Have you heard of a poke bowl? It’s a Hawaiian staple consisting of raw cubed fish (the poke) on a bed of rice. The bowls are healthy and full of flavour, and have become hugely popular in cities such as New York and LA in recent years.
Tokyo Tina began serving poke just under a year ago, “doing different flavours and combinations” at the Windsor restaurant, says Simon Blacher, one the owners of a group that also includes Hanoi Hannah and Saigon Sally. “Recently we noticed the dish was really kicking off and suddenly all of Melbourne started talking about it.
“We’d learned a little along the way having served it at Tokyo Tina, and thought we’d start a delivery concept.”
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Point Break Poké – named for the cult 1991 film starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze as surfer cop and criminal – is a delivery-only service that sends bowls to within a four-kilometre radius of its kitchen in Windsor. Delivery will be available through Uber, Foodora and Deliveroo. Also, for those ordering over the phone, it’s pronounced “poh-keh”.
Each item on the menu is named after a famous surf break. The Bells Beach kingfish comes with miso-tahini dressing, pickled golden beets, pink radish and pomegranate. The Pipeline tuna is served with avocado, ginger, onion, wakame, white sesame and miso-eggplant mousse. You can choose from four bases (rice, brown rice, shredded cabbage or sweet-potato glass noodle and carrot) and can add extras such as charred corn, edamame beans and kale chips.
“At this stage we’re cooking and preparing all of the poke dishes from our kitchen upstairs at Saigon Sally,” Blacher explains. “But if it kicks off, which we think it will, it could definitely turn into something permanent and we’d certainly look for some new digs.
“The delivery market is exploding, people just love the ease of it so it seemed like an appropriate next step for us to take. The whole concept of poke and the delivery system is about health, speed and affordability.”
As for the difference between poke other raw-fish dishes, such as ceviche, Blacher points to the ingredients and source.
“The origins are different,” Blacher says. “Ceviche is a Peruvian/South American raw-fish dish with a lot of citrus, whereas poke is a Hawaiian dish with rice at the bottom, chopped raw fish, a dressing and vegetables. Ceviche is more of an entrée, and poke is more of a meal.”
If you’re already a poke fan, or your curious about the dish, Point Break Poké is giving away free poke bowls from 1pm onwards this Saturday November 19. The giveaway lasts for two hours and 11 minutes – the duration of Point Break, naturally.
“Well, everyone’s a fan of that movie, aren’t they?” Blacher says, laughing. “Poke is Hawaiian and we wanted to incorporate the whole ’70s, ’80s surf-skate culture into this venture.
“We also love Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves.”