Young woman wearing white sweater

Reunion: Lily Morello

Lily Morello is a Malaysian Chinese American food blogger and game writer based in San Francisco, California. She enjoys making carbs look pretty and exploring connection through food.

Her work is the creation and capturing of dishes that represent learning pride and appreciation for the things that made her feel resentful and alone in childhood. She also loves making food that embodies the relationship between her cultural identity and California cooking. All of her photos were shot on an iPhone X.

What's your favorite dish that evokes nostalgia?

Malaysian-style half-boiled eggs with soy sauce, white pepper, and toast. When I was a kid, my parents made it for me all the time, and for the majority of my life, the only place I ever saw eggs made this way was at home.

What's your go to restaurant for reunion meals?

Anywhere that revolves around communal cooking like hot pot or KBBQ!

What's your favorite food city? What are some restaurants there that taste like home?

I feel very lucky to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I have access to such an incredible array of options from so many food cultures. There’s definitely still room for more Malaysian restaurants though! So instead, I’d like to shout out some AAPI restaurants near me that I think deserve more attention, even if they aren't the same cooking that makes me think of home:

  • Beyond Cafe in San Francisco
  • Hai Ky Noodles in San Francisco
  • Ipoh Garden in Millbrae
  • Earl Spicy in Millbrae
  • Pampanguena Cuisine in San Francisco
  • Orchids Cafe in San Francisco

What do you do for inspiration?

I love to travel and after a stretch of only eating out, I find that I miss cooking my own food at home and I usually feel re-energized to come up with new dishes. 

What's something you're obsessed with right now?

Enoki mushrooms, iced ginger milk tea, and the Ali Wong/Steven Yeun show “Beef” on Netflix.

Follow Lily on Instagram.

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