London: Follow the Pokē trend, starting from Black Roe
Pokē bowls, not to be confused with Pokemon balls, have been trending on the Instagram food world for a while. The dish’s name comes from the Hawaiian way of preparing seafood, diced, much like the Japanese Donburi, rice topped with raw fish.
Pokē comes in assorted varieties with options of tuna or salmon, edamame, ginger, and sauces. Most poke places are on the smaller and more casual side, offering made to order bowls and healthier options of quinoa, brown rice or black rice.
If you’re not going to Hawaii soon, London has a couple of options to offer.
For the red carpet experience of Pokē bowls and Pacific Rim cuisine go to Black Roe in London’s Mayfair. The restaurant, founded by restaurateur Kurt Zdesar of Chotto Matte, offers an intimate experience.
The small space is on a street in Mayfair, not easily spotted. Once you enter you’ll be welcomed by dimmed lights, deep navy walls with black and white faces of suppliers of the produce greeting you. The space is modern with a trendy twist, amid hip music and neon writings on the walls.
Start of with a signature cocktail, Shuck Shack with yuzu sake, aperol, mezcal, peach, grapefruit, sea salt or the Riviera Spits with mondino amaro, mediterranean tonic, grilled rosemary, orange zest.
Here, you can try a variety of different pokē dishes from beef tataki to salmon or the black roe special ahi and yellowtail. Adorned with flowers the plates are too pretty to eat, but once you dig in there’s no stopping.
For a dinner of two, the friendly waiter recommended one starter, two pokē bowls and one main dish. The menu has many enticing options so do pick carefully! You might leave planning to come back and try that other dish that sounded amazing. Definitely leave room for the Rib eye steak with yuzu soy hollandaise or the most popular dish Lobster mac and cheese, recommendation of the smiley staff, I left wanting to go back and try it. For lighter options go for the blackened Cajun sea bass or the dover sole.
At Ahi Poke go for options with quinoa and creamy yet light tiger milk sauce, at Tombo try the matcha deserts after your bowl. The newest addition, Island Pokē offers healthier options with brown rice or you can just skip the rice for leafy greens or raw slaw. Island Poke also offers the trendy acai bowls for breakfast.