Husband-and-Wife team opens Sun Poke next to Japanese Express in Vicksburg

Published 12:34 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

A new restaurant has opened next to the Japanese Express in Pemberton Plaza. Sun Poke had a soft opening on Monday, giving patrons the opportunity to try the new business’s selection of milk teas, rolled ice creams and poke bowls.

The owners are husband-and-wife team Sam Sun and Yuki Lin, who also own Japanese Express. Sun said he wanted to open Sun Poke to target a younger audience, which can be seen in the restaurant’s youthful and vibrant decor.

“Our target for the business is teenagers and kids,” Sun said. “And people will just relax, take a drink, talk. You can play a computer game or something like that.”

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Poke, pronounced “po-kay,” is originally from Hawaii and is similar to sushi. It consists of a bowl of rice usually topped with raw fish and a variety of other vegetables and ingredients that sushi lovers will be familiar with.

At the moment, the restaurant is not taking orders over the phone, so customers will need to visit in person. Sun said he wants the customers to see the food for themselves as it is prepared in plain view behind the counter.

“I want people to see that everything you order, everything you have, is made in front of you. I want people can see that it’s all fresh,” Sun said. “That’s part of our operation.”

Sun and Lin immigrated from China in 2008 and arrived in Vicksburg in 2017 and decided to open Japanese Express.

A soft opening for Sun Poke was held on Monday. Sun said that it’s possible he will do a larger opening in the future, but right now he and Lin are focused on getting feedback from customers and using that information to make changes that make sense for the business. Although, he mentioned that it’s a good sign that he is already having repeat customers after being open for less than a week.

“People are coming back. I’m glad to see that,” he said. “They like the taste, they like the flavor. So I’m very happy about that.”

Sun added that he is excited to introduce many people in Vicksburg to dishes they have never tried before.