This post is sponsored by O-Ku and The Reynolds Group, Inc, but as always, all opinions are mine alone.
On Saturday, Mike and I tried another amazing restaurant in downtown Charleston: O-Ku. This was some of the first Asian food we've had since moving here (I know, gasp!), and it did not disappoint. (To see a full list of the restaurants I've written about since moving here a year ago, click here.) O-Ku is located on Upper King Street, and the atmosphere is very sophisticated. There's a large bar, and it would be perfect for large groups, too, with the variety of seating. O-Ku started serving lunch earlier this summer, so I was really excited to try their new menu.
What's a weekend lunch out without drinks, right? That was obviously our first choice of the afternoon; I had the Sata Sangria, and it was DELICIOUS, and Mike had a Kirin Ichiban beer. Our waiter, Victor, was fantastic (as was all the staff and their General Manager, Kimball), and he brought over Edamame to start our lunch.
For our meals, we first ordered the Potato Roll to share. Gillian actually recommended it, and I'm so glad she did! A twist on traditional rolled sushi, the roll was filled with tempura shrimp and avocado, then was wrapped in fried shoe-string potatoes and topped with eel and sweet chili mango sauces. It was the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and crispy.
Just as we were finishing up the Potato Roll, our bento box entrees arrived. We each chose a different protein (I had chicken teriyaki and Mike had panko fried shrimp), and each bento box also came with a spring mix salad with ginger-carrot vinaigrette, crab salad & avocado sushi roll, and steamed glass noodles. We were really impressed at how much food was in each of the bento boxes. Depending on the main protein you choose, most of the bentos are between $10 and $14, and are a fantastic deal for lunch. I loved everything in both boxes (I obviously tried Mike's shrimp, too), especially my chicken teriyaki and the ginger-carrot vinaigrette on the salad. Mike loved his shrimp, and we both liked the chance to try another one of O-Ku's sushi rolls.
As if all of that wasn't enough food, Victor suggested that we try one of O-Ku's amazing desserts. We chose their newest dessert, a triple chocolate bar in a passion fruit puree, sprinkled with red sea salt. This really put our experience over the top. Each of the chocolate layers was so delicious, and the passion fruit puree added the right amount of sweetness.
If you are in Charleston, I highly recommend a trip to O-Ku. Executive Chef, Thad Stuckey, has created a menu that is a great balance between accessible and inventive. Their new lunch menu is extensive, and very reasonably priced. If you can't make it downtown for lunch but still want to try O-Ku, I suggest stopping in for their Charleston Restaurant Week dinner menu (check it out here) now through September 20th. You'll get a three-course meal for only $35. You should also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for special announcements like pop-ups across the city and new dishes.