If you’re in Takapuna and need a quick, easy, and healthy bite to eat – the best place to go is Poké Poké.
Tucked away in Takapuna, is a semi-new laneway called Fortieth & Hurstmere which I call the ‘Takapuna alleyway’, with a number of delicious restaurants. Poké Poké has been around for almost a year now but it took me a while to check it out because I wasn’t quite sure what poké was, so I Googled it.
Poké is the Hawaiian version of the Spanish ceviche, the Fijian kokoda, or the Samoan oka. It’s basically a marinated raw fish salad, but Poké Poké takes it to the next level, letting you mix and match multiple toppings of your liking.
Stefan and I stopped into Poké Poké after the gym one night, looking for something filling but light. Luckily it was a quiet night so I could study the menu and look around at the different toppings, also I think we smelled a bit.
Poké Poké is set up similar to the way Subway is – pick your base (purple rice, white rice, salad, or half rice – half salad), your protein of choice, toppings, and sauces. I chose half purple rice and half salad with their signature sesame dressing on top.
For my protein I got salmon and tofu, each marinated separately in little silver bowls with soy sauce, ponzu, sesame seeds and spring onions. I got very excited with all the topping options (no limit!) and selected: cucumber, edamame, seaweed salad, Japanese pickles and pickled ginger ($13.9).
The very nice lady who served us selected generous amounts of each topping and added it to the bowl. I picked their signature shoyu sauce and topped everything off with some sesame seeds, fried shallots and seaweed strips. Stefan chose the half and half base with their seasoned tuna. He selected heaps of toppings too, and went for their wasabi mayo sauce and their chili threads ($13.9).
We sat in their cute semi-outdoor courtyard in the back, that is shared with a few of the other restaurants, and devoured our meals happily. Poké Poké unlike a few other poké restaurants around Auckland have big portions with tasty clean sauces. Many other places tend to be too salty when all the marinades and toppings are added together. I’m usually ravenous after working out, but
Their protein specials can range from sous vide chicken with kimchi to calamari and they change their sauce options often. I think of Poké Poké as a high quality deconstructed sushi restaurant.
It is now one of my favourite cheap and healthy eats in Takapuna and i’ve never been disappointed with the quality of the food or the service. If you are new to the poké experience I would suggest going to Poké Poké first.