Who knew that a once obscure Hawaiian entree would become 2017’s favourite office lunch and quick-and-healthy takeaway dinner option? Well, the minds behind Suki, Brisbane’s first poke bowl and sushi burrito restaurant, definitely had a hunch.
After seeing how popular the food was becoming in California, co-owners Leon McNiece and Eddie Isik opened the first Suki store in South Bank in April this year. Now a Bulimba store has arrived hot on its heels, opposite the Balmoral cinemas.
Suki CEO Kim Toovey says that right from the start the team knew one Suki was not going to be enough. “Our intention was always to grow Suki as a national business,’’ he says, “We knew this was something that Australia could embrace and that we’d have to move quickly to make it happen.’’
While Hawaiian poke (raw fish, traditionally marinated in whatever might be on hand) is typically served in small portions at the beginning of a meal, Suki is dishing out main meals of sustainably sourced tuna, salmon, snapper, swordfish and kingfish – or non-fish options such as katsu chicken, tofu or ginger beef – with a choice of rices, salads, sauces and toppings.
If it sounds overwhelming, you can let Suki be your guide with one of its already-decided combinations. “People mostly use the set options to start, then quickly branch out,” Toovey says, “I’ve eaten at Suki seven days a week since we opened, and could have had a different bowl every single day, there’s so many combinations.”
If your taste in drinks tends towards the virtuous, Suki is also serving Los Bros Kombucha probiotic tea and PERKii probiotic water, both Australian made.
The fit-out is as busy as the menu. The old Cafe Citrus on the corner of Oxford and Smallman Streets has been cut in two and done in crisp white breeze blocks and subway tiles. Otherwise, everything is either teal or pink, including the glowing frontage, which switches between the two. “Oxford Street is really starting to get some new life with more relaxed dining,” Toovey says. “It’s moving away from the high-end dining that’s traditionally dominated, and we felt a quick, grab-and-go healthy option was really needed in the area.”
161 Oxford Street, Bulimba