The Poke Shop – A Taste of the Tropics
Okay…. by now, I think I have written at least four posts in the past year about poke. My homemade poke recipe, The Poke Guy (Gastown), Pokerrito (Near Granville St in Downtown), and Ono Seafood (Honolulu, Hawaii). And that’s not all the poke shops in Vancouver! If I’m not mistaken, there are three or four more poke shops in Vancouver I have yet to try. CRAZY right?! Poke explosion in Vancity!!
The Poke Shop is the newest poke place in town and they grand opened around a week ago. They are directly across from the steam clock in Gastown and you have to go downtstairs. I was invited here for a media tasting by Naomi of Constant Cravings so all of our food and drinks were complimentary. That said, my reviews are always 100% my honest opinion. No bias allowed.
To start off, their bowl sizes are very interesting. You can only choose from Large ($12.95) or Extra Large ($15.95). Their prices are competitive but it will still cost you around $13-$20 for a full meal depending on if you want drinks. The thing I like most about this place is that you can mix and match the base. From white or purple rice to greens to zucchini noodles, you can get our variety fix here.
Also, perhaps a reason why its a dollar or two over the normal ‘poke bowl’ price is because you get unlimited toppings. Usually you only get a couple to choose from… but here, you literally can get a bit of every topping there is. The only thing stopping you here is your constraint and self control…. XD
I got the Extra Large Bowl with a mix of white rice, purple rice, and zucchini noodles. For my proteins, I chose the half baby scallop and half ahi tuna.
They portion everything by using scoopers.
Next up are your sauces which you can also mix and match from these available choices:
- Horseradish Aioli
- Sweet Chili
- BBQ Shoyu
I got the wasabi mayo and signature sauce. I think I’ll just go all in for the wasabi mayo next time because I absolutely loved hints of the up-your-nose wasabi kick throughout my meal. IT WAS SOO GOOD.
Alllll da toppings.
They serve up some unique drinks including
- Roasted Macadamia Milk Tea
- Pineapple Plantation Iced Tea
- 3 Berry & Lemon Soda
- Cucumber Agave Lemon Water
- Hawaiian Chocolate & Coffee Milke Tea
- Iced Matcha Green Tea with Honey
I ended up getting the Pineapple Plantation Iced Tea which was essentially a scoop of pineapple chunks, slices of lemon, pineapple juice, and iced tea. It tastes like “half sweet” as the only sugar in the tea is coming from pineapple juices but I absolutely LOVED IT. I normally get half sweet in my bubble tea anyways so this tea was perfect for me.
My personal thoughts on the bowl is that its authenticity is pretty up there with The Poke Guy. The ahi tuna is quite similar to the one I had at Ono Seafood in Honolulu which is pretty amazing. But honestly, for real authentic poke you have to get rid of all the toppings. Usually it’s just fish and rice. That’s it. But here in Vancouver I guess toppings is just a thing so I’m okay with that as well. Also, I really did not expect the zucchini noodles to be good with poke, but after being drenched in the mayo sauce, it was friggin fantastic. Next time I think I’ll go with half purple rice, half zucchini.
All of our poke bowls. 🙂 Clearly all of us were greedy (#noshame), except for one – Nosh and Nibble. Heh heh heh
Last but not least, the owner came by and let us taste test an off the menu item that they are thinking about selling. It’s called Poke and Avocado on Toast ($10.95) and it should come in 6 half slices, so 3 pieces of toast in total. Overall, I appreciate the uniqueness of the item but it was a little difficult to eat (my toppings kept falling) and the combination of poke and bread is a little weird to me. But that’s just me!
Service Rating: 3.5/5
Food Rating: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5