Categorized | Featured, Menu Development

Fusion-Inspired Dishes Create Menu Envy

Posted on 16 March 2010 by Agile Chef

For years fusion dishes were heralded as one of the trendiest fads in the foodservice industry. These days, they’ve become mainstays on many restaurant menus, and industry forecasts indicate they’re not going anywhere. Diners love the innovative blends of bold flavors and unexpected ingredients that fusion dishes offer, and restaurateurs love the profits that they bring in.

But now that it seems like every corner bistro has added a token Eurasian entree to its menu, how can restaurants like yours stand out — and spend less — with new spins on fusion-inspired cuisine?

It’s a matter of thinking smaller. Street food, for instance, is typically finger food you can buy from a streetside vendor, or from a food stand or portable truck. These traditionally ethnic fast foods are now as popular as ever, and many restaurants have started adapting the recipes for use on their own menus. You don’t need a roadside stand to incorporate street foods into your restaurant’s existing fusion cuisine; Just ask the many restaurateurs who’ve found success with multicultural spins on old street food favorites.

Take the story of Kogi for example: a Korean barbeque taco truck concept that cultivated a huge fan following in Los Ångeles through a daily series of tweets. While Kogi’s founders reject the “Korean/Mexican fusionlabel often applied to their “Angeleno”-style cuisine, the brand’s Asian-inspired BBQ has inspired its fair share of imitators.

But Korean tacos aren’t the only multiethnic street foods gaining steam these days. Los Angeles’ Marked5 and Lomo Arigato trucks borrow from Kogi’s mobile restaurant model but offer Japanese takes on American burgers and Peruvian stir-fries. New York City’s Schnitzel & Things updates the classic Austrian dish with spicy sriracha mayonnaise and ginger-based relish, while New York Hotdog and Coffee tops its hot dogs with pickled vegetables and bulgogi. And California restaurant Cowboys & Turbans bills its cuisine as “Street Food From India”, but dishes like Tandoori Quesadillas and Masala Cheese Fries draw on a variety of ethnic influences and flavors.

What do all these dishes have in common? They’re all proof that fusion cuisine and street foods are a perfect match. So whether you serve your customers from behind the kitchen counter or out of a streetside truck, give fusion-style street foods a try at your restaurant. It’s an easy way to shake things up and gives customers another reason to come in!

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One Response to “Fusion-Inspired Dishes Create Menu Envy”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love finger food, there isn’t much to wash and it is easy to eat.

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