"I want to put Orlando on the map with Domu," says Sean Nguyen, the sanguine owner of the East End Market ramen-ya and pan-Asian hotspot.
As much as Orlando's food scene has matured over the past few years, and as much acclaim as his restaurant has received, Nguyen is hungry for more and not one to rest on his laurels: "A lot of restaurateurs are taking more risks and pushing the boundaries of what Orlando is used to. We provide something raw and uncut when it comes to ramen and cocktails, and want to be the premier restaurant in Central Florida to offer in-house-made noodles and a unique bar program."
Certainly Domu has established its ramen street cred amongst the city's millennials and noodle cognoscenti, but Nguyen is planning more offerings – think perfectly blistered meats and vegetables over aramaru binchotan charcoal, and matcha soft-serve in house-made waffle cones. Says Nguyen: "Orlando has been home for me the past eight years, and the food scene is still young here, but that gives concepts like Domu a chance to really pave our own way, to go against the grain, take chances, and give people a unique experience." Much is owed to the progressive denizens of the Audubon Park Garden District who've not only been agents for change, but instrumental in Domu's success. —FK
3201 Corrine Drive