Move aside sushi, there’s a new kid in town! Poke (poh-keh, poke-ay) is my latest obsession. Overnight, this Hawaiian sensation seems to have become London’s biggest food trend, with various poke joints having opened up around the capital seemingly overnight. And I can see why. Sushi has been one of the most popular foods in the London scene for a number of years, and poke has brought this deconstructed, wholesome one-bowl concept to the city for the easiest and healthiest of lunches on the go.
It’s no surprise that when I turn up at Island Poké in Soho at 1pm, the queue is already out of the door and on its way down Kingly Street. Believe me, it is worth spending your lunch time queuing for! And perhaps part of the reason it tastes so good is because Island Poké is the whole experience. For the few minutes that you’re ordering, waiting for your bowl to be carefully constructed, and topping it with the self-serve sriracha mayo, the music, decór and friendly staff will take you far far away from the hustle-bustle of the busy streets and office life, and you can almost believe you’re in Hawaii.
Pick from sushi rice, brown rice or their house ‘raw slaw’, and build your bowl on top of this. You can pile it as high as you like with fresh salmon or tuna and an array of toppings from spiced macadamias to roasted beetroot to kimchi. This is where flavours you never thought would go together work in perfect harmony. If you don’t trust your experimental side, then you can choose one of the delicious house bowls which are equally as delicious!
Island Poké have just opened their second location at Broadgate Circle, Liverpool Street with a later opening time than the Soho branch, so it’s the ideal place to stop for a healthy, quick dinner on your way home.