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New San Antonio restaurant offers first taste with experimental pop-up

New San Antonio restaurant offers first taste with experimental pop-up

Best Quality Daughter
Salt and pepper crab will be among the dishes served at the Best Quality Daughter pop-up. Courtesy photo

Since its debut in 2018, Best Quality Daughter has delivered some of the most unique culinary pop-ups in the Alamo City. Now, it is giving locals a taste of an upcoming brick-and-mortar.

Though San Antonians will have to wait until 2020 to hear details about the permanent restaurant, chefs Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin and Quealy Watson of Tenko Ramen will preview the menu during a one-off event on October 26. A release notes that the pop-up will be an immersive site-specific experience — a far cry from typical pairing dinners.

Best Quality Daughter was formed in February 2018 via Dobbertin and ceramicist Jennifer Ling Datchuck's shared connection of growing up with Chinese mothers and white fathers. The name was borrowed from a scene from the 1993 film The Joy Luck Club.

In keeping with the inspiration, the team will transform the former site of an industrial steam cleaner into a Chinese laundromat, an exploration of the Asian immigrant labor experience. The exact East Side address will be revealed to ticket holders upon purchase.

The pair, along with new partner Watson, worked with a dizzying array of talent to bring the pop-up to life. Architect Vicki Yuan of Lake Flato Architects and designer Jamie Stolarski worked on the bones, while Dobbertin and Datchuk created installations and decor. Shanghai sound artist Terence Lloren and musician DT Buffkin were brought in to provide an aural component.

“We love watching our vision come to life and are always excited to provide San Antonians the opportunity to try our interpretations of authentic Asian cuisine,” Dobbertin explains in the release. “Best Quality Daughter is largely inspired by the shared family meals we grew up with.”

The October 26 menu will include eight courses as a nod to the luckiest number in Chinese culture. Dishes include Thai fermented sausages, sizzling rice and aromatic chorizo prawn dip, smoked brisket fat sticky rice shumai, and salt and pepper crab with thom kha gravy. Cocktails will be provided by Denise Deglopper of the recently opened Pastiche alongside wine curated by Hill Country winery William Chris Vineyards.

Though details about the upcoming restaurant are being kept hush-hush, it promises to be one of the most startlingly original concepts in San Antonio, if not the entire state. For foodies, the $108 ticket price will surely be seen as a bargain.