Singaporean native Elly Suraya Greenfield swore she’d never follow in her family’s footsteps by pursuing a career in food. Then, destiny called.
Recently dubbed the “Satay Queen San Francisco,” Elly has officially joined the ranks of the Bay Area’s other street food icons—including Senor Sisig and Al Pastor Papi—with her popular new Singaporean food truck.
With a limited menu that includes satay skewers dunked in a homemade peanut sauce, a loaded chili crab sandwich and a tofu goreng, Satay By The Bay is San Francisco’s only Singaporean, Malay & Halal food truck.
Owned and operated by Elly, her husband David and their 14-year-old daughter Suraya, the truck is a true family-run businesses and immigrant success story. David has supported the business idea from day one, while Suraya has plans of taking over one day so that her mom can rest.
A true firecracker, Elly is as spicy and sweet as the peanut sauce that keeps her fans coming back.
Her backstory is as diverse as the food she’s bringing to the Bay Area. And her food is made with a warmth and love that she exudes without restraint.
Elly grew up in Singapore with a part-Indian mom and Chinese dad. As a kid, she was forced to help with her mom’s cooking business. A self-proclaimed rebel, she left Singapore shortly after meeting her husband online, who lived in San Francisco. At the time, she had no aspirations of professionally cooking or falling back into the family business.
After years of soul-sucking work in the insurance industry as an agent, Elly finally decided to make the move to food. According to David, who rolls up his sleeves to join her on the truck each day, cooking gives Elly a connection to the family she desperately misses back home. Elly confirmed that she now realizes she was destined to do this all along.
“Food is all about the soul, you know? It’s what connects us. It’s what brings people together,” Elly said.
When asked what makes stand-out satays, Elly said the quality of meat, the marinade, how you grill it and—above all—the care taken in cooking it. For Elly, if it’s not done with love, it’s not done well.
Preach, Elly! Talk about being lovable. Find out where to find Elly and her family on the Satay by the Bay food truck at one of our upcoming markets.