Have you heard of poké? If you’ve been on social media within the past year, you’ve probably seen a few pictures of poké (pronounced POH-keh) bowls show up in your Instagram feed. But if not, you’re about to find out all about the latest culinary trend because it’s coming to Downtown Huntsville in November!
“In Japanese, ‘oshi’ (oishii) means great taste,” said Min Liu, main operator of Oshi Poké Bowl & Sushi‘s Huntsville location. “We have watched the trend spread from the west coast and beyond in the restaurant industry and we realized the concept works well. One of the best features of the poké bowl is that everything is customizable and countless combinations of flavors and textures can be experienced.”
As the concept of poké spread, Min, Chef Jackie Chang, Tom Huang, and Paul Liu—the dream team behind Oshi—decided to expand their gastronomic horizons and offer the same high-quality ingredients they were accustomed to working with within a more casual dining atmosphere.
“Poké is a dish that originated in Hawaii and has grown in popularity because larger markets embraced the concept,” said Min. “The bowls typically include fresh seafood, vegetables, sauce, and seasoning. At Oshi, customers will be able to select their desired protein, veggies, and seasonings to create a one-of-a-kind meal.”
So whether you’re a tuna fan, love crab meat, or prefer mango and squid ink rice, Oshi will be able to cater to your needs. The selections are extensive and they are all sourced from the freshest sustainable sushi-grade fish.
Oshi plans to work with local Huntsville breweries to provide a craft beer selection. Wine and sake will also be available for purchase.
A 2,362 square foot space, Oshi will showcase recipes from Min’s uncle, award-winning Chef Jackie Chang. Jackie began his culinary career in 1992 and has since offered his skills to multiple high-profile restaurants, including Umi Sushi and O-Ku Sushi in Atlanta.
Originally from South Korea, Jackie moved from the island of Jeju to Atlanta, Georgia where he spent the next year learning English. He later perfected his skills in hibachi-style cooking and delivered meals that married great food with an exceptional culinary art form.
“My uncle Jackie is a genuinely nice guy with a lot of enthusiasm for what he’s accomplishing,” explained Min. “He began his career by taking over one of my mother’s restaurants and has used his incredible work ethic and showmanship to be picked up by some of the most renowned restaurants in the Atlanta area.”
Tom Huang will also bring his experience and expertise to the table with his history in restaurant ownership and operation. As the Founder of the popular Chin Chin restaurants, he is well known throughout the restaurant community as an innovative game changer with more than 20 Chinese restaurant locations in the southeast area.
With the recipes from Jackie and the help from his associates, Oshi will offer high-end dining in a more relaxed setting.
“In fact, we plan to have the aesthetics of the space match the commitment we have to providing the freshest, high-grade food possible,” said Min.
The look and feel of Oshi will take on a “modern minimalist” design with mainly black and white décor, wood accents, hints of green, and clean, simple plants dispersed throughout. Min said the idea is to emphasize the simplicity and quality of the available fare.
Anusha Alapati, Crunkleton broker and leasing agent for The Avenue, was excited from the get-go at the prospect of bringing Oshi to life in Huntsville.
“When I discovered this group of restaurateurs in Atlanta, I knew immediately that Oshi’s healthier options and modern minimalist ambiance were something Huntsville would embrace,” said Anusha. “I think this is especially true in the downtown area where cuisine is increasing in diversity and quality.”
While Oshi will open its first Alabama-based restaurant at The Avenue, Min said they plan to open the restaurant’s first site in Alpharetta, Georgia by October. However, Huntsville has always been in the plan for the team due to its growth and overall enthusiasm for eclectic dining.
“We are thrilled to have Oshi Poké Bowl & Sushi open its first restaurant in the state of Alabama at The Avenue,” said Sasha Sealy, co-developer of The Avenue. “It is a great addition not only to our development but also to Downtown Huntsville. It’s a new dining option that mirrors what you would typically see in urban, mixed-use developments in larger cities like Atlanta, Nashville and Chicago.”
As for Min, he had one more thing to share.
“Huntsville is growing rapidly and it’s evident that this city appreciates great food,” said Min. “We plan to give our patrons the restaurant experience they deserve. For me, working in this business is a way of life. Eating is essential, but you can make it an experience—a memory. That’s what we want to do at Oshi. We want to make sure you can’t wait until your next visit.”
Visit https://www.facebook.com/OshiPokeAvenue/ to learn more. And stay tuned to our blog for updates about the opening of this new, exciting restaurant!
Have you tried a poké bowl before? Let us know in the comments below!
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP