Let’s start with, ‘What is Poké’? No, it’s not like a poke you get from a Facebook friend. It’s pronounced as “Po-Keh” and it’s been taking over London and is just the sort of thing we’re craving in this hot weather. It’s a Japanese-inspired Hawaiian dish, traditionally consisting of marinated chopped fish on a base of rice. It’s satisfying, fulfilling, yet healthy, and is a big hit with foodies.
I Ain't Saying She's a Bowl Digger
Ahi Poké opened up in 2016, when the owners wanted to introduce London to Californian vibes of a relaxed, laid back atmosphere with poké. Their aim is to bring together a community as a collective of like minded, easy going food lovers who believe in a healthy lifestyle. Their signature bowls include Oahu, Heat Wave, Sweet Green, and Side Chick; and being environmentally-conscious, they will be serving the dishes in recyclable, bio-degradable plastic bowls. They have sites all over London; Fitzrovia, Victoria, Spitalfields, Bloomberg, and Fulham, so you can’t miss them.
Bringing the Island to You
Founder James Gould-Porter was bored by the drab lunches the city had to offer and so set about “spreading the Poké word and aloha spirit across London”. He first opened Island Poké in Soho back in 2015 and is now bringing poké cheer to Canary Wharf, Great Titchfield Street, Broadgate Circle and soon, Bank. House bowls include: Yuzu Lomi Lomi a bowl of salmon in a yuzu dressing with sushi rice, yuzu mango salsa, edamame, spring onion, sesame seeds and the Beet It is made from roasted beetroot, with chilli lime shoyu, brown rice, pineapple chilli salsa, spiced macadamia nuts, pickled ginger, spring onion and sesame seeds. You can also drop in for breakfast and pick up an Açaí bowl.
Poké on the streets
Working with KERB, you can find Lords of Poké ready to serve you California’s best poké. The food stand can be found not only across London with KERB at Gherkin, Kings Cross, and Paddington, but also in Camden Market (popular hotspot for foodies) as well as Peckham Levels, the new best cultural place to hangout, available at both places seven days a week. You’ll be mix and matching to your heart’s content to create a perfect combination for you — from spicy sriracha salmon, to sesame tuna, and even spicy Korean tuna, with a base of rice or cabbage, and a variety of salad items to top it all off for your delight for a beautiful, healthy lunch.
Dish Served and Ready to go
Japanese for dragonfly, it’s a symbol of renewal and positive force as Tombo is London’s first authentic Japanese café & matcha bar. With a restaurant and café in South Kensington, and a matcha bar in Soho and Fitzrovia, Tombo’s mission is to provide authentic Japanese cuisine in a casual contemporary setting. Their mantra for a balanced and healthy diet includes: seaweed, miso, tofu, multigrain rice, sesame seeds, and green tea “matcha”, they will always have something to serve you to suit any mood. Their signature bowls are namely the Osaka Fire (watch out for the hot tongue), Kyoto Kaisen, and the Okinawa Green, among others, and pairs the poké with matcha.
Pacific Fine Dining
For a fancier setting, Black Roe is bringing the finest Pacific cuisine to London. They have a Poké bar at the entrance, where a chef will serve you a bowl of poké based on what you fancy, from beef, to fish, to pure veggies, it’s up to you. This atmospheric spot is low-lit and combines Hawaiian-inspired raw fish dishes with juicy grilled meats. They’re currently serving a set menu, called Pacific Paradise, starting with poké bowls to dishes on the grill.
Cute place, cute dish, and cute people
Only at Honi Poké will you find servers flame-torching octopus made-to-order and more bowl combinations than anywhere else. They are riding the wave of the Hawaiian poké phenomenon that took over New York and LA, and has now reached British shores. They’re bringing the fresh and punchy flavours they’ve experienced, so take your pick on salmon, tuna, chicken, octopus, tofu, or personalise a bowl yourself. Afterwards, warm yourself up with the classic miso soup, and they also serve Kakigori as dessert, which is Japanese shaved ice with a natural fruit puree.