2016 was probably the year that Poké bowls hit mainstream, but it seems like this former trend is gaining back strength as more Poké locations have cropped up over the last couple of months. The wildly popular Poké bowl may continue to trend this year, and that’s a positive thing.
So what exactly is Poké ? Pronounced ‘Poh-kay’, not ‘poke’ like the Facebook feature – it is an iconic food of Hawaii, essentially a sushi bowl that often include raw fish, rice, pineapple, seaweed and sesame. They are definitely health-oriented, you get loads of protein and a whole bunch of vitamins from A to D, iron, zinc, potassium… the list goes on.
Where to get some Poke?
Established in October 2015, Aloha Poké is probably the first poke speciality shop to open in Singapore. You get to build your own Poké bowl at Aloha Poké, with a wide selection of base, vegetables, ocean proteins and add-on toppings include superfood like avocado, chia seeds and pomegranate.
Lazy to choose? Simply go for the standard Nalu Tuna, a traditional Poké comprises of seasoned Ahi (Tuna) tossed with toasted sesame seeds, sweet onions and scallions; but if you prefer a different fish, you can select Nalu Salmon – they are the closest to Hawaii’s classics.
Prices: Lil’ Swell – $11.90 (1 scoop 75g of poke) / Standard Nalu – $15.90 (2 scoops 150g of poke) / Big Kahuna – $19.90 (3 scoops 225g of poke). Every bowl includes 2 complimentary add-on and 1 superfood. Additional add-on at $0.50/extra, superfood at $1.00/extra.
*Aloha Poké has recently opened its fourth outlet at Bugis Junction, serving its fans more poke goodness. As part of its opening promotion, customers can enjoy 10% discount in the month of June 2017.
ALOHA @ AMOY: 92 Amoy Street, Singapore 069911
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 11.30am – 2.30pm / Mon to Sat 5.30pm – Late / Closed on Sun and Public Holidays
ALOHA @ MBLM: 8A Marina Boulevard, #B2-46, Marina Bay Link Mall, Singapore 018984
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 11.30am – 8pm / Closed on Sat, Sun & Public Holidays
ALOHA @ RAFFLES: 30 Raffles Place, #01-34, Change Alley @ Chevron House, Singapore 048622
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 11.30am – 8pm / Sat 11.30am – 3pm / Closed on Sun & Public Holidays
ALOHA @ BUGIS [Latest Outlet*]: 200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction #04-01, Singapore 188021
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun 11.30am – 8pm
A POKE THEORY
Founded by sibling duo Joey and Vannessa Lee, A Poke Theory spices up the traditional Poké bowl by incorporating fancier ingredients like spiced roasted cashews, kale chips, and crispy salmon skin.
For those who are trying Poke bowls for the first time, I recommend starting off with their best-selling Original Shoyu Tuna or Avocado Miso Salmon – your palates will surely be pleased!
For something with a spicier kick, try the Spicy Mayo Salmon or the Spicy Garlic Sesame Tuna – both are matching crowd pleasers. There is also a vegan option, you get chunks of tomato and avocado steeped in Original Shoyu marinade – with a citrusy twist.
Prices: Regular (100g) Tuna – $11.50 / Salmon – $12.50; Large ($150g) Avocado – $11.50 / Tuna – $15.00 / Salmon – $16.50. Toppings Premium $1 to $2 each.
A Poke Theory also offers smoothie bowls ($6.00) with refreshing flavors like Raspberry Tropic, Blackberry Binge, Maca Nutter and Cacaoholic.
Her evil twin sister Alter Ego offers a selection of Pre-set Poke Bowls, along with a menu of small bites, large plates, desserts and indulgent drinks.
A POKE THEORY
Location: 27 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069623
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11am – 8pm / Saturdays 11am – 4pm / Closed on Sun & Public Holidays
Asian-inspired noodle bar Wheat Baumkuchen serving healthy soba and ramen dishes has recently introduced a new concept – Cook Mee, focusing on dry ramen noodles tossed with speciality sauce and served with a choice of protein (roast beef, pork char siew, salmon sashimi, salted egg fried chicken). The dry ramen is topped with shredded cucumbers, bean sprout and a sous vide egg.
