After a monthlong-plus soft opening, Fúdo in Chamblee had its official grand opening last week, with Mayor Eric Clarkson and City Council members joining the celebration for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The contemporary Asian restaurant from husband and wife John and Grace Lee of Ichiban Steak and Sushi in Alpharetta and Cumming offers a sizable menu of mostly shareable dishes — including small plates, tempura, donburi rice bowls, sushi, sashimi and a long list of creative rolls.
The bar program features all sorts of Japanese sake, house cocktails, such as the Zen with Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, tequila blanco, green chartreuse, and dry vermouth, along with local and Asian draft and bottled beer, and a surprising selection of wines by the glass and bottle.
Located in the Parkview on Peachtree mixed-use development, facing Peachtree Boulevard, the industrial-style build-out mixes concrete, steel and wood elements in a high-ceilinged space with tall windows, anchored by a backlit cocktail bar and a sprawling sushi bar. For warmer weather, there’s a dog-friendly patio with retractable windows.
Last week, the Lees sat down at a table with general manager and sake expert Johanes Yoharry to talk about opening Fúdo.
“Ichiban is a Japanese hibachi and sushi restaurant,” Grace Lee said. “Here we wanted to add more Asian cuisines, like Korean and Thai, and this restaurant is more casual, and for the younger generation.”
“This restaurant concept is very open, with a big space and a very modern design,” John Lee said. “We have a very wide and comfortable sushi bar with 17 seats. And we have 15 seats at the cocktail bar.”
Yoharry, who put together the food and beverage menus, said the main inspiration was the way he personally likes to eat at restaurants.
“I love to eat out,” Yoharry said. “I’ve worked in the restaurant business for the past 17 years, and when I eat out, I want to try everything on the menu, so that’s kind of the reason behind the menu we are trying to do here. It’s kind of like small plates, so everyone can enjoy everything and share everything.
“We’re going to change up the menu every quarter, and bring in different items. But we are concentrating on Asian food and flavors. Things like cauliflower with miso chili sauce, and Brussels sprouts with creamy garlic ponzu, and Dynamite Shrimp. So there are vegetable and seafood and chicken options on the small plates.”
Another example of the way Yoharry is changing things up is donburi rice bowls with the likes of short ribs, fried kimchi and arugula.
“That’s a very common dish, but what we did here was twisted it up a little bit,” he said. “This rice bowl is originally from Japan, but we twisted it with some Korean flavors, because Mr. Lee and Ms. Grace are from Korea.
“They are very passionate about food, so we always taste all the dishes together. We also have a grilled Korean rice cake with gochujang aioli, which can be very spicy. But we tasted that over and over to get it right, and that’s one of our signature dishes now, you can say.”
Overall, from the soft opening on, Yoharry said he’s been surprised by how quickly Fúdo got busy and stayed busy.
“To be honest with you, we’ve been very blessed,” he said. “This is like my sixth restaurant that I opened with the owner. This one is a little bit unique. With previous restaurants, I’ve never seen this kind of crowds. The first night, we got like 50 covers. And after that, we’ve seen a lot of repeat customers. The last two weekends, we’ve been very busy.”
5070 Peachtree Blvd., Suite A-100, Chamblee. 678-691-7088, fudoatl.com.
Scroll down for more images from a First Look at Fúdo in Chamblee
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.