Kumi Yoshida took the long route via Tokyo to Byron Bay from her birthplace in South Vietnam.
Her family moved as refugees to Japan in the 80s where she began her culinary journey in the family’s restaurant and cooking school. There she met her Vietnamese-born husband chef, Masayoshi, who had a similar background to her own. Together they have run their own restaurants and taught for the past 15 years, first in Tokyo before migrating to Brisbane in 2005.
Recently they have taken another leap onto new pastures and opened the Red Bamboo @Byron in Feros Arcade in the former home of the iconic [email protected], where they specialise in Vietnamese and Chinese food.
Kumi loves the cuisine of her birth country and has dedicated her career to creating it, perfecting it, sharing it and teaching others its subtleties while keeping it modern and fresh.
Keeping it modern has been her mantra.
‘The advice I have stood by is to enjoy eating and maintain the traditions of my cuisine while creating modern versions of it. It’s important to keep up to date with modern tastes.’
Favourites on the menu include the much-loved Phos – Vietnamese soups, rice-paper rolls, and the range of vermicelli salads. Mia’s own favourites are the salads.
‘They’re fresh and healthy and make for a good diet.’
She says the locals have taken the Red Bamboo on board and everyone likes to try the latest place in town. Her and Masayoshi’s versatility in the kitchen mean they can adapt their menu to any taste or special diet.
‘So far our feedback has been really good. I love to please my customers and they really appreciate that.’
Red Bamboo @ Byron. Feros Arcade, off Jonson St. Open 7 nights from 5.30pm. Fully licensed BYO wine. Phone 6685 6737.
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