New quick service venue Ika8 will launch in Melbourne’s Footscray on 20 October. The single-focus eatery will serve up giant squid on a stick in a variety of flavours alongside just a handful of other dishes such as squid bites, squid balls with various IKA8 specialty sauces, lightly battered snacking rings, IKA8 fat chips and the IKA8 bento box meal.
Created by head chef Eddie Huynh, giant squid flavours will include special Singaporean salted egg sauce, Thai tangy tom yum sauce, soy and ginger Japanese glaze and super-hot Korean spices.
“I am inspired by the myriad of sweet, salty, spicy, sour and fresh flavour’s, which come at you from the Hawker Stalls of street corners all throughout South East Asia,” says Huynh, who has over 17 years’ experience in the food industry where he has worked at renowned restaurants such as Calia Emporium, Feathertop, Taxi Kitchen and Ma Pasion. “These fragrant smells represent so many childhood memories for me and are an expression of Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong. I believe that real cooking is about following your heart down these streets and rediscovering food and culture. That is what we are aiming to recreate at IKA8.”
IKA8 Directors CJ Duong and Jenny Pham have over 26 years’ experience between them in the food and marketing industry
“Squid is a welcomed favourite in Asian restaurants, yum cha, pubs and street festivals across South East Asia but is still yet to be celebrated in all its glory across Australia,” says Jenny Pham. “In a time where consumers dare to be adventurous, and squid is more regularly seen on menus, it seems to be the right opportunity for IKA8 to fill the gap in the market for a squid-focused QSR that transports people back to where it all began.”
The store interiors have been designed by architects, EAT and feature the deep navy tones of the eye-catching exterior artwork designed by awarding-winning graphic design studio, Principle Design which together make a bold statement for passers-by.