Poké Sushi and Hibachi is not like most Asian restaurants in the United States, its manager claims.
For one thing, Poké — pronounced POH-kee — uses authentic Japanese recipes. And for another, not all of its sushi dishes are raw and fish-based.
“People think raw fish when they think of sushi,” said Tony Lam, the chef and manager of Poké. “We do something different.”
Poké also has a wide assortment of soups and salads, appetizers, and classic, vegetarian, baked and deep-fried rolls, as well as specialty rolls and charbroiled entrees. The baked and deep-fried rolls are cooked, Lam said.
Rolls are priced from $4.95 to $12.95.
The restaurant also features a full hibachi menu, with good quality meats, steaks, chicken and seafood. But unlike many Asian restaurants, which may offer up to 10 different sauces for their dishes, Lam said, Poké has just one — a traditional teriyaki sauce, made fresh every day on the premises.
Items on the hibachi menu range from $7.25 to $12.95. Eight signature combinations cost $10.95 or $13.50, depending on the size of the order.
But baked sushi is the specialty at Poké. A base of salmon, fried fish or scallops is topped by a pinch of white sauce and baked.
“It must be cooked well,” Lam told The Beacon.
Lam is a native of Hong Kong, but he learned the recipes he serves up from a Japanese chef in San Francisco several years ago.
“Our recipes are authentic,” Lam said. “Most sushi is not authentic.”
Poké opened March 10 at 243 E. International Speedway Blvd. in the Northgate Shopping Center between Coast Dental and H&R Block. Lam hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting with the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance on his one-month anniversary, April 10.
The eatery features about nine marble-topped tables, and can accommodate about 40 diners on chairs or full-length benches along the exterior walls. The décor features stone walls and “plank” flooring and wainscoting.
A beer and wine license has been applied for.
The food-prep area is completely open to view, so patrons placing their orders or paying for their meals can observe Lam and his crew at work.
Poké opens at 11 a.m. every day but Sunday, and closes at 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The telephone number is 386-873-6628, and the website is www.pokesushihibachi.com.
“We’re a small restaurant, nothing fancy,” Lam said. “We just try to keep everything fresh and simple and clean, with friendly service.”