Seasoned restaurateur Donna Kang (Dong Chun Hong, Mapo Galmaegi, Abiko Curry) teamed up with Il Ji Jung (a vet of Oiji and Jungsik Seoul) to open Maui Onion, a premium poke bar, fresh juice and infused teashop located at 35 West 26th Street in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan on Wednesday.
This fast-casual concept honors simplicity and freshness, with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and unexpected flavors. The menu featuers 12 signature creations, a collaborative effort between Chef/Owner Kang and Head Chef Jung, which can be prepared as a bowl, salad, burrito or temaki (hand roll). Guests can expect combinations like Spicy Tuna with scallion, cucumber, hijiki, onion and pickled ginger; Yuzu Shoyu Salmon with onion, cucumber, scallion, lotus chips, pomegranate and pickled ginger; and Seared Toro with garlic chips, scallion, cucumber, seaweed, shichimi and pickled ginger. Aside from the sashimi-grade fish bases, Maui Onion will also offer combinations featuring unique proteins like chicken (Lemon/Garlic Chickenwith edamame, scallion, onion, cucumber and pickled ginger), tofu (Fried Tofu with seaweed, garlic chips, sesame seed, scallion, onion and pickled ginger), and octopus (Wasabi Tako with seaweed salad, serrano chili, scallion, onion, cucumber and pickled ginger), among others. While there are mainstays on the menu, some combinations will rotate seasonally. Guests are asked to select their base combinations via printed menus, and may add additional toppings such as crab meat, chayote pickle, soft boiled egg and avocado, to meet their preference.
To complement, Maui Onion’s beverage program features house made—and customizable—fresh squeezed juices with options like Cactus Pear and Pineapple; Kale, Spinach and Apple; and Grape, Lemon and Pear; as well as hot infused teas such as Lemon and Ginger and Grapefruit.
The 2,200 square foot space boasts a clean design featuring natural wood floors, potted greenery and earth-toned accents from Farrow & Ball. Seating is available at the bar, on the stadium-style teak wood benches, or at a large communal table. A white brick wall runs parallel to the anchoring brushed stainless steel poke bar, where guests can watch as their meal is prepared.