Creating a Japanese fast-food restaurant that maintains high standards – cooking-to-order, sourcing quality produce, hiring skilled workers – proved a challenge for William Liu. But at his third store in Westfield Chermside’s new food precinct, Liu reckons he’s close to getting it right. “In Chermside, we have a completely new line of equipment,” he says. “We have high-powered ovens which cook beef to the way we want it [in] about 50 seconds.”
Liu says the Motto Motto at Chermside is a “trial” – an attempt to reduce wait times experienced at his other two restaurants in Garden City Mt Gravatt and Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast due to the cook-to-order approach. “We believe in [that] concept,” Liu says. “In many Japanese food court places they are just [packaging] it up and we find that is not good quality.
“At the moment, we still have a bit of a waiting time at Chermside because we get hammered with so many customers,” he continues. “But at least we know that we can rely on advanced equipment.”
Liu also owns long-standing Japanese fine-dining establishments, Sono Brisbane City and Sono Portside, as well as fast-food Japanese restaurant Nagomi on Eagle Street Pier. Liu opened Nagomi in 2012, before the Motto Motto stores, as a way to test the waters by offering all different types of Japanese food (sushi, bento boxes, donburi, ramen, dumplings), to see which products were going to work best.
At Motto Motto he ended veering away from sushi, instead offering a variety of donburis (rice bowls with different toppings – teriyaki chicken, pork belly, Wagyu beef), ramen, noodles, Japanese rolls and curries. All stores are licensed and offer Asahi on tap, a small selection of wines, soft drinks, juices and iced tea.
Liu originally hired ACG Creative to do the branding for Motto Motto and VECA Group for the interior design. Both companies continued their striking work on the Chermside restaurant, creating a modern fit-out with lots of dark green and black, brightened with timber and splashes of pastel.
Once the Chermside store is running to Liu’s standard he will turn his attention to a Sydney outlet. Motto Motto translates to “more more”. Quite.
Motto Motto Chermside
Westfield Chermside, Corner Gympie and Hamilton Roads, Chermside
(07) 3359 5886
Thursday night open until 10pm