Team behind new Dundee restaurant admits it is a ‘gamble’

Fikri Fuad, head chef at Dai Pai

The team behind the latest restaurant to come to Reform Street has admitted the move is a “gamble” — but one it is willing to take.

Dai Pai, which opened yesterday, offers street-style Asian food inspired by “dai pai dongs” — open-air food stalls — frequently spotted on the bustling streets of Hong Kong.

The restaurant and takeaway will offer traditional dishes from the Orient such as rice and noodles, gyoza dumplings and steamed buns.

However, it will also sell more novel creations such as the “sushiritto” — traditional sushi dishes reimagined as a Mexican burrito.

Tommy Pang, supervisor at the Dundee outlet, said the owners had taken a “calculated” decision to come to Reform Street after opening their first restaurant in Edinburgh.

He added: “Reform Street is a good location. I believe the owners got a good deal but those deals will not be around forever because Dundee is a very up-and-coming city.

“It is a good area for us. We will appeal to students from Dundee and Abertay universities, while there is a private school at the top of the road.

“I believe where we are makes a lot of sense.”

Dai Pai is the latest in a number of new eateries to open in Reform Street, which has experienced turbulent times in recent years.

It joins other restaurant franchises such as German Doner Kebab and Project Pizza, which have instilled some much-needed confidence to the street.

Project Pizza has also opened a “Sliceaway” takeaway next to its sit-in restaurant in the last few weeks.

McDonald’s has just marked its 30th anniversary in Reform Street — and has recorded its two busiest-ever months.

Other plans by established restauranteurs to bring more eateries to the street are also in the pipeline.

However, earlier this week, Saifal and Afsa Zaveri, owners of the nearby News Shop, said they were selling up because of crippling business rates.

Tommy said opening in Reform Street ahead of a big year for Dundee was a risk worth taking.

He added: “Dundee had a reputation in the past but in the next couple of years that’s going to change — we are happy to take that gamble.”