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Meet Alex Kuk of Temple Street Eatery in Fort Lauderdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Kuk.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alex. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My great-grandfather started Wan’s Mandarin House about 52 years ago down on SW 8th St. Since then, my family has been operating Chinese restaurants as we moved northward into Broward County. I started in the restaurant business when I was 14, bussing at my grandfather’s place in Hollywood. During my sophomore year of high school, I deiced to head over to FIU for their hospitality management program. There, I met Chef Michael Moran, who took me under his wing and taught me the kitchen. It was in his kitchen I met my business partner Diego Ng. We both worked in many restaurants (Morimoto, Catch, Ra Sushi, Houston’s, Sushi Maki) and hotels (Loews, Fontainebleau, Boca Resort). My aunt Christina and uncle Jason form Christina Wan’s helped us open our newest concept Temple Street Eatery. It was our first time with a fast-casual concept. Our goal was to take from our homes and travel the food we loved to eat. The theme was Asian comfort and street fare. We were here to “Enlighten Your Palate”! We aren’t the usually Chinese/Japanese place, we don’t have fried rice, we don’t have sushi! The menu is: Rice Bowls, Homemade Noodle Soup (we have won reader’s choice for best soups by the Sun-Sentinel), Sandwiches and Homemade Dumplings.

Has it been a smooth road?
In this business, it’s about service- which is intangible, food- that has seasons, people- who are at different stages in life. There is not much of a smooth ride. There is constant change, if it’s a smooth ride, you have missed something. Hospitality is about the details! The industry struggles to find great team members. Cost is a great struggle… you look at the prices of rent in the area, the cost of goods. Avocado is $20 a case this week and by the end of the same week, it went to $80. These are the things guest do not see, but we have to take into account in our daily business.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Temple Street Eatery (TSE) is an amazing restaurants that provides, friendly service, Asian comfort food that is made in the house whenever possible. You can come in anyway and see two pots of stock simmering away. You will see our team making dumplings upon dumplings lol. We want to be organic in our operations and marketing. Our most popular item is the Bulgogi Bowl. Hand cut ribeye steak, saute with carrots, onions, scallions in our secret bulgogi sauce. Top it with a sunny side egg and braised pork belly and you can divorce your wife! Lol! What sets us apart is the team. We have a great team, we work side by side our team daily and you are not just a number. You become our family.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes, Ft. Lauderdale is a vibrant city, full of life. We have people of all walks, people understand our ramen isn’t the ramen you had in your college dorm. Our customers are seeking healthy, quick, homemade options. Just be careful of the rent prices!

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Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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