Fresh from a trip to Japan, chef Nobuo Fukuda is geared up for another special "Japanese street food" event at Welcome Diner this Saturday night, from sundown until midnight.
This is the third street food dinner that the James Beard Award-winner has hosted for his hungry masses of fans since shuttering Sea Saw in May. While Fukuda is known for cutting-edge contemporary Japanese creations -- which he continued to serve over the summer at a series of tasting dinners at NOCA -- at the Welcome Diner events, he's testing more casual, budget-friendly eats that you might eventually see on the menu at his new restaurant (which is still in the works, but will likely be in Central Phoenix).
What's on the menu for this weekend?
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As before, Fukuda will be cooking his fabulous pork buns and shortrib buns, as well as okonomiyaki (a sort of seafood pancake slathered in sauce and Kewpie mayo, dried seaweed and dried shaved bonito). He'll also have a few dishes utilizing farm-fresh produce from McClendon's Select, including a salad, squash blossoms stuffed with a mixture of goat cheese, dried shiitake, dried shrimp, and green onion, as well as fried okra.
Dessert will likely be chilled mitsumame, a summery dessert that combines fruit, gelatin cubes, and sweet red beans; to drink, there will be three flavors of ramune soda, plus green tea. Welcome Diner is BYOB, although you must be inside the building to drink your booze.
In addition to Saturday's dinner, Welcome Diner will be serving its regular diner menu for First Friday (sunset to midnight), and will host a variety of other events later this month, including a special Butter Burger Night courtesy of Matt Pool from Matt's Big Breakfast (Oct. 23). Stay tuned for further details.