VIDEO: Have you heard about the Langley restaurant that caters to deaf people?

How Dal’s Poke got started

There was a flurry of sign language as Dalong Houang, the owner of Dal’s Poke restaurant, explained how he came to start a Langley business that has developed a large client base of deaf people.

When word got out that a deaf chef was operating a restaurant where sign language was understood, Houang said people started making trips from as far away as Vancouver.

“More than half [our customers are deaf],” he estimated.

His sister Nana was acting as interpreter for the interview with Houang, who was born deaf.

Dal’s Poke, located at No. 2, 20477 Fraser Hwy., serves the trendy Hawaiian dish Poke.

Poke, the restaurant website explains, means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian and refers to chunks of raw, marinated fish — usually tuna — which is then tossed over rice and topped with vegetables and umami-packed sauces.

Business, Houang said, has been good since the cafe opened in September.

He was “quite impressed by the progress” and stressed that he couldn’t have done it without the backing of his “super supportive” family.

Dal, as friends and family call him, was a sushi chef with eight years experience when his health-conscious stepmother and father visited Hawaii and were introduced to Poke by Hawaiian relatives.

With his experience working as a sushi chef and his parents love for the dish, they decided to go into business, he said.

“With no experience running a restaurant, my dad’s limited English, and my disability of deafness we came up with build-your-own-bowl,” Houang said.

“That way customers can just mark what they like and we just put the bowl together. We made our own unique sauces and our customers loved it.”

It is very much a family business, Houang said, owned and run by himself and his parents with the help of his sisters, Nana and Felicia.

He was careful to thank family friends Patrick and Christina Nakasenh for their part in launching the new business.

Dal said his family has many different ways of communicating with him.

“My sister Nana knows how to sign very well,” he said via email.

“As for my dad, he can sign, but not that great, as English seem to be one of the hardest languages for him to learn since he migrated to Canada in 1979. “

Other family members, who are trying to learn sign language, tend to use texting, messenger or email, he said.

Just Posted

Langley chamber of commerce CEO named executive of the year by Canadian chamber

Colleen Clark has nearly 25 years of experience in the chamber network

Spartans make it four in a row

Langley-based TWU womens soccer team keeps Alberta rivals scoreless

VIDEO: Rock and gem show a smashing good time in Aldergrove

Club marks 60 years with weekend show and sale

VIDEO: A moment to remember during day three of the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday in Langley

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Over 200 Hotel Georgia hospitality workers join ‘open-ended strike’

Unionized workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront have also walked out

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Hiker rescued after spending night on Crown Mountain

North Shore Rescue spotted the woman by helicopter over Hanes Valley

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read