Supa Bowl is a takeaway food outlet located near the entrance to No Name Lane in the city centre. It specialises in making the popular Poke Bowl, which is a traditional Hawaiian dish that consists of cubed raw fish and a variety of vegetable and salad ingredients, often over rice or noodles. For the health-conscious, it has become a popular dish all around the world. Although poke has been on the menu at venues in Canberra such as Lazy Su and Catch Fish and Chips, Supa Bowl is the first Canberra location to dedicate the whole business to the delicious poke (pronounced "POH-keh").
This ground-breaking takeaway outlet opened just 5 weeks ago, at the time of writing, so I felt it was time to check it out and see how it stacked up against expectations. I was also curious to see how Canberra locals responded to this new and exciting takeaway option - and if the lunchtime crowd was anything to go by, it's a hit.
When you first walk into Supa Bowl, the colourful décor instantly feels "healthy", which sets the tone for the experience ahead. Standing behind the counter, there are many friendly staff members available to take your order and make your poke bowl fresh on the spot. As everything is cold, it is just a matter of building the ingredients on top of each other in an attractive layering of colour. All the bowls are one size and come in a plastic takeaway container with a lid, which is handy if you are walking back to the office, or taking it home.
Behind the counter there is a large sign which clearly tells you how to order and the options available. Firstly choose a base for your bowl, such as sushi rice, brown rice, soba noodles/ somen, zucchini noodles or mixed greens. You then choose from one of their prepared bowls from the menu, which includes salmon, tuna, chicken or tofu, which range in price between $14.50 and $19.50. Alternatively you can "build your own" and if you work nearby or are in a hurry, there is also menu sheet that you can tick and hand in, to make it faster.
Place your order and wait for it to get made - which only takes a couple of minutes
On my visit I chose brown rice as the base and the Salmon Poke - which was cubed raw salmon, carrot, cucumber, edamame (immature green soybeans), beetroot, daikon (mild radish), Supa Bowl sauce, toasted nori (seaweed) and tobiko (flying fish roe), for $15.50. To get into the true spirit of Supa Bowl, I also ordered a home-blend Superfruit Rooibos Iced Tea, which was going to give me a boost of antioxidants, as well as complement the fresh flavours. After waiting just a couple of minutes, my number was called and I collected my takeaway bowl, filled up my drink and settled in to enjoy the Supa Bowl experience.
A colourful and healthy takeaway, which will want you craving more!
The Salmon Poke Bowl was everything I hoped it would be and more - bursting with subtle flavours which blended together perfectly in every mouthful. If you enjoy eating healthily and the taste of sashimi, you really can't go past the combination of flavours in the one poke bowl. The salmon was fresh and moist, the green edamame beans were crunchy and flavoursome and the roe brought all the flavours together. For $15.50 it isn't a cheap takeaway option, however I found the bowl to be generous in size and contents - so much so, that I took the rest home to put in my fridge for later in the afternoon. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed the Superfruit Rooibos Iced Tea, as I wasn't quite sure what to expect from it. It was very refreshing and would be perfect to enjoy as a takeaway on a hot summer day.
Egg Puffle for dessert? Image: Original photos from Supa Bowl Facebook
If all this health food is just too much, many customers were also stopping by for one of their Egg Puffle desserts, which is a Hong Kong street food made of a batter, similar to waffle batter, which is then twisted into a cone and served with ice cream and toppings. Although I didn't have room for it on my visit, I'll be sure to give one a try next time.
If you enjoy healthy food, love the flavour of raw fish and enjoy cuisines from around the world with an Asian twist, then track down Supa Bowl and give it a try. As Supa Bowl is open until 8:30pm every night (except Sunday), it is the ideal place to stop by for a healthy lunch, dinner or takeaway to enjoy later. With the university nearby and office buildings all around, Supa Bowl has already cemented its place in the No Name Lane district. Be warned however, once you try it, you will be making an excuse to go back again... and again.
Opening times each day - closed on Sundays. Image: Supa Bowl Facebook