Decatur-based sushi concept Cuddlefish, led by the James Beard-nominated team behind Brush and Momonoki, was recently named as a tenant for the still-in-development High Street lifestyle hub, located in Central Perimeter near Central Park Dr off Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, which is slated to open next year.
Known for its handroll tasting menus that “surprise and subvert expectations,” co-owner John Chen tells What Now Atlanta that diners shouldn’t go into Cuddlefish anticipating an omakase experience – one in which the chef dictates the menu – but rather, something akin to a tasting menu.
“I hope people don’t think that we’re a casual omakase restaurant,” says Chen, before clarifying, that the restaurant does have “curated sets” so the “customers can get a tasting of some of the nigiri that we have, as well as the handrolls that we have,” but that it’s “more of a tasting than an omakase experience.”
For Chen and co-owner Jason Liang, placing the handroll front and center on their menu is a deliberate choice, as the duo believes it’s an “understated” part of Japanese cuisine, but one that foodies will respond to in kind.
“We feel like this is something that’s lacking in the Atlanta sushi scene,” says Chen. “I feel like this is kind of something that’s the next step towards Japanese cuisine, that people can look forward to and experience, and Jason and I want to be one of the first ones to bring that experience to Atlanta.”
In addition to the restaurant – which will operate during lunch and dinner seven days a week – Cuddlefish High Street will also offer a “mini-fish market,” complete with “sushi-grade fish” and DIY handroll and nigiri kits that folks can take home, making for a unique date night or family activity.
Likewise, there will also be a small on-site cafe that sells “matcha-inspired” drinks and pastries that “go with the Japanese theme,” says Chen.
High Street – which thus far has named six tenants including Puttshack, The Hampton Social, Ben & Jerry’s, Agave Bandido, Cuddlefish, and boutique beauty salon, Sugarcoat – is a $2 billion, transit-oriented, mixed-use district in the heart of Atlanta’s Central Perimeter. The project is being led by Boston-based real estate investment and management firm, GID Development.
“When we were first introduced to the concept, to the development, we were very excited because we love the area,” says Chen. “We feel like the Perimeter area is kind of a central area, where it’s really easily accessible for a lot of people,” adding, “We feel like this area is definitely growing…and we feel like our concept, our cuisine, will fit very well with what’s going on around there.”
Meanwhile, James Linsley, president of GID Development said in a statement, “With each new tenant, we are thoughtfully crafting a vibrant, amenity-rich destination that will serve as the town center for Central Perimeter. From the outset, our focus has been on designing compelling and active public spaces and curating a collection of talented chefs and restaurants at High Street, and we have so much more in store as we move toward 2024.”