Poke (pronounced poh-kay), is originally a raw fish salad dish from Hawaii, sometimes served as an entrée on its own or on rice as a light meal. The dish is heavily influenced by the Japanese donburi or rice bowl dish, with the fish (commonly salmon, tuna, or kingfish) tossed with vegetables, a sprinkling of furikake seasoning, and mirin to flavour the rice.
Melbourne's businesses are now serving these summer-ready fresh salad bowls all over the city. Here are some of the best pokes around Melbourne.
Where to get poke in Melbourne
Tokyo Tina has been dishing up bowls of poke, but the team behind Saigon Sally, Tokyo Tina and Hanoi Hannah are now delivering poke under Point Break Poke. Named after the famous Keanu Reeves surf film, their take on the Hawaiian fish salad features the classic tuna, kingfish, snapper, or salmon with fresh vegetables on a base of rice, shredded cabbage or sweet potato glass noodles and carrot. Point Break Poke is currently delivery-only, and orders can be made through Uber, Foodora, and Deliveroo.
We're waiting for Mahalo Poké to open a bricks and mortar restaurant soon, but for now we'll have to settle for ordering their heaping poke bowls through UberEats. One of their top sellers is the mochiko chicken on a fresh salad and rice, inspired by the Japanese-Hawaiian take on fried chicken. The vegan bowl with spicy tofu is a great one if you're a little squeamish about raw fish, and carb-avoiders can swap their rice base with a kale salad. But whether you're going for their classic tuna or the snapper one, order a side of taro chips with chilli salt of the volcano chips sprinkled with furikake. Umami heaven.
At Pokéd, you can order bigger serves depending on how hungry you are. Each poke dish has a brown rice base that's been flavoured like sushi rice with mirin and topped with a mix of seafood, strips of crispy wonton wrapping, edamame, cabbage and seaweed salad. The Big Kahuna is the mother of all pokes with sashimi salmon, sous vide prawns and crab salad along with the fresh vegetables. Opt for the I Lava Spice with sashimi salmon and spicy mayo if you need a bit of spice to tingle your taste buds.
Poke Time is taking the wave of poke joints to the streets. The food truck offers quick, healthy meals on the cheap and leans towards the Japanese influence more heavily. There's beef gyudon and chicken katsu bowl for the seafood-averse, while the Aloha and The Don bowls stick to the traditional with salmon and Japanese greens.
Melbourne's best cheap eats
With so many cheap eats options in Melbourne it's not hard to eat out without breaking the bank. We've got lunch and dinner sorted if you're after a budget feed, so you can save up to go to Melbourne's best restaurants. Pro tip: you can also save a few bucks at some of our favourite BYO restaurants.