Have you heard of poke?
It’s a Hawaiian island speciality, taking America by storm and has now landed in Australia. You’ll find Australia’s first restaurant devoted to poke in Coogee to be exact, a short walk from the beach. So what is poke you ask? It’s cubed raw tuna, salmon and other seafood marinated in Japanese-inspired condiments.
From the background music to the decorations, this place unquestionably has the Aloha spirit. They even sell Hawaiian beers and a variety of tropical juices. Hawaii or Sydney? Unsure at this point…
Options include Guava & Cranberry, Pink lemonade or Apple with a twist of lime from Parker’s Organic Sparkling, which are 100% fruit juice.
The fish salad, or poke bowls are often served with rice. At Poke, they serve them with a high-fibre black rice.
The black rice is believed to help increase the rate of metabolism, maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, enhance the immune and nervous system function, promote cell growth and reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.
The first bowl served was called ‘Coconut Delight’. Cured white fish with the taste of the tropics: coconut milk and citrus flavours combined with seasonal vegetables. Poke use a variety of fish depending on the fisherman’s catch of the day. In my opinion, it was like eating Korean bibimbap because of those kimji and you also have to mix everything together. (Gluten and dairy free)
The second bowl we had was ‘Pele’s Touch’, named after the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, Pele. It was scorching ahi or salmon dish (optional). This dish felt like Thai foods, with cucumbers, dried chillis and tri-colour capsicums laced with fiery red-hot house-made chilli oil.
The third bowl was so Japanese it was called ‘Ono King’. Kingfish, sesame oil, seaweed, sea salt amd sesame. (Gluten and dairy free)
We were told street tacos were added onto the menu just for fun. And you know what, they were so delicious! My favourite dish was actually this ‘Local Fish Street Taco’. Today’s catch, house picked veg, spicy salsa & house made lime oil. The fish was grilled and smelled so delicious.
This taco was my friend’s favourite of the day as well. The ‘Pulled Pork Street Taco’; free range pig, crunchy slaw, spicy pine apple salsa.
We finished off our meal with island sweet treaties called Hula Cupcakes. Made gluten free, refined sugar free, with coconut flour, carrot and pineapples.
“We’re really focused on making Poke a place where people want to hangout,” Poke founder Candace Wu said. “In the end it’s a family business and we want to treat our customers as friends and invoke that famous ‘aloha spirit’.”
Poke is on my list to revisit.
3/55 Dudley Street,
Coogee, NSW 2034
Contributed by Paul, who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys