He’s teaming up with Night Noodle Market’s Bao Stop (Matty Forwood and Matt Hryniuk) on what will be their first permanent venture. The team plans on rolling out at least 20 bars in the near future. The first CBD site will open in four months. Details on name and location are still to be revealed.
Poke, a Hawaiian diced-fish dish on a bed of rice, is on the rise in Australia. Almost all at once, Sydney is home to four venues devoted to it.
“It is a trend that is moving forward. You will see the market flooded with poke concepts here over the next 12 to 18 months,“ says Best.
“In California, in 2014 there were 14 poke bars, and now there’s over 2000 of them,” he says. “The model I am going to roll out will be a very small format with no seats. You’ll be able to order off an app, and if you’re in the CBD you can order on your phone from your desk and come downstairs and pick it up straight away,” he says.
It won’t be traditional either; Best will import techniques and flavours from Malaysia and Japan (due to the Japanese influence on Hawaii). It also won’t follow a build-your-own formula; for Best, this simply slows things down. “They are very slow to take your order and slow to process. We’re doing a bar-style concept, it has to be quick.”
The whole concept will be organic, revolving around sustainable fish. “This is very close to my heart, I want my kids eating the same seafood I do,” he says.
Working with Happy Fish (a sustainable seafood organisation in Bondi), the menu will include market fish, as well as king salmon from New Zealand, yellow fin tuna and King eye fillet.
“We’ve set up a direct link straight to the fishermen on the northern coast who line-catch all their fish. That way you’re not using nets or trawling; they’ve been using sustainable fishing measures for five generations,” he says. Pair your protein with bamboo rice, quinoa or salad.
Beyond poke bowls, there will be miso soups and soba noodle soups for the colder months.
“The main star of the show is the quality of the seafood, that’s what I have built my name on over six to eight years,” Best says. “I don’t care if I have to pay more for it.”
More information to come.