As the first restaurant to bring the poké craze to our shores, Aloha Poke deserves special mention in our books. There’s tuna, salmon, tofu and seasonal fish dressed in sauces like spicy and wasabi mayo to choose from and patrons can customise their own bowl. Have one poké scoop ($11.90) to three ($19.90) atop your choice of carbs or salad, with add-ons like edamame beans, jalapeños and avocado to finish. The health-centric mantra spills over to the beverage list as well: CocoLoco water ($5.90) is made from Thai coconuts, and fresh fruits go into its range of Juix Up pressed juices ($5.90).
After making waves in Hong Kong as Asia’s first poké chain, Pololi has washed up on our shores. There are five flavours available daily – rotated from a repertoire of over 20 different poké flavours – so you'll always have something new to try each time. Select your bowl size ($17.99/180g and $15.99/150g) and pick from flavours such as the signature traditional spicy or yuzu salmon, sweet onion teriyaki swordfish, Thai spicy tuna and more. Also, grab some Hawaiian treats such as Spam musubi, tropical granitas and Kona Brewing Co’s beer while you’re there.
The poké trend shows no signs of slowing down with this opening. Poke Doke delivers an Asian spin on the Hawaiian staple, featuring four flavoured cuts of Norwegian salmon and Ahi tuna. Personalise your bowl (from $12.50) with toppings like flying fish roe, edamame and wakame or more premium options like crispy fish skin and onsen egg.
Here’s another poké spot where you can customise your own bowl of raw fish with rice. A Poke Theory’s menu offers two sizes: regular (100g) or large (150g) – and lets you choose between tuna or salmon over sushi rice, brown rice, lemon herb quinoa or romaine lettuce. The flavour options here aren’t too varied or wild, but if you’re new to this Hawaiian dish trend then try its original shoyu tuna – its cubes of tuna seasoned lightly in Japanese soy sauce and sesame. Then, jazz up your bowl with its regular toppings including furikake, pineapple, cherry tomato and nori flakes. Drop a couple more dollars and you can get premium add-ons such as kimchi ($1), crispy salmon skin ($2) or kale chips ($2).
If a flight to Hawaii anytime soon seems like a bit of a stretch, head down to Ola Beach Club instead. This cool beachfront shack situated along Siloso beach has everything you could want for a fun day (and night) out. While the menu has a whole host of Hawaiian-inspired treats, we were most impressed with Ola’s ahi poke bowl ($20) that comes with your choice of shoyu, kimchi or togarashi dressed tuna alongside three toppings like guacamole, pumpkin seeds or cubed pineapples among others.
Makai Poké, a little takeaway-only poke store, keeps its ordering system really simple. For $9.90, you get to pick your base (sushi rice, red and brown rice, trio rice mix or salad) and one of the five types of protein available (original shoyu salmon, spicy salmon, yuzu soy ahi tuna, roasted sesame ahi tuna and vegetarian tofu sesame), with an additional portion of protein at $3. The bowl comes with all the sides you’d expect like avocado, Japanese cucumber, carrots, pineapple, salmon roe and pumpkin seeds. Superfood add-ons (pomegranate, chia seeds, edamame and goji berries) are available at $1 per serve.
This minimalist café along Duxton will put you in the mood to keep your diet clean too. There are six different types of grain bowls available and come with your choice of organic quinoa, mixed grain rice or soba. There’s a Japanese salmon bowl ($19.90) and an ahi poke bowl ($19.90), each served with generous sashimi-grade fish lightly seasoned with a wasabi, soy and sesame dressing.
The mainstay of this casual bistro’s menu is thick made-to-order sushi rolls but look past that and give its small selection of poké bowls a chance. It’s best for people who just want something healthy without all the build-your-own-bowl fuss: there are only four options available and they come with fixed toppings. The Aloha Poké ($12.95/regular and $15.95/super) serves up the standard salmon and tuna cubes atop a bed of mesclun leaves with tamago, alfafa, spring onion, flying fish roe and classic soy sauce but if you’re feeling adventurous, go for Seoul Surfer ($13.95/regular and $16.95/super) which has radish, seaweed and a Korean spicy sauce.
You'll be able to spot Loloku from afar, just find the shophouse along Keong Saik that's decorated with a flock of cardboard flamingos. The eatery specialises in poké bowls – they have signature and customisable bowls – that you eat next door in sister restaurant DON HO. The signature bowls ($12-$18) on the menu are classified according to various types of meat: Nani (tofu), Wikiwiki (salmon), Pupule (tuna), Ono (hamachi) and Koa (braised wagyu). If you're on a low-carb diet, opt for the signature jars ($9) – salads in a jar that comes with various dressings and either salmon, tuna or hamachi. Finish off your meal with a coffee from sarnies (from $4). Or you can also hit up Loloku for after-work drinks. Happy hour starts at 5pm.
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Same same but different, the chirashi don and bara chirashi don are both rice bowls topped with a variety of sashimi, but diverge in their treatment of the fruits de mer. Consider chirashi as the purer, unadulterated form of the two: pristine slices of sashimi daintily laid out over sushi rice. As for the bara chirashi don, the sashimi is diced and marinated, typically with soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar.