Introducing: Fusia Dog, Dinah Koo’s return to downtown

Introducing: Fusia Dog, Dinah Koo’s return to downtown

Dinah Koo, proudly back downtown at her new “multicultural hot dog” shop (Image: Karoylne Ellacott)

Dinah Koo makes no bones about her new hot dog joint: “We’ve got a pretty upscale dog—it’s certainly no street meat!” Just around the corner from the main Queen Street drag, Fusia Dog aims a bit higher than what your average night-time reveler might go for, offering up various fusion hot dogs with more than a bit of panache. After witnessing the success of Vancouver’s Japa Dog and New York’s Asia Dog, Koo decided to follow suit, putting her own twist on the fusion dog. Her versions meld together Asian-inspired flavours with those from elsewhere: “There are so many fabulous combos from everywhere!”

Having been in the business for over a quarter of a century—and with a couple of cookbooks under her belt—Koo has now returned to her downtown roots, just around the bend from her old noodle house, Tiger Lily. “We’ve got people coming out who know us from either the neighbourhood or from Koo & Co. catering,” Koo noted. Fittingly, a couple of her signature dishes are on the menu: the Peking duck quesadilla ($8.85) and the power slaw ($4–$6).

But the main draw here is of course the gourmet dog. Available in a veggie, Kosher, gluten-free, all-beef or Rowe Farms–sourced chicken version, the dog can be dressed up in a host of ways. The most popular so far has been the Fusia Dog: stuffed full of kimchi, daikon carrot salad, wasabi mayo and coriander, the dog is wrapped up in a paratha ($6.95). Those in need of a quick(er) bite may enjoy the roasted red potato salad­, with a chipotle mayo and fried onion ($2.95–$5). For now, the joint is running from 11 a.m. to about 5 p.m., but Koo hopes to keep it open later for the pre-theatre crowd once she’s sufficiently staffed up.

Fusia Dog, 65 Duncan St., 647-274-7303,