Cook Mee also features rice bowls ($9.90) – Salmon Poke, Tuna Poke, Pork Belly bowl and Roast Beef bowl with a choice of Bhutanese red rice or Furikake pearl rice.
These poke bowls are a far cry from the Hawaiian Poke – they fare better in noodle dishes though the price was pretty accessible.
Location: 5 Raffles Place, #B1-32/33, Raffles Xchange, Singapore 048618
Opening Hours: Weekdays 8am to 9.30pm / Saturday 9am to 4pm / Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
This newly open Poke bar at Keong Saik street features five signature dishes – The Nani Tofu ($12/$14); The Wikiwiki Salmon ($14/$16); The Purple Tuna ($14/$16); The Ono Hamachi ($16/$18); The Koa Wagyu ($16/$18), available in medium or large sizes.
While there are preset dishes here, diners are encouraged to build their own poke bowl, starting with a base (kombu rice / brown rice / mix vegetables / kombu rice & quinoa), a choice of poke (tofu / tuna / salmon / hamachi / wagyu), 4 toppings and 1 sauce.
All Bowls are made with Poke Basics – black and white sesame seeds and shredded nori.
Despite its slightly high price, Loloku attracts the lunch-time rush as their poke bowls are made with premium ingredients – you get what you pay for!
Coffee is served by Sarnies, you know you’d getting a reliable dose of caffeine, but it’s a pity that the coffee service ends at 3pm. You can get a beer or cocktail instead – Happy hour starts from 5pm to 8pm with 20% off all drinks.
Location: 1 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089109
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11.30am – 2.30pm / 5.00pm – 9.00pm / Closed on Sat & Sun
Makai Poke is the newest Poke bowl joint at Tanjong Pagar Centre, having just opened for business in early February. In addition to the Original Shoyu Salmon and Spicy Salmon poke bowls, Makai Poke also offers other poke variations such as Yuzu Soy Ahi Tuna, Roasted Sesame Ahi Tuna and Vegetarian Tofu Sesame.
For a flat rate of $9.90, Makai Poke lets you have a pick of base (sushi rice / trio rice mix / red & brown rice / garden salad), add-on toppings and superfood from $0.50 to $1 extra, and additional poke portion at $3.
Every bowl is served with rice and salad, a Poke and a fresh mix of toppings include avocado, Japanese cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, salmon roe and finished with a touch of Makai’s garnish and lime wedge.
Makai Poke is a take-out Poke bowl shop. There are limited seatings within the Tanjong Pagar Centre, just next to the store on the same floor.
Location: 1 Wallich Street, #B1-08, Tanjong Pagar Centre, Singapore 078881
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11am to 8:30pm / Sat & Sun 11:30am to 3:30pm
Walk into the basement of Capitol Piazza conveniently accessible via City Hall MRT, you will find a bright vibrant shop devoted to all things sweet and fresh. Cutely named Sweet Fish, this new Poke bowl shop is taking all of sushi’s beloved ingredients and tossing them in one delicious bowl.
The poke bowls are made only upon order. Be prepared to wait for a short moment, while the staff load the bowl with fresh quality poke and other familiar ingredients like Japanese cucumbers, walnuts and tobiko.
Comes in two sizes – Hungry $9 or Starving $14, there are five varietals of Poke bowls on the menu. Your choice of tuna, salmon or octopus is tossed in fanciful marinades like roasted sesame, sweet yuzu cream and spicy Korean kimchi, and served on Japanese rice. Add a dollar extra to sub your base to Red brown rice mix or Chopped Romaine.
For a Hawaiian-style Poke bowl, try the Hawaiian Original, comes with a mix of Salmon and Tuna and ingredients like edamame, onions, spring onions and chuka.
The Kimchi features a special made up of tender octopus, tuna, spring onions, Japanese cucumber, tobiko, Korean kimchi and housemade sauce.
The quality of Poke relies heavily on the freshness of the ocean produce, which is the only thing rule Sweet Fish adhere to in the making of its fresh-quality poke bowls.
SWEET FISH POKE
Location: 13 Stamford Road, #B2-30, Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178905
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 11:30am to 8pm / Sun 11:30am to 2:30pm