No longer reserved for the population of Hawaii, poké has made its way down under and we are waiting with open arms. Situated in the laneway at Fortieth and Hurstmere in Takapuna, Poké Poké has opened its doors so Aucklanders can enjoy some fresh raw fish.
Poké is a raw fish salad often served as an appetiser in Hawaiian cuisine. It originally began as a way to use up offcuts from fishermen's catch to be eaten as a snack. It became popular in Hawaii in the 1970s and poké restaurants began appearing around 2012 especially around the mainland of the United States. The founder of Poké Poké, Jack Zhong, ultimately fell in love with poké on a trip to Hawaii and decided to bring it back to New Zealand for his first venture.
Approaching the counter, the options are endless. First, you select your base, then your protein, a sauce and your garnish. This is then served in a bowl for you to mix all together yourself. For the base there are four options with a choice of white rice, purple rice, salad of the day or a combination of them all. If you want to mix white rice with purple rice, this is the place to do it. Protein choices consist of tuna, salmon, sous vide chicken, sous vide prawn and tofu. Top with anything from smashed avocado to Japanese pickle and garnish with renkon chips and edible flowers.
We decided to go for the salmon which came with a toasted sesame sauce on a white rice base. The salmon was as fresh as anything and delicately sliced. The toasted sesame added texture and crunch with the white rice providing a filling accompaniment. Lobster, crab and seaweed are also available if you fancy going all out. The options are literally endless. If you feel like a poké bowl is just not enough they also offer sides including vegan miso soup and garlic edamame.
The best part is that everything is super fresh and healthy so you can have a big and satisfying feed without the guilt.
Photo: Poké Poké