The new battleground for Japanese food

Scott Bolles
Queues already ... Ippudo opened this week.
Queues already ... Ippudo opened this week. 

Forget Tokyo or Osaka, Sydney is the new battleground for Japan's food giants.

Toridoll, a chain of nearly 700 shops in Japan, will open a store in the Sydney CBD early 2013, the first of a planned 10 outlets for the udon specialist across Sydney.

Hidetoshi Tsuboi, a director in the company bringing Toridoll south, says Australia was pinpointed over other western countries because of its taste for Asian food.

Powerful stuff ... Ippudo's signature offering, tonkotsu ramen.
Powerful stuff ... Ippudo's signature offering, tonkotsu ramen. Photo: Supplied

“Customers will be able to get a cheap bowl of noodles. We'll start in the city then look at areas like Chatswood and Hurstville,” Tsuboi says.

Ramen lovers queued earlier this month for the opening of Ippudo at Westfield Sydney, another Japanese chain planting its flag in Sydney. Hot local designer Koichi Takada, who is working on Jennifer Hawkins new pad at Curl Curl, is responsible for Ippudo's interior.

Sydney hasn't provided smooth sailing for all Japanese food arrivals.

In 2005, Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya opened on Oxford Street Sydney. It closed a few years later, a Facebook page campaigning for its return to Australia attracting only 36 likes.