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An American dream realized in a midwestern Sushi and Hibachi Restaurant.

Originally from Hong Kong, our owner, Tim Lau, is no stranger to hard work. Since he was 14 years old, Tim has been working in restaurants full-time, even while attending school. In 1992, Tim headed to New York City where he attended school and also continued to work in restaurants. A few years later, while living in NYC, Tim met his wife, Lily.


Before Hong Kong rejoined China in 1997, many of Tim's family members also moved to the US and began opening their own restaurants. With almost a decade of restaurant experience, Tim traveled the east coast helping his family as a restaurant director to get their businesses established. Once his first child was born, Tim set his sights on the Midwest– opening his own Sushi restaurant in Davenport, Iowa, to be exact.


The Davenport restaurant was the 1st sushi restaurant in the whole city and only the 2nd in the whole state of Iowa at the time. After running the restaurant successfully for nearly 5 years, Tim was asked by Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines to open another sushi restaurant in their area. When Tim visited, he only saw a mall a few other buildings and nothing else but cornfields. Each time they came back to check it out, they could see the growth and decided to go for it. Construction started in 2007 and, after a long 6 months, Samurai Sushi and Hibachi was open for business. Along with Costco and Lowe’s, Samurai was one of the first businesses in Jordan Creek outside of the mall.  


Tim and his family are happy to have settled in West Des Moines where he’s been able to implement what he’s learned over the past 3 decades. He also feels very lucky to have so many regular customers over the years and is proud to say he knows them like family– and they know him, his wife Lily, and their 3 children as well. He’s even seen some of his customers from the Davenport restaurant, who’ve moved to the Des Moines area and have become regulars! As Tim puts it: “When all my customers are doing good, then I’m doing good.” 

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