When Runze Liu moved to Canberra to study IT at the Australian National University in 2014, he couldn’t have even dreamed that eight years later he’d be the owner of three restaurants.
“After graduating, I decided I wanted to do something interesting like cooking,” Runze simply said.
It’s a passion that grew, and Runze opened his first venue – B One – in Civic a few years ago. Next came Yaki Boi on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, and Edo Tori is restaurant number three.
Considering all the doom and gloom in the hospitality industry in recent times, the amazing part of Runze’s growth is that all three of his restaurants have launched since 2019.
Despite the hardships brought on by lockdowns and isolation, Runze sees this moment in time as an opportunity.
He wants to perfect his vision ahead of a return to something that resembles normality.
“We want to start quiet and get everything working smoothly, and then let everyone come,” he said.
Business has already been steady, and the ceviche nori taco has proven to be Edo Tori’s most popular offering.
Situated in the Melbourne Building at 41 Northbourne Avenue, Edo Tori serves Japanese cuisine, an expansive cocktail menu and nine different tap beers.
Runze aims to bring “old and new Japan to Australia’s capital”, promising a “cuisine like no other”.
With a slick, black fit-out and high-quality food, one might assume that the restaurant is a more expensive, high-end dining option. Runze wants to assure Canberrans that this is not the case.
His vision for Edo Tori is to be an affordable night out where friends come to meet. The fact that the majority of dishes are “to share” is a fair indication of this vision.
Currently, the restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 11 pm. This is likely to change at some point in the future; Runze hopes that Edo Tori can become a late-night destination once the Omicron outbreak settles.