Family-run Reunion Bake Brew Bite makes salads, sandwiches and some Malaysian surprises.
Life is perfect the way it is! Or at least so says an adorably handmade cardboard sign posted outside Reunion Bake Brew Bite in Kirkland.
This small cafe makes its food with local, sustainable and organic stuff whenever possible; it opened just a month ago. “We’re ‘hot and new!’ as they call it in Yelp,” co-owner Robert Tju says, laughing — he runs Reunion with his sister, Shirene Tju, and her husband, Francis Ting. Robert’s laugh is frequent, and Reunion’s a friendly place. The name conjures up family, and the Bake, Brew and Bite are all on offer, too. Here’s the rundown.
The Bake: The pastry case is filled with treats made in-house: cookies, muffins, buttery French-inspired pastries. On my visit, the owners were tasting almond-flour macarons from France, asking patrons their opinions in order to get their own recipe just right.
Reunion Bake Brew Bite
339 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland; open Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-close around 6:30 p.m.; 425-947-7998 or on Facebook
The Brew: Coffee is taken seriously here. Single-origin coffees become pour-over. Cold brew comes in several varieties: nitro, in a bottle, fizzy cascara (coffee-cherry tea). And yes, you can also order a very smooth plain ol’ espresso drink.
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The Bite: The menu’s got an array of sandwiches, salads and sweet breakfast bites, plus daily specials. The Tju siblings are from Malaysia, of Hainanese descent, so the latter might include Hainanese chicken rice (try Friday or Saturday, but be warned, they do sell out) or laksa Nyonya (usually sold on Thursdays, it’s a complex, spicy soup made with 42 spices, all freshly ground in-house).
Sandwiches feature slow-cooked beef brisket, pulled pork and chicken. For breakfast — served all day — waffles with bacon might sound great, but don’t overlook the kaya butter, which Robert describes as “coconut crème brûlée jam … really gooey,” made with pandan leaves and Kerrygold butter.
A sandwich-and-salad sampling: The My Kind of Cubano sandwich was thick and tasty, with a heaping pile of smoky beef brisket, uncured ham and butter pickles, dressed with BBQ sauce and Dijon mustard. Its dry and crumbly ciabatta-esque bun made it a challenge to eat. In the Simply Chicken sandwich, Killer Dave’s 21 Whole-grains and Seed bread held chicken breast, guacamole, Tillamook cheese and a nice-and-spicy Sriracha-ranch dressing.
House-made cilantro-avocado dressing brought zest to an otherwise almost-too-healthful Power Two salad, a blend of baby spinach and kale topped with quinoa, brown rice, well-seasoned chicken and some nuts and seeds.
The space: Across the street from the Kirkland Library, Reunion is comfortable and cute, managing to feel both industrial and like somebody’s living room. Order your brewed beverage of choice and hang out at a bar looking out the window or at one of several mismatched wooden tables.
Prices: A My Kind Of Cubano sandwich ($12), Simply Chicken sandwich ($10.50), Power Two Salad ($12.50), chocolate croissant ($3.50) and latte ($4.20) totaled $42.70, before tax and tip, and could feed three.