Elizabeth Arcade’s dining hub FudoDori shows off its first wave of eateries
When it comes to Asian eats, it doesn’t matter the cuisine – we’re always keen to chow down. So, imagine the ecstasy and excitement we felt when we heard that the Elizabeth Street Arcade was being transformed into a dedicated hub of Asian dining. Safe to say our appetites were inflamed to immeasurable levels. FudoDori’s announcement caused quite a stir when its initial plans were revealed in February, and now the first wave of eateries will open to the public within days. If you’re intrigued by the sound of tea-based cocktails, matcha soft-serve, Japanese-style hot dogs, modern Chinese and Japanese cuisine and more, read on, pals!
Spice Food Group is a Sydney-born hospitality crew that specialises in concepts influenced by the vibrant culinary cultures of Asia. The group has been making inroads in Queensland recently, starting with Koto Sanpo at Pacific Fair, before following up with Matcha Honpo and Thai eatery Malee on Wharf Street. The group’s crown jewel is undoubtedly the newly minted dining hub FudoDori, which has replaced the Elizabeth Street Arcade. The name is Japanese for ‘food street’, and FudoDori is just that – upon completion the arcade will be lined from Elizabeth to Charlotte streets with a veritable smorgasbord of food outlets. Believing that food is only as good as the people around you, the Spice Food Group is making FudoDori a social experience alongside a dining destination, with each eatery favouring a communal dining vibe branching from day into night. This weekend and next week will see the first batch of its projected ten food concepts officially open, both situated at the Elizabeth Street-end of the strip.
LUCHA Kitchen + Bar
LUCHA Kitchen + Bar is one of the big names in FudoDori’s headline offering. The brainchild of Suellen Lei – the culinary doyenne behind Tea and Noodle Time in Browns Plains and CBD-based outlet Noodle Time – LUCHA takes inspiration from several exciting trends growing in popularity in China, shaped to cater to Australian tastes. Described by Suellen as a spot to meet, eat and drink, LUCHA shines a spotlight on tea (lucha is Mandarin for ‘green tea’), from grab-and-go takeaway bubble teas and tea-infused cocktails to modern Chinese dishes that use various teas as a key ingredient. The venue’s signature eats list includes roast chicken with tea-leaf-infused dipping sauces, stewed tofu with jasmine tea, fried king prawns with black tea, and wok-fried beef with oyster and tea sauce. The rest of the food menu features modern Chinese fare, such as Peking duck, spicy stone bowl dishes, westernised classics, entrees and more. As for the cocktails, drinkers will be able to sip on fruity concoctions including the Busy Mango (gin, vodka, jasmine tea, mango syrup, sugar syrup and fresh mango), the Beautiful (tequila, plum wine, jasmine tea, grapefruit syrup and fresh grapefruit), and the Goodbye Lychee (rum, oolong tea, lychee syrup, sugar syrup, lemon juice and lychees), alongside milkier cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. LUCHA’s space boasts a clean and modern aesthetic that has been put together in collaboration with Clui Design. Lucha Kitchen + Bar is aiming to open this Friday May 24.
Those of you that have made the trek to Pacific Fair to sample the delights at Koto Sanpo will be familiar with its brand of matcha-based teas and desserts, savoury dishes and delicate sweets, but the new FudoDori sibling is being touted as the concept’s flagship location. Inspired by Kyoto’s rich teahouse and cafe scene (the cafe’s name translates to ‘a peaceful stroll around Kyoto’), this eatery will be adding to its established selection of coffee, matcha-infused latte bowls, sweet frappes, floats and desserts with an influx of savoury options, including bento boxes, sandos, udon, chicken nanban sets, pork katsu teishoku, temari sushi balls and even sweet potato and matcha parfaits. Koto Sanpo’s smart industrial interior utilises a striking palette of concrete, timber and deep greens, with a larger kitchen implemented to cater to those seeking an authentic Japanese cafe experience. Expect Koto Sanpo to officially open next week.
Other highlights of FudoDori’s initial retailer openings include street-style vendor Hoto Dogu, which will hawk Japanese-style hot dogs from the heart of the strip’s central meeting area. Also slated for opening in the coming week is Amai Kawaii (Japanese for ‘sweet cute’), a dessert joint that will showcase an evolving menu of Japanese sweet treats – perfect for capping off a night of feasting. FudoDori plans to roll out the rest of its vendors in a stage-by-stage basis, with the coming weeks and months bringing with it a swag of mouth-watering choices. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the arrival of Thai eatery Na Bangkok, a Japanese yakiniku barbecue joint, a Chinese hot-pot restaurant and a Japanese izakaya located on one of FudoDori’s mezzanine levels. We’ll keep you posted with more tasty revelations as they arrive.
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