Poke is the trend, a national craze taking New York City by storm, so I had to try it. Located in the Financial District on Pearl street is Poke Green, a place that has been open for a couple of weeks only.
Poke is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as an entrée. Poke is the Hawaiian verb for "section" or "to slice or cut". Traditional forms are aku (an oily tuna) and he'e (octopus). Increasingly popular ahi poke is generally made with yellow fin tuna. Adaptations may feature raw salmon or various shellfish - also served raw - as a main ingredient with the common "poke" seasonings.
The place is clean and neat, a bar displaying different fish and vegetable choices ready to be mixed in a stainless steel bowl and poured over your choice of white or brown rice.
Chinese employees that speak a little English prepare Poke bowls and Poke burritos. There is no music but the place feels calm and serene, although people shout out loud as if they were home or alone. Light wood, bright lights and the sound of utensils preparing the bowls.
At the fish bar, salmon, scallops, tuna, chicken, shrimp and vegetables await to be mixed.
The concept is simple:
- Choose your poke bowl
- Choose your rice
- The ingredients are mixed all together in a bowl
- Sauce is added
- The mix dropped on the rice and served
I had the Poke signature and the Poke special which were both excellent. I enjoyed eating them and finished them completely. Tuna, salmon, avocado, cucumbers, seaweed salad, tobiko, onion crisps and poke juice. Tasty rice served warm, fresh fish, crunchy ingredients and the signature well spiced sauce. Fresh, interesting textures and good flavor.
The sushi burrito was a discovery. They do it differently than the one we have in Lebanon. Ingredients are also mixed then added to the burrito. No mayonnaise is used which makes it fresh, light and enjoyable. Chewy seaweed, tasty rice with a mix of fish and vegetables.
I was not done yet. I loved the place so much and decided to have one more bowl. The wasabi shrimps and scallops with cucumbers, masago, edamame and wasabi mayo. This one was my favorite; warm rice, crunchy edamame, crunchy fried onions, a load of shrimