Written by Anne-Stuart Teter
There is no shortage of Asian cuisine in Richmond. Most of it is pretty decent as well. Foo Dog manages to stick out in the sea. Not only does it have a really cool vibe, but the food itself stands out. “Asian Street Food” it says on their website. I’ve never been to Asia, so I have to take their word for it. Regardless of what description it is given, it’s good.
When I asked Chris Staples, EAT Director of Hospitality and Marketing, to describe Foo Dog, he said, “Foo Dog is genuine street food inspired from all four corners of Asia. Our goal was to bring the Asian Street food experience to our guests and fans of EAT. We sought to introduce new flavors and cuisines and put your taste buds on a tour of many Asian street foods all under one roof. Also we added an extensive bar program that incorporates local and regional craft beer and fun cocktail menu. We hope you learn something new and enjoy a feeling that you have stepped out of Richmond and right into the busiest street food district in Asia.”
Note: EAT Restaurant Partners is one of the best restaurant groups in RVA. They operate some of the most well known places like Fat Dragon, Osaka and Boulevard Burger and Brews. Check out their website to see the full list.
Back to Foo Dog. I went with some of my girlfriends for their ladies night specials, aka one of the greatest parts about being a woman. Not only does Foo offer an awesome happy hour, but on Thursdays they have a very special happy just for females from 7-9pm. Not only is this great because I fall into the female category, but it makes it way easier to make happy hour. (I have strong feelings about happy hours that only go until 6pm.)
Per usual, the place was packed. We put our names down and headed to the bar to take advantage of happy hour. The vibe inside Foo Dog definitely makes me think of what it would be like to walk around an Asian street market – loud, fun, large groups of people. This isn’t the place to take your grandmother to have a heartfelt talk. (I’m not saying your grandmother doesn’t deserve to come here though.)
After just a few minutes at the bar, we were seated in one of their huge booths. No need to fight for arm and leg room here! Once settled in we decided on some apps, because after all, what’s a ladies night without apps. We decided on the edamame ($3) and the shazam shrimp ($8). Both favorites I’ve had before. The edamame is pretty straight forward, lightly salted and perfect temperature. The shrimp are amazing (I took my mom here once and she got three orders). They have a light tempura batter and are covered in some honey glaze goodness on top of those crispy air noodles (not the official name I’m sure).
After another round of drinks and polishing off our apps, we decided on dinner. Courtney got the Foo Fried Rice ($8), Anne Carey and Emily both got the Hawker Fried Fish Tacos ($8) on the recommendation of our waitress. I filled up on the fried shrimp, so I didn’t order any more. On previous trips I’ve had the Japanese Style Ramen ($9) and it is incredible. I could bathe in the broth. I’ve also eaten my way through just about everything on the “street” part of the menu. All are excellent, some of my favorites are: gyoza ($5) which are basically dumplings; miso grilled squid ($9) and peppercorn calamari ($7). Honestly I think their whole menu is pretty great. It’s also incredibly reasonable with nothing over $12 and most coming in under $8. It’s a great place to go and order a few things from the menu without breaking the bank. My total bill with drinks and splitting the apps was $20 including tip.
Not my first visit and certainly not my last, Foo Dog never disappoints and I’m glad to see other people in Richmond think so too!
Address: 1537 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220