Remember Pokémon Go? Neither do I. In 2017, swap your smartphone for a poke salad—a heavenly Hawaiian concoction of raw fish and salad. You can get your fix at Poku, the latest venture from Jason Roberts (Manly Pavilion) and Jack Fonetyn (Jacks Newtown).
If the lines are any indication, word of the poke salad (pronounced poh-kee) has gotten round. Poku opened in February at the revamped Chifley Tower food court, but it’s already attracting very Sydney-esque queues. Come lunchtime, and they’re getting hammered (their words, not ours) so of course we had to see what all the fuss was about.
Let’s just say, daaaaaamn son, it’s worth the wait. Build your own bowl, if you’re so inclined. You’ll have to make the heart-wrenching choice between your protein of king fish, salmon or tuna; bamboo rice or zucchini noodles; and five or so other extras and dressings. If, like me, you get tearily overwhelmed at simple things (the sheer variety of handwash at your local supermarket, for example), I suggest you opt for Poku’s pre-decided signature bowls.
In true poke style, the bowls feature Japanese seasonings. The Poku House salmon bowl has a moreish sprinkle of furikake, sesame seeds, avocado and a creamy togarashi dressing. I’m a fan of the popular Ora King salmon, edamame, fish roe, and squiggly zucchini noodles in a zesty ponzu sauce. The Southeast Asian-y Buddha bowl features tangy green mango, kingfish, peanuts and cherry tomatoes in a spicy ponzu dressing. Some may take umbrage to describing a salad as ‘juicy’, but this is one juicy salad.
The impeccable standard of the fish is no accident. Jason has a close relationship with Ora King, the New Zealand sustainable salmon suppliers. The sustainability of Poku’s fish is a professional and personal priority, one that’s just fine by us.
As far as food trends go, Poku ticks boxes for style, substance and sustainability. And while we’re riffing on trends, you should hit up their cold-pressed watermelon and lemon juice. It’s outrageously refreshing, plus, says Jason, “Beyoncé drinks it.”
Can't get enough seafood? Check out Bondi's best here.
Image credit: Caitlin Hicks