Good Fortune Co. Brings Ramen and Dumplings To Downtown Memphis

Food to look forward to: handmade dumplings, ramen, and irresistible chicken wings. 

Good Fortune Co. restaurant’s owners Sarah Cai and Arturo Leighton have opened their new Asian fusion restaurant on Main Street in the original South of Beale location

But back to the story:

Good Fortune Co. serves ramen, dumplings, and other Asian-influenced items including wings, craft cocktails, and ice cream taiyaki. I talked with the owners recently, and I loved hearing how earnest and excited they are to bring this concept to Memphis. I stopped by during opening week to taste the food. 

Good Fortune Co. is open for dinner only, including late on Fridays and Saturdays—call ahead at (901)-590-3510 or check Instagram for days and times. 

spread of ramen, rice, wontons, chicken at Good Fortune
Holly Whitfield
asian style chicken wings with seasoning
Holly Whitfield
Renovation: Colorful mural, big bar, and brightened space

While both Arturo and Sarah will spend time in the kitchen, Sarah is the primary chef and Arturo will manage the operations. They completed a major renovation on the formerly dark pub space, painting the walls white and adding playful touches (like the "Send Noods" cocktail nook). 

 “We’re taking design inspiration from our travels,” Arturo says. “The inside was a massive overhaul. We’re food focused, so we extended some of the kitchen footprint into the bar space.”

The inside seating area has a limited number of tables and several bar seats; there is a patio but it's not open just yet. The vibe during opening week dinner rush was bustling—even a little chaotic—with pulsing music and people moving energetically throughout the space, but it worked like a well-oiled machine. The waits for a table, food, and dessert were short and the service was impressive, friendly but prompt. My plan is to return earlier in the evening and beat the dinner crowd, which might be hard to do as word is spreading quickly about this new ramen spot in downtown Memphis!

There's a 27-foot-long colorful mural created by local artist Ivy Jade-Edwards. The eye-catching design is a ramen dumpling dreamland, a bright pastel version of those famous Miyazaki food scenes. Whimsical ladies paddle through broth rivers accompanied by fish-riding dumpling dudes. I love it. Photos and video don't do it justice.

two chairs in front of green wall with tropical florals and neon sign that says Send Noods
Allie Mounce
Restaurant front with red awnning, circular sign that says Good Fortune Co.
Holly Whitfield
There's a patio that will be open in the future.

Each Dumpling Folded With Love

Chef and owner Sarah Cai grew up in Memphis, then lived in China with her family for about six years. She traveled extensively throughout Asia and came back to the U.S. to attend Florida State, where she studied hospitality and business.

“I decided to come back to Memphis because that’s where we wanted to open our own restaurant,” she says. But culinary travels and college weren’t the start of her love for Asian cuisine—that developed from childhood, growing up and cooking with her family.

“I learned a lot of these foods when I was younger. My mother is Indonesian and my father is from Beijing, China. I’m really excited about [Good Fortune Co’s] dumplings because that’s something I’ve always really connected with. My family will always make dumplings together," Sarah shares.

"Right now, on the menu we have four different kinds. It’s going to be so cool to bring Memphians hand-crafted dumplings, and each dumpling will be folded with love.”

hand picking up circular dumpling dough cutouts
Anna Cai / Used with permission from Good Fortune Co.
Dumpling making process.

Arturo Leighton was born and raised in Florida, and went to culinary school there. He met Sarah when the two were working in restaurants and they moved to Memphis—him for the first time, Sarah returning—about two years ago.

He’s spent a lot of time in kitchens and gaining restaurant business experience. “I worked in a ramen shop for years,” he explains. “I learned the inside tricks of the trade. There's isn't any scratch-made ramen in Memphis, and we would love to fill that void." I think he’s on to something.

Food menu for Asian restaurant in front of the restaurant
Holly Whitfield

Good Fortune Co.’s Food Menu

the menu focuses on ramen and dumplings, with cuisine taking inspiration from a lot of different parts of Asian rather than a single country or style. 

