Oki’s opens today

LIHUE — Doors to Oki’s Box Lunches and Omiyage are scheduled to open at 7 a.m. today at the food court area in the Kukui Grove Center.

“We were originally scheduled to open July 1,” said Barbara Oki, owner of the eatery and food gift items location. “But things happened. We were trying to open, but one thing after another happened. We took care of everything, and right now, everything is cleared and ready to open.”

Shoppers have been inquiring about the opening of the eating place which offers box lunches, potluck items, small catering and omiyage.

“It’s a good thing they have pictures in the window,” said Roy Higa, who along with wife Dolores was enjoying lunch during Toddler Thursday at Kukui Grove. “At least we can see what they have.”

Oki said she’s always believed that diners can get good food at reasonable prices.

“Our basic box lunch is an example — lots of good food for a not-so-high price tag,” Oki said.

Open Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Oki’s Box Lunches will feature extended hours on Fridays, 7 a.m. -8 p.m. to coincide with the mall’s extended Friday night hours.

Beyond the box lunches, Oki and her family have added special offerings like extra chicken and shrimp.

“How many times have you been stumped about what to bring for potluck?” Oki said. “Our catering takes care of that with home-cooked specials like Neal’s Chicken which was very popular with diners. It’s back along with other goodies like the Oki’s Chicken Bucket.”

Adding to the food line, Oki draws from the talents of Ping Lang and Jia Qu Lee to offer various manapua, including the popular Lap Xuong Manapua and Chinese Rice Cake.

“We also have Mama’s Cookie Manju which was developed from my mother’s recipe,” Oki said. “We’ve had to experiment and adjust to get things to taste so it’s good. We can make the manapua at home and it looks nice and fluffy, but when we tried it here, it didn’t turn out so fluffy. It’s all about adjusting so everything comes out good.”

The Mama’s Cookie Manju forms the base of Oki’s omiyage offering, and includes the Brownie Chocolate Cake and Butter Cake, both developed from her son Dean’s recipes.

“We have another son, Takeo, who came up with a line of sweet desserts,” Oki said. “We’re calling it Takeo’s Kool Treats and is perfect for snacking or dessert.”

The cool treat is available in strawberry, orange, chocolate and green tea for starters.

“We don’t want to spread out too much at the opening,” Oki said. “We’re basically staying with what is posted. We can develop more as we get going. This is from our family to yours. And we have breakfast coffee, too — from 7 to 11 a.m.”

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