It's the cutting-edge food trend with a cool and colourful history and it's here in the flesh right in front of me at the newly opened Cheeky Poke Bar. Delicate crescents of sesame-sprinkled scallops, crimson beetroot noodles and green papaya salad, plus lashings of avocado, spinach, cucumber, radish. Oh, and a sliver of branded nori. Pass the chopsticks, please.
All things green - iced matcha and green juice. Author image.
The sashimi scallop meal at Cheeky Poke Bowl is both nourishing and scrumptious, though my companion's sashimi salmon bowl was also mighty tempting. The inclusions were a little different (coconut turmeric rice, kale, cabbage, pickled ginger, wasabi mayo, taro crisps and an egg cooked at 64 degrees for maximum silkiness) but like everything else on the menu here, it all hangs together perfectly.
Cheeky Poke Bowl has a streamlined exterior. Author image.
Poke bowls are hot property. You probably already know that the word 'poke' is pronounced 'poke-ay' and means 'to slice or cut' in Hawaiian. But you might not know that the humble poke bowl emerged centuries ago when fishermen seasoned and ate off-cuts from their daily catch That's why poke bowls are a bit like a cross between ceviche (marinated raw fish or seafood) and Buddha bowls (vegetables and grains).
With venues at both Newstead and West End, Cheeky Poke Bar offers a range of bowls that stick closely to tradition, incorporating sustainable seafood sourced from local fishermen. But if seafood ain't your thing, there are plenty of other protein options too - including tofu, chicken and Wagyu beef. Or perhaps the signature tacos (made from nori, or wontons) are more to your taste. With fillings such as kingfish marinated in coconut and lime with Sriracha mayonnaise, or tofu with house sesame and soy, there is plenty of love to go around.