Uptown News

Pork belly buns and Asian street food launch takeover of Uptown Dallas bar

Pork belly buns and Asian street food take over Uptown Dallas bar

Anju
Pork belly buns will be a centerpiece of the menu. Photo courtesy of Anju

Uptown Dallas will soon get a new Asian restaurant that vows to take us on a one-of-a-kind culinary and mixology journey across Asia. Called Anju, it's an elevated Asian street food concept that will open at 2901 Thomas Ave., in the space most recently occupied by City Council Bar.

The space is currently undergoing a renovation with an official opening penciled in for March. In the interim, they're doing a transitional preview of the menu to share and refine their best dishes.

Anju is the brainchild of Michael Kim, owner of hospitality company One Esca; and chef Don Flores, most previously at CBD Provisions and Americana at the Joule Dallas hotel.

Kim purchased City Council Bar in December 2019, and says they always nurtured the idea that they might do an Asian concept there.

Their vision is one of unique and affordable Asian food, with shareable plates and dishes highlighting flavors from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. The restaurant will also feature an equally creative mixology program; "anju" is a Korean term for food consumed with alcohol.

The menu will feature dishes at an approachable price point that include:

  • Karaage Chicken
  • Drunken Noodles
  • Angus Dumplings
  • Pork Belly Bao Buns

The drink menu will include classic cocktails along with Asian beverages like Soju and Somaek.

Kim promises that Anju will be like nothing else in the area.

"When we originally thought of this concept, we had two priorities," Kim says. "We wanted to create a dining experience that was unique, with shared dishes that could be paired with traditional cocktails but also with the option of enjoying some Asian liquors and cocktails."

"With the food, we wanted to offer a place where you could come in and spend $12 to $14 on a dinner prepared by a chef, and not feel like you have to break the bank," he says. "We want to be a place where, if you're in a rush and don't want to cook, you can come for dinner. But it's also nice enough that you could host a party there, as well."

"At our core, we’re bringing delicious Asian fusion dishes and unique Asian-style drinking to the area," he says. "It’s the perfect spot for a night out with friends, but it’s also much more than that," he says. "Anju is affordable, making it the ideal restaurant to stop in and grab a meal several times a week."

The restaurant is 3,000 square feet which will be enhanced by a revamped 2,000-square-foot patio. Decor will be modern and Asian-inspired, but with TVs lining the walls, to watch sports games.

There will also be that Uptown essential — brunch — but with an Asian spin; items include Chicken and Waffles, Loco Moco, and Pork Belly Breakfast Tacos.

They're currently open for dining-in, with takeout and third-party delivery on DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats. Because the restaurant has not officially opened, the menus are subject to change in the coming months. For now, they're still using the old website: CityCouncilBar.com.