A former popular Westchester Square restaurant has taken on new life as a flashy Asian fusion restaurant.
The new Kai Sushi Asian Fusion restaurant opened recently at 1475 Williamsbridge Road, in the building that was former home to the New Hawaii Sea Restaurant.
Hawaii Sea had been a staple of the community for 39 years until a Hepatitis A outbreak in September made a restaurant worker and some patrons ill. It led to mass vaccinations against the food-borne illness at Lehman High School, and damaged the reputation of the once venerable eatery.
In a late October 2013, Larry Hockert, attorney for the New Hawaii Sea’s ownership, said they intended to re-open under a new name and new management.
The new restaurant is run by Kongzhen Wu, a former chef at the New Hawaii Sea.
It brings those the same favorite dishes served up in Hawaii Sea with new specialities in Japanese food as well as Szechuan and Cantonese Chinese food. That includes Japanese Volcano and Green Grasshopper sushi rolls, Gyoza (a Japanese dumpling), and Spicy Rock Shrimp, as well as Hawaii Sea favorites such as Hawaii Steak and King Crab Meat Patty, which The Bronx Times sampled during a recent visit.
Speaking through an interpreter, head chef Wu laid out his vision for a new restaurant serving the people who had come again and again to enjoy their meals at Hawaii Sea for generations.
Wu stated that he had come to love his job at serving “the highest quality food to customers in this community,” and invested his own money in Kai Sushi Asian Fusion.
“I have put in place the highest standards regarding food safety and it is my personal pledge to make sure all of the customers receive the freshest and cleanest food,” he stated. “My staff and I are committed to this vision and we really look forward to continue to serve the community.”
Wu stated he was trained at the Shanghai Culinary Institute in the 1990s and has been a chef for over 20 years.
“My philosophy is to use the freshest ingredients to provide my customers with a healthy and delicious meal whenever they visit my restaurant,” he said. “I ask everyone in this community to give us a fair chance to serve the community.”
Wu said all food at Hawaii Sea was discarded and the Health Department green-lighted the opening of the New Hawaii Sea on Sept. 22. It shortly thereafter closed its doors.
“Thus far, no government agency has directly linked any customer contracting Hepatitis A with their eating at New Hawaii Sea,” Wu said in a statement.
For more information on Kai Sushi Asian Fusion, call (718) 863-7900 or visit kaifusionbronx.com.