Poke/Poke: When East Meets West

From the island of Hawaii, a new food trend has come to the shores of the Philippines. Poke, pronounced as “POH-keh” means “to cut”; it is simply raw seafood turned into a salad. It is traditionally made with cubes of raw tuna dressed with some soy sauce and sesame oil and served with red onions, seaweed and scallions. It may sound like a simple dish, but simple is not what we are after.

Restaurant front

From the creative minds behind Locavore, Taqueria 101 and Empingao; Chef Kel Zaguirre offers a whole new side to the humble Poke.

Over a bowl of poke, Ms Alta, Mr Speedy Lyttle (co-owners of Locavore and Poke/Poke) and I talked about how Poke/Poke came to be. It all started with Ms Alta’s love for homecooked Mongolian food and the creative mind of Chef Kel Zaguirre. Ingenuity and passion blossomed into this awesome restaurant that is Poke/Poke.

Poke/Poke has branches in SM Megamall, Estancia Mall, Greenhills and SM Aura; where you are offered a range of different kinds of Poke Bowls. If you’re the adventurous type, you can even create your own poke bowl.

Poke/Poke has different kinds of signature bowls all inspired by different countries. They have bowls inspired by Japan and by Italy, for example, each of which features their own distinct flavor and texture.

Poke/Poke is not just your traditional Poke; It is about creativity and adventure. It’s about creating the perfect bowl for you. Here, they have different components that are very nontraditional, such as sauces like Sriracha Aioli and Kimchi Aioli. They have ingredients from feta cheese to chicken skin, too. Everything is different and unique.

Every bowl is different. It has a balance of different flavors and textures that are created so beautifully. Each bowl has components created to satisfy almost every craving you could think of. You can have bowls with fruits; you can even have a bowl with bacon. Poke/Poke will surely have a bowl for you. Some of their signature bowls are their Dragon, Samurai and Cali bowls.

Dragon Bowl – P450

A mix of shrimp, salmon and unagi, this poke bowl is for all of the chili lovers out there. If you want some spice in your life, the Dragon bowl is for you. It has a bunch of different flavors that will create fireworks in your mouth. You have the creaminess of the feta, the crunch of cucumber, and the sweetness of mango. It is a bowl of pure goodness.

Samurai – P320

This is my personal favorite. Samurai is my idea of a perfect post-workout meal. You have fresh tuna and salmon, mixed with the saltiness and sweetness of shoyu. Then you have the kick of the kimchi aioli, and then all that crunch and freshness from the vegetables. It is perfection in a bowl. Just writing about it is making me hungry again.

Cali – P300

Think of a California roll, then put all that goodness into a bowl, add some avocado and some of their sauces, and you have the Cali poke bowl. The sweetness of the mango and creaminess of the avocado plus the crunchiness of the cucumber makes everything about this poke bowl oh so good.

Check them out today!


2/F SM Megamall, Atrium, Ortigas, Mandaluyong

LG/F Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Kapitolyo, Pasig

8 Missouri Street, North East, Greenhills, San Juan

4/F Food on Four, SM Aura, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig


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