“We’ve tested our recipes with pop-ups, little dinners at our house, and getting our friends’ feedback and critiques,” Arturo says. “We decided that ramen and dumplings would be our focus; it’s what Sarah identifies with and with my experience in the ramen shop, it makes sense.”

Everything is made from scratch and in-house including the ramen noodles, which will set Good Fortune Co. apart from most other restaurants in town. When I went, I tried the Honky Tonkatsu ramen (pork broth, pork belly, egg), the Ikura Baby Don (rice bowl with salmon roe), the GFC wings, the Wontons, and the taiyaki.

The freshness and handmade quality of the food shone through each dish. The noodles had a stronger flavor and better texture than any ramen noodles I have tried, and the Wontons were soft pillows filled with well-seasoned Impossible ground beef floating in a delicate broth. 

The Ikura "Baby Don" was a bowl of rice topped with salty salmon roe, served with nori sheets. The star of the meal was the crispy, delicious "GFC Wings", GFC = Good Fortune Co. An order comes with 5 wings, each fried perfectly and with a sauce they call "house buffalo"—I don't normally like Buffalo sauce but whatever Good Fortune's kitchen did to these, I loved. 

There are vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options—including a vegan ramen bowl and dumpling filled with Impossible Beef mixture. They also have several gluten free options including aforementioned wings appetizer and the Baby Don rice bowls. 

“We have vegan options because we have a lot of people close to us who are vegans,” Sarah explains. To me, this is another way that the two bring a personal and heartfelt touch to their restaurant concept. 

asian food in new restaurant
Holly Whitfield
bowl of ramen at Good Fortune
Holly Whitfield
bowl of rice with bright orange salmon roe
Allie Mounce
"Baby Don" aka small rice bowl, this one is the "Ikura", salmon roe

Asian-Inspired Craft Cocktails

I am already overwhelmed by the great food and desserts, but then I remembered the beautiful cocktails...which I saw when I stalked the GFC Instagram account. I mean, something different than the usual gin- and mezcal-soaked bar menus? This is exciting.

Sarah and Arturo both have mixology experience and have created original recipes for the cocktails, though they do plan to hire a bartender. “We’ll have the biggest selection of Asian wine, spirits, and beer in Memphis,” he says.

“It will be like traveling around the world, with spirits from Japan, maybe a Thai rum, Sichuan peppercorn infused vodka, all in one place.” Sold!

Good Fortune Co. Hours

Good Fortune Co. is open for dinner only, Tuesdays through Sundays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is subject to change.

They have recently added late night—until 2 a.m.—on Fridays and Saturdays for drinks only, and with an occasional very limited food menu. My advice (for Good Fortune or literally any restaurant) is to check Instagram and call ahead to be sure.

“We’d like to add lunch,” Sarah says. “But we’ll wait to get settled in.” Brunch is a possibility but would be in “phase two.”

OK But What Is Taiyaki?

From Arturo: “It’s a fish-shaped waffle traditionally made with red bean paste filling, but as time progressed people starting using ice cream and other fillings.” 

For dessert, my friend and I tried the chocolate-vanilla swirl filled taiyaki. Soft dough formed into a fish shape, filled with a couple of marshmallows, then the ice cream, and topped with a toasted marshmallow which was a great touch. I loved the warm, obviously freshly made "cone" contrast with the ice cream but would love to see bigger flavors or more fillings once things get up and running.

Good Fortune Co. has a soft serve machine and on the night we went, offered vanilla, chocolate, and swirl flavors. If you want to read more, check out this post on Good Fortune Co.’s Instagram.

menu for cocktails and sake at restaurant with Asian style mural in the background
Holly Whitfield
Go There: 

Good Fortune Co. 
361 S. Main Street
Memphis, Tenn. 38103

Good Fortune's Instagram

About the Author

I’m Holly Whitfield! I'm the editor of the I Love Memphis Blog. I love Memphis with a passion, and I'm determined to share that love with the world. 

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