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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Uncle Sharkii’s Poke Bar

Restaurant Insider

March 13, 2022

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Anne Lee takes a photo with (from left) Uncle Sharkii’s Poke Bar co-founder and COO Raymond Reyes and founder and CEO Fen Reyes.

ANNE LEE speaks with Uncle Sharkii’s Poke Bar co-founders RAYMOND AND FEN REYES

There’s a new poke bowl and boba tea place opening at International Market Place called Uncle Sharkii’s Poke Bar. It’s a concept created by husband and wife team Raymond and Fen Reyes, and named by their daughter, Melody, after she visted an “uncle” for the first time. The two enjoyed boba milk tea, ice cream and snacks, and he gifted her a toy shark that looks exactly like their logo today. The grand opening is this weekend (March 12-13), during which the first 100 customers will receive a boba milk tea on the house in addition to lots of promotional giveaways, including Sharkii Money that you can use on a future purchase.

AL: What makes your poke unique?

RR: Our motto is “poke bowls made simple.” Our focus is to make the ordering process simple — simplicity is key — so that we can share this wonderful dish with the world. Our goal was to make poke mainstream and be able to serve everybody, which stays true to our mission: healthy food for everyone!

AL: You have Hawaii ties, tell me more about your history.

RR: I’m a local boy at heart. I was born in Hawaii and raised traditional local style. I remember going to Waikiki in my youth, and I never knew in my wildest dreams that all this would come full circle allowing my wife and I to open our very own business in the heart of Waikiki at Inter-national Market Place.

Spicy Scallop Poke Bowl ($14.95)

AL: What are the various options that Uncle Sharkii offers?

FR: We offer six signature poke bowls. Each bowl comes with a base, which can be rice or salad; four sides, which are cucumbers, corn, seaweed and crab; and we top it with furikake and masago eggs.

Fish proteins will be marinated with our spicy house sauce or Hawaiian-style sauce with green onions, onions and even jalapeño.

We also have three signature poke sauces our customers can choose from, which are sriracha mayo sauce, sesame sauce and pineapple wasabi sauce. Any of the two scoops protein poke bowl are priced at $14.95. The Uncle Sharkii Bowl has three scoops of protein which is priced at $16.95. All our poke bowls are at 32-ounce size.

Strawberry Black Tea ($5.95), shown with Strawberry Popping Boba (additional 75 cents) and Thai Tea ($5.95), shown with Lychee Jelly (additional 75 cents)

For boba milk tea, we offered eight flavors, which are all the most popular flavors like honeydew milk tea and taro milk tea. We also offer classic black tea and Jasmin green milk tea. If you like something more refreshing, I will recommend mango green tea or strawberry black tea. Don’t forget to try our Thai tea — it’s fabulous. All boba tea is priced at $5.95 and customers have options to choose toppings like regular boba, lychee jelly and mango/strawberry popping boba.

AL: You offer boba teas and Dole Soft Serve, how did you come up with the menu?

FR: When Melody was gifted the toy shark, she and uncle celebrated by having boba milk tea and ice cream. As customary, we decided to include boba tea and Dole Soft Serve in tropical flavors like pineapple, mango, watermelon and even lime.

RR: I grew up about 15 minutes away from Dole Plantation. Every other weekend I remember fond memories visiting the Dole Plantation and having pineapple soft serve. It was great.

Special Local Boy Limu Poke Bowl ($13.95)

AL: Tell me what items you have prepared for me to try today.

RR AND FR: Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl, Ahi Tuna and Salmon Poke Bowl, Ahi Tuna Limu Poke Bowl, Seasoned Tofu Poke Bowl and Uncle Sharkii Poke Bowl.

AL: What is your personal favorite item that’s found on the menu?

FR: Spicy Tuna Bowl

RR: Uncle Sharkii Poke Bowl with all three sauces

Seasoned Tofu Poke Bowl ($12.95)

AL: There are exciting franchising opportunities available, please tell me more.

RR: We are an emerging franchise concept specializing in our signature Hawaiian poke bowls, boba milk teas and Dole Soft Sserve.

Since our franchise launched in 2019, we have currently 32 franchise agreements signed and in development across five states: California, Utah, Nevada, Texas and Hawaii.

We also have two corporate stores — one flagship in California and our newest flagship in Hawaii at the International Market Place.

AL: Anything else you want to share?

RR AND FR: We support our locals through a kamaaina discount (25%). Please show your Hawaii ID.

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