My love affair with Japanese food is well documented. When I walked past the window of Poké Shop, where Hanoi Coffee Company used to be, I was thrilled. Poké bowls in Bristol? Surely just a fantasy of the future? But no. Poké bowls have been speeding up the trend food charts faster than a coyote after a roadrunner. The Hawaiian/Japanese crossover was already a household name in California and the like but is still fairly new to the UK. Poke bowls are a raw fish salad, mostly spicy tuna, salmon or octopus it is also filled with rice and pickled veg topped with a number of items such as spring onion, sesame seeds, avocado and crispy onions, but the list is fairly extensive to what you can top your poke bowl with.
The first place to offer poké bowls is by the owners of ramen joint Sticks n Broth. The Poké Shop in Bristol offers Spicy Tuna and Salmon as their fish options currently but they come with 5 different selections of toppings. I have so far sampled the Oki poke and the smoky poké. Poké bowls are a great lunch alternative to those who enjoy raw fish. The idea is you poke around in the bowl and see what combo you come out with. This has fast become a firm favourite with work friends for a healthier lunch alternative that tastes delicious. Being able to enjoy a sushi vibe without having to spend a tonne of money on a set or selection of dishes. My smoky poké for example had raw and smoked salmon, seaweed, edamame, spring onion and sesame seeds topped with Japanese mayo. If you can’t decide what poké to have they also offer a tuna or salmon lunch poké bowl which is filled with whatever they fancy on the day for £6.50.
The Poké Shop also offer sushiritos, a sushi burrito with rice instead of tortillas, although they have just started trying out Japanese style fish tacos which sound pretty interesting. The sushiritos needed a tighter roll and a bit more work before the reach the levels of the one I had at Sushirito in NYC but the idea is a good one and I hope they work at it because I personally can’t get enough of this concept and am looking forward to seeing more poke bowl options in the future. If you are looking for more details about the Poké Shop, visit their twitter account @pokeshopbristol.