A celebration of cuisines and cultures, Bok Choy Boy is asian fusion at its finest. Their unique flavor spectrum highlights traditional spices and ingredients from the Philippines, Korea, Japan and Macau.
Whether you’re craving something sweet, sour, tangy, or straight up umami – Bok Choy Boy Asian Fusion has got your fix.
Where Can You Find Bok Choy Boy?
One of Charleston’s cherished pop-up restaurants, Bok Choy Boy can be found at various breweries and venues throughout the Low Country.
Recent months have limited the amount of pop-up events they could do in light of the pandemic. However, as breweries continue to reopen, owner and chef Setrini Sison plans to move back towards their regular schedule of 3 events per week.
Upcoming pop-up events include Stems & Skins in North Charleston on June 30th. Be sure to try their asian fusion twist on a brunch staple: Fried Adobo Chicken and Ube Waffles.
What’s On The Menu
Much like their location, Bok Choy Boy’s menu regularly changes. It’s a direct reflection of how Set learned to cook – by creating an alchemy of flavors through experimenting.
Their Korean inspired wings often sell out. Battered then tossed in Gochujang glaze, they are the perfect combination of crunchy and tender, with a sweet and savory flavor.
One of Set’s personal favorites is the Ssamjang Noodles. House made Kimchi plays off of Bulgogi beef and a soy miso egg. A balance of sweet, salty, spicy and just a touch of sour come together in one satisfying dish.
Gochujang, used mainly in Korean dishes, are made of chili powder and glutinous rice that’s fermented and turned to paste before turning sweet and salty, with a range in spice levels.
Their menu is inspired not only by various cultures, but family tradition as well. Bok Choy Boy’s Egg Rolls are derived from his father-in-law’s recipe. Their Baozi Buns, a somewhat recent addition to the menu, are based on his in-law’s dough recipe. Fluffy and soft, the slightly sweet flavor balances the tang and spice from the pork filling.
Not to be forgotten is their Ube Bread Pudding. If you see it on their menu, go ahead and treat yourself to the two portion serving. Topped with coconut anglaise and toasted coconut, it’s sweet without overwhelming. The Ube – Filipino purple yam – lends a rich texture and unique taste. This is not your grandmother’s bread pudding. It’s better.
The Cultures Behind The Cuisine
Born in the Philipines, Set’s family moved to the Low Country when he was 9. It wasn’t until his college years that he began to experiment with cooking and combining flavors. After graduation, he and his then girlfriend, now wife moved to Chicago where he became acquainted with many of the flavors and techniques that have built his menu today.
During his time in Chicago, Set studied at the College of DuPage. As he learned the traditional techniques, he became a fan of Japanese and Korean cuisine. He was also introduced to Macanese cuisine – a mix of Chinese cuisine and Indian spices.
Shortly after graduating from DuPage, Set worked as a Sous Chef at Eataly Chicago – an experience that directly influences the house made noodles featured on his menu today.
After 7 years in Chicago, he and his wife decided to move back to the Low Country to be closer to family. Set worked as a Sous Chef at many Charleston restaurants, including Cypress, before finally deciding to open Bok Choy Boy in 2019.
Bok Choy Boy Asian Fusion’s menu is the cultivation of following your dreams and looking for inspiration in every experience.
Behind The Scenes At Bok Choy Boy Asian Fusion
The restaurant industry is a hard one, especially these days, but Set encourages aspiring chefs to just keep going. Speaking from personal experience, he’s proof that you don’t always have the plan laid out from day one. Previously an EMT, he faced differing family expectations as he embarked on the journey that led him to open Bok Choy Boy.
His advice for young chefs? “I think it’s alright to go in a different path…Go that path, and follow what interests you.”
When I asked Set what his favorite collaboration was, his answer wasn’t a local restaurant – it was his wife Lani. As he dreamed up the concept for a pop-up restaurant featuring a multi-cultural menu, she was immediately on board for the adventure.
The name Bok Choy Boy was actually inspired by Lani’s nephew Aiden who spotted a capsule vending machine toy called Bok Choy Boy. Lani’s sister, Lara, immediately suggested that it would be a cool, catchy name for their future endeavor.
Their hope for 2020 is to regain a sense of normalcy and perhaps find a location to headquarter their restaurant dream. They also have an exciting announcement: Baby Bok Choy Boy is due on December 6th – and it’s a boy!
Set and Lani’s energy, natural innovation and love for delicious food is evident in everything they do. Stop by one of their pop-up events to see for yourself, wish them congratulations, and comment below with your favorite dish!