My friend is the real poke monster here, not me. We went to The Wholesome Table one time and she couldn’t stop talking about poke bowls. So when Poke/Poke opened nearby, we just had to go.
First of all, Poke/Poke is just the cutest resto in Estancia Mall. You go in and you feel like you’re gonna get a teddy bear with your meal. The chairs and tables look like they’re bought from a pre-school and the colors of the walls and the posters are all in watercolor pastel shades. It made me feel very summery.
I tried the Samurai bowl and my friend had the Dragon bowl (I literally typed dragonball before I realized my mistake). If you’ve never tried a poke bowl, it’s basically a rice salad with cubes of raw fish. It’s like a deconstructed sushi/maki but it originated from Hawaii. I’m not gonna get into the whole poke controversy right now (traditional vs contemporary recipes) but I definitely see (or rather, taste) what the fuss is about.
The Samurai bowl had bite-sized pieces of tuna and salmon, mesclun, onions, bell peppers, radish, grapes, rice, sesame dressing, and kimchi aioli. The phrase “kimchi aioli” was very intimidating for me (especially because I’m not a huge fan of spicy dishes) but it didn’t turn out spicy at all. In fact, the juicy grapes mixed in made the ensemble slightly sweeter.
The Dragon bowl on the other hand is spicier because of the sriracha aioili and it has shrimp and unagi instead of the Samurai’s tuna, cucumber instead of the peppers, and mangoes instead of the grapes. Plus they put in crumbled feta cheese!
I sincerely like the combination of the flavors that they’ve created in the bowls. They’ve combined the salty, sweet, tangy, spicy, and umami but in a way that still gives the individual ingredients a chance to stand out. The only thing I would probably complain about is the price as it does cost a pretty penny for a bowl. But in total, I’m still a fan.