which closed in 2017, was an exception). As the weather gets colder, a warm congee bowl may just hit the spot.