Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh-based food truck Pho Nomenal Dumpling has opened its brick-and-mortar location in City Market.
Mofu Shoppe, 321 S. Blount St., features an expansive menu of fun takes on Asian street food. The name is a combination of the Mandarin Chinese words Mo (more) and Fu (fortune).
The restaurant's head chef, Andrew Schaumann, also comes from the food truck scene. Schaumann used to own Sol Tacos, in addition to running the kitchen at Vivace in North Hills. Schaumann started working on the Pho Nomenal food truck following the truck's victory on the Food Network's "Great Food Truck Race" in 2015.
"He comes with a wealth of knowledge of food. He has helped us tremendously with the menu and how to run a restaurant," co-owner Sophia Woo told Out and About earlier this year.
Sol Tacos' famous fish tacos are among the large plate options on Mofu's menu. Other entrees include five spice duck, grilled chimichurri steak, miso pork chops and Malaysian roasted chicken.
Small plate offerings include MOFU wings (topped with a buttery sriracha or nuocmam lime glaze), sticky orange cauliflower, crispy smoked pork belly and green curry mussels.
Local is also a big focus of the menu with Yellow Dog Bakery's Crostini served alongside the Thai pea soup and Raleigh's own Pine State Coffee also served French press style. Fellow food truck Not Just Icing's chocolate cake is even on the menu and topped with a Yuzu Sake icing.
Expect parts of the menu to change quarterly and for the venue to feature special menu nights and one-off events.
"We loved the playfulness and humor that we've always found on the food truck. We pair a lot of Southern foods with some sort of Asian twist," Woo said. The restaurant's menu is a great blend of "East Meets West" cuisine.
Woo and Pho Nomenal co-founder Sunny Lin teamed up with Matt Kenner, owner of Milk Bar and Anchor Bar in Raleigh, for the restaurant. The space used to be an old car dealership. It has been transformed into a rustic space with natural wood tables and a can't miss mural done by one of the restaurant's bartenders. The mural charts the truck's inception - originally as Dump Pho King - through its time on the Food Network and the restaurant's opening.
The large bar that sits in the center of the restaurant will be serving up a mix of wine, sake and craft beer. While there are traditional cocktails, the speciliaty cocktail menu features a few sake centric drinks - The Coco Fortune (Tyku Coconut Sake, Kraken Rum, grapefruit, pineapple, lemon and coconut cream) and Yuzu Mama (Boodles Gin, Yuzu Sake, vanilla and orange bitters).
Mofu Shoppe will start out by serving dinner only, Woo said. A grand opening celebration will be held at a later date.
Don't expect the Pho Nomenal Dumpling truck to go away once Mofu opens. The truck is scaling back a little this year, but plans to be on the road again in 2018.
"It's where we started. It's what people know us as," Woo has said. "We are never taking the truck out of commission completely."