Oftentimes the story behind the opening of a restaurant is as interesting as the restaurant itself. Such is the case with EurAsia Sushi Bar & Seafood in Oak Hill and its owners, Andre and Lili Dinata.
Andre was born in Indonesia and made his way to the US where he gradually became involved in the restaurant business. He became the manager at long-time sushi restaurant Umi. He excelled at his work and he enjoyed it, but his work left little time for a social life. He had dated a bit, but no sparks yet and he wanted to get married and start a family. So about nine years ago he reached out to some friends in Indonesia to see if they could introduce him to some like-minded women.
He was on a Skype call with these friends and they were suggesting a couple of possible dating scenarios. Then Andre saw a girl in the background who just happened to be at this small neighborhood party that was going on. She was not one of the original dating candidates, but things have a funny way of working out. Andre told his friends he wanted to meet her and she agreed. Her name was Lili, and ironically she was also in the food business as she ran a cafeteria in Jakarta. They talked for several months and finally met in person in December of 2007.
It took a while for the couple to negotiate the complex Indonesian social rules, but they finally married in September of 2008. They hosted 1500 people at the reception (phew!) and were off on their new life.
Alas, several years of the usual red tape surrounding immigration kept them mostly apart until 2012 when Lili finally arrived in Austin with their first daughter. She tried being a stay-at-home mom but was restless. She began to cook several popular Indonesian fried fish street dishes and created an original sauce to accompany them. First through new friends at their church and later through word of mouth, she began a successful business selling these (Lily Resto LLC) and soon was shipping them all over the country.
Eventually, after a second daughter was born, the couple started thinking about opening a restaurant. Andre certainly had the management experience and Lili had the kitchen covered. They looked for some time and finally found a spot in an older center at the Y in Oak Hill that where the owners had an eye on renovation. A lease was signed roughly a year ago and the couple built a lovely and inviting restaurant at the former site of an old Chinese buffet.
Thus, EurAsia Sushi Bar & Seafood was born. Home to a menu mixing sushi and sashimi with American dishes and an authentic Indonesian cuisine, this restaurant is the culmination of the first stage of Andre and Lili’s life’s journey. They are gracious and charming people and I wish them the best.
Thank God for Skype, huh?
EurAsia Sushi Bar and Seafood
7101 West Hwy 71 Suite #C13
Austin, TX 78735