The new plant-based izakaya opened its doors earlier this week in Reedy Creek, taking over the space formerly occupied by The Allotment cafe. While it’s a little off the beaten track, the owners of this suburban day-and-night dining spot are aiming to capture the city’s love affair with Japanese food from their quaint neighbourhood digs. The brainchild of Yuki Kanazawa and chef Fumiyoshi Iwasaki, Izakaya Midori delivers a vegan version of Japanese favourites, with everything from ramen to katsu, karaage curries and gyoza all creatively reimagined with a carnivore-fooling plant-based spin. Though, the duo aren’t just chasing the plant-based trend or trying capitalise on the rise of veganism with their first restaurant. Rather, Izakaya Midori is more about taking Japanese cuisine back to its roots and has extracted its culinary ethos from their Buddhist ancestors, who historically only ever ate a plant-based diet. While the dining spot takes influence from old-world habits, chef Fumiyoshi is using innovation and modern techniques to reinvent the more Westernised meat-heavy dishes to suit our discerning palates, subbing out fish, chicken, pork and beef for natural, plant-based alternatives.
So, when you see the nigiri sushi – that’s not slices of salmon, it’s intricately sliced tomato. Asian potato-like plant konjac is used as an alternative for squid and calamari dishes. The dashi master stock, forming the basis of the udon and soba-noodle soups, is made entirely from plants and the signature dish – the bright green Midori Ramen – is said to be just as rich and flavoursome as the pork-based version. You can also enjoy karaage donburi bowls, teriyaki and katsu curries made from plant-based chicken, or choose from the progressive nigiri plate, hand rolls or spicy crispy rice rolls from the made-to-order sushi menu. Izakaya Midori is also equipped with a range of hot, cold and sparkling sake, Japanese beer and zero-alcohol beers – all vegan-friendly, of course.
Izakaya Midori is now open! Head over to the Stumble Guide for its opening hours, address and contact details.