Staff photo by Allison Potter
Shukai Thai and Sushi Bar will open next week in Wrightsville Avenue’s Crosspoint Plaza.
A new option for authentic Thai cuisine and sushi will soon open in Wrightsville Avenue’s Crosspoint Plaza under the direction of Atlanta restaurant veteran Tom Trinh.
Taking over the space vacated by RaGaB Brazilian and International Cuisine near the intersection of Wrightsville Avenue and Eastwood Road, Trinh said he was excited about the possibilities for Shukai Thai and Sushi Bar in the location.
“I always liked the beach,” Trinh said of his decision to move from Atlanta. “I have been working in Atlanta for a long time and I have traveled to many places, and I came here and saw this was a nice part of town with a nice residential area and beach community so I want to be part of the community.”
The sense of community in the Wrightsville Sound area also fits the name of the restaurant as Trinh said the word shukai is Japanese for “gathering.”
“The theme for this restaurant is a meeting place for family and friends,” he said. “I am excited, all my neighbors are excited and Wrightsville Beach is just right around the corner.”
In addition to being the owner, Trinh will also serve as the main sushi chef, which is a role he said he approaches differently than other sushi chefs.
“I am very interactive with the customers, I want to get to know them on a personal level … and do everything I can to accommodate their requests,” he said. “I don’t have to go by the menu.”
Shukai will be open for lunch and dinner with both sushi and a variety of Thai staples like Pad Thai, fried rice dishes and curries, along with the specialties of the restaurant’s Thai chef, Patrick Tepnupa. Some of those specialties include dishes like lobster panang curry, tangerine duck and ginger fish.
The price range during lunch hours will be around $10 for the Thai dishes as well as lunch special sushi boxes that come with rolls, miso soup and a house salad. Prices during the dinner hours will range from a little more than $10 for entrees to more for the specialty items and sashimi plates.
The interior of the space remains similar to how it looked for RaGaB, with 86 seats both indoors and outdoors on the covered side patio.
When asked what will set Shukai apart from other Thai and sushi restaurants in Wilmington, Trinh said it would be he and Tepnupa’s passion for the cuisine.
“We do it because we love it and we do it from the heart,” Trinh said. “When you do it from the heart, people will feel you. I’ve been to too many restaurants where it is the same old protocol of you come in, sit down, eat and there is no interaction. Anything that I give you is something I want to eat.”
Look for Shukai Thai and Sushi to open at 7710 Wrightsville Ave. around the beginning of October.