Your family is someone you can trust, someone who’s not afraid to tell you what you need to hear, and someone who genuinely cares for you and your well-being. At Ohana Poke, they’ll make sure that they send these values across and make you feel like one.
Before we proceed with anything, let’s clear the air and begin by saying: Yes. This is the same restaurant whose owner and two staff members contracted COVID-19 earlier on. However, that’s not a reason altogether to dismiss Ohana Poke immediately. In this TABLE Feature article, we’re tackling how the management resolved the pandemic crisis and they’re fighting on to continue their service in tales of awareness, acceptance, and authenticity.
A Shaky Start for 2020
It’s safe to say that nobody expected this to happen for 2020. And, more so that people—for sure—did not expect to be afflicted by the COVID-19 virus—especially the people from Ohana Poke.
Being a fairly new restaurant, Ohana Poke has been doing well. In fact, they were hailed as having the 2nd best poke bowl in town by a well-known Thai publication. Just when things are going towards its peak, that’s when it happened: Jay Feng, the owner of Ohana Poke tested positive for the COVID-19.
It cannot be verified how Feng contracted the virus. It was a shocker nonetheless because Jay, himself, is a very healthy and careful man. After experiencing the symptoms that he has been hearing about all over the media, he went to the hospital to get checked. When he received the news, without hesitation, he ordered to temporarily close Ohana Poke minutes after.
"The safety of all our customers is of the utmost importance. The first thing that went thought my mind is that I have to get the message out and reach as many people as quickly as possible. Then they could get themselves checked and this is the only way that we can further prevent the spread. Luckily, no one else got infected," Feng told us. "... the guilt that you may have inadvertently passed this to someone else, it was a terrible feeling. And this feeling of guilt that you may have infected / inconvenienced someone else was worst than the virus itself."
Recovering from COVID-19
Feng said that contracting the virus was both physically and emotionally draining. It was difficult coping up with the pain he was feeling, and he had to do so with very minimal human interaction. However, he knew that this is the only way to recover.
It took awareness and acceptance for him to persevere day after day. And given that he does not want others to experience what he’s been going through, he came clean and made all efforts to warn everyone whom he got close contact with for the last two weeks and even posted on Ohana Poke's official Facebook page to reach all his customers.
Most people would not even dare to admit they have the virus in fear of being judged, but what crossed Feng’s mind dominantly was the well-being of his staff and customers because he treats them like family. Instead of being persecuted, many applauded his honesty and bravery.
Continual Quality Service
Thankfully, Feng recovered and tested negative after 11 days of isolation. He was allowed to go home the day after and observe a two-week self-quarantine. That was enough for Feng to plan and carry on with the “new normal” with his life and with Ohana Poke.
Opening again wasn’t easy. However, with all precautionary measures taken, their mission to provide clean, healthy food prevailed more than ever.
The food at Ohana Poke are all authentic and pro-health. You can expect bowls of all sorts, healthy toasts, and many others in this once-dim-turned-vibrant-again restaurant.
For starters, the Multigrain Toasts are sure-fire appetizers to get you going. The Pokecado (THB 199) and its vegan counter-part Hummus Avocado Toast (THB 229) have the best of both worlds. The rich, mellow texture of the avocado and the hummus mash well with the crunchy toast; with each bite coming in waves of nutty goodness from the sesame seeds.
Despite all the challenges that have had happened, it was easy, on the other hand, for Feng and his team to do what Ohana Poke does best: making the best poke bowl in town. They have three types to choose from: Signature Poke Bowls, Premium Poke Bowls, and Vegan Smoothie Bowls.
There’s the Pure Protein (THB 299) for those looking for a superfood to hit their macros quickly and easily. It has Chicken Breast with Teriyaki Sauce, Feta Cheese, Almond Flakes, Chickpeas, Sous Vide Egg, and Quinoa. With all those premium ingredients, this bowl is definitely worth its price.
The same goes for their Vegan options. The Acai of Relief (THB 199) will give you just that knowing you’ll be loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C due to its generous portions of Acai base topped with fresh Blueberries, Granola, Chia Seeds, and Almond Flakes.
You can also customize your poke bowl at Ohana Poke. The price will depend on your topping choices and how many you pick, but everything is value-for-money in terms of taste and affordability. We went with the Standard Surfing Nalu (THB 299), which is their medium bowl with 2 scoops of Poke and 5 additional toppings.
You can also save more by opting to include a drink with this DIY bowl. The Fresh Cold-Pressed Juice (THB 130) is a delightful choice.
They have smoothies that you can drink for dessert, too. The Acai Blueberry (THB 160) is a classic favorite that you won’t go wrong with. If you’re searching for vegan options, they have homemade Almond Milk Smoothies that’s uber-low in calorie but has an adequate natural sweetness for you to still enjoy every sip. For flavor recommendation, the vegan Strawberry Almond Milk Smoothie (THB 120) is will surely pique your interest– price-wise and flavor-wise!
The COVID-19 pandemic is indeed scary, and, at times like this, what we all need is to support each other in any way that we can—like families.
Ohana Poke is located at the 3rd floor of CRC Tower Retail Center, Lumphini Pathumwan Bangkok and is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM.
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