POCATELLO — Two entrepreneurs who had a restaurant in the New York area moved to Pocatello recently to open the Tokyo Belly Sushi restaurant.
Seppy Gunawan and his business partner, Edy, offer a delicious mix of delicacies from their well-tested recipes that have been drawing a loyal crowd of diners.
“We wanted to bring something new from out of state,” Gunawan said.
Plus, it was much easier to open a restaurant in Pocatello than in the New York area, where business has been slow in any event.
It’s also less expensive in Pocatello than in the New York area. And the reception in the community for the restaurant, which has six employees, has been enthusiastic, Gunawan said.
“It’s going well,” he said. “It’s good that people like our sushi.”
And the sauces, which he says nobody else has, give their dishes a unique and different taste, he said.
And people in particular seem to like the Long Island Roll and Sweet Crab Roll, Gunawan said.
The sashimi and sushi belly are popular, and a lot of people like the salad.
Gunawan, who’s been in the restaurant business for about 15 years, said he and Edy have a lot of friends who mentioned Pocatello as the pair were looking around for a new location.
“I just said OK,” Gunawan said.
He says it was easy to open a business in Pocatello — much easier than in New York City.
He also says it’s a nice area with nice people. He enjoys it here and looks to offer interesting dishes that suit local residents.
“I’m trying to bring in something new from other areas that are acceptable right here,” Gunawan said.
And Gunawan, who’s Indonesian, says it’s been fun.
“I’m happy,” he said. “It seems like as soon as we opened we knew it was going to be busy.”
Beforehand, they had a lot of people calling and coming to see them and saying, “Oh, we can’t wait for you guys to open,” Gunawan said.
People say they’re going to support the restaurant, which offers dine-in and take-out dishes, and that they’re going to tell their friends about it and its offerings.
In addition to the quality of the food, Gunawan says the business is very competitive on price for the area, based on various posts he’s seen on Google.
Meanwhile, he says there aren’t a lot of specials yet, but there is 10 percent off for military personnel and 10 percent off for seniors.
The restaurant’s hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
The business is located at 1000 Pocatello Creek Road, Suite W2, near Ridley’s Family Markets.
The business phone number for Tokyo Belly Sushi is 208-234-1475. The restaurant also offers a wide array of beverages including sake.