The Next Wave in Japanese Cuisine
By Stephanie Stoll
Sun Hyang, an enthusiastic, professional Chef with 20 years of extensive culinary and sushi experience, as well as former executive manager and chef of Akai Hana, has opened a new Japanese restaurant in Morehead City, called Nami, which means wave. She is so excited to once again create and serve Japanese and Korean creations to the community she fell in love with years ago. She said, “Moving to Morehead City has been a blessing and I love the good- hearted people and neighbors throughout Carteret County.”
Sun Hyang, along with her chef, Chika Tsurusaki, former chef at Akai Hana, are happy to be working together at Nami. Chef Chika has lived in Carteret County since elementary school and loves the fact that she will be able to share her love and talent of sushi and other Asian dishes with the town she calls home. Another person Sun credits for making Nami special is Asuka Tsuruasaki who has helped not only with getting the restaurant ready, but is the creative talent behind the menu, mural and social media creations.
Kelinda Webster shares about Sun Hyang’s determination and special traits. “When they had to close the other restaurant, she was determined to strike out on her own. With her decades of experience making sushi, she knew she could do it.
“As Covid set in to our lives, she never wavered. We started in a different location from where Nami is now. She put down a deposit which she lost when she could not open due to Covid. She kept pushing through, finding the right location with the right design to allow minimal up-fit. We then moved forward,looking at several different locations. This has been a long road for her.
“Our friendship started with me being a regular customer at her restaurant. She treats all of her clients like family. Her love and passion for making Japanese cuisine comes out in the flavors of her food. I would go in every Friday to have dinner when she was in downtown Morehead City. As time went on I began to just sit down at the Sushi bar and say ‘just make me something good.’ I have never been disappointed. As strange as this may sound, she can cook anything from ribs to barbecue chicken to stewed hard crabs. It is her passion to make good food and feed the people!!”
One glance at the menu will have patrons anxious to try so many fabulous options. Nami has all of the favorite sushi choices made with fresh local seafood. Sun and Chika both take pride in using local vegetables whenever possible. Not a fan of sushi? No problem! Nami has a delectable array of other dishes including noodle soups, and yakisoba (stir- fried noodles) and hibachi entrees, including a kid portion. Nami’s menu list also includes fabulous tempuras, Bulgogi (marinated and grilled sweet and spicy meat options), cutlets and bento boxes. A local favorite is their seafood burrito!
Nami’s new location is centrally located in Morehead City near Lowes Home Improvement and right next to Subway. Currently they are offering both takeout and dine-in service. Customers will have a relaxing dining experience surrounded by lovely art by Sun Hyang’s friend Lilly Chao. Sun and Chika are excited to have old friends and customers walk through their door again. They appreciate the positive reactions from locals when they learn Sun is opening Nami. Both Sun and Chika are extremely grateful for the support they have received from Kelinda Webster, Jason Shaffer and Bonnie Thompson.
Nami will be a great edition to Carteret County. You can find this delightful restaurant at 5209 Highway 70 W, suite E, Morehead City, NC 28557. You can also call them at (252)773-0045. Don’t delay - try this new and impressive restaurant created with love for Japanese cuisine and the desire to once again be a part of the community they are blessed to call “Home.”
Find Nami on Facebook here.