If you are not a huge fan of poké, then you clearly don’t know what you are missing. Combine the fresh flavours of sushi, with crispy, crunchy vegetables, add some fruit for a sweet change, a layer of rice and what you have is a healthy, nutritious and very filling dish. There are a few poké restaurants in Cape Town, and to be very honest I have not had a bad meal yet.
The jury is still out about the exact origin of the poké – it is said to have originated from Hawaii, but there is a heavy Japanese influence on the dish.
The newest addition to the The Poké Co family is a branch in the bustling district of Claremont, a few steps away from Cavendish Square which makes it really convenient to shop, then drop in and have breakfast, lunch or an early dinner. The decor is bright, vibey and youthful which lends to the crowd they attract.
Despite the challenges facing the food and beverage industry as a result of COVID-19, The Poké Co founder, Andrew Flanagan has opened his fourth store.
The eatery is not very big, there are a few tables inside and a handful outside to accommodate sit-down meals. It is more of a grab and go vibe. Starters include only a few options, the tuna nachos were a hit and also proof that you can create a nacho feast with just about any ingredients. Salted edamame beans is the other option, or poké salad bowls.
The poké menu is impressive, you can choose to build your own bowl from tons of options which include avocados, carrots, pineapples, cabbage, orange, spring onions, coconut shavings, salmon, tuna or tofu if you would prefer a vegetarian option.
There really are countless options and depending on your tastebuds, you can go for the more adventurous option or stick to the simpler ones.
If you are anything like me and always want to try the option that sells the best, then definitely try one of the nine classic favourites – for me it was the Windward Bowl, which has tuna sashimi, cucumber, edamame, pickled pinger, avocado with Hawaiian Heat& Creamy Wasabi dressing and shredded nori. It was less spicy than it said it would be but so fresh and delicious that it really didn’t make a difference.
What I love most about poké bowls is that each bite delivers a different flavour profile, even if you manage to swirl it all together. There is a surprise in every bite, and elements of different textures and tastes.
Other options include the poké burrito, which has rice instead of the tortilla wrap, and on a cold day you can also enjoy a winter broth – which is comforting and feels like a hug from the inside, it doesn’t hurt that it is filled with goodness and is really healthy.
Flanagan’s idea to idea to open a specialised poké bar in Cape Town first came to mind while travelling in 2015. “I discovered that poké has all the flavours we love in sushi, rediscovered in a unique, spontaneous and convenient way. I realised that it was missing from the seafood scene in Cape Town and felt it was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss out on.”
And now, he lays claim to his fourth store in Cape Town. Clearly poké is here to stay and if you ever try it, you’ll know exactly why.
Contact: 087 470 0583
Address: 12 Dreyer Street, Claremont
Website: The Poké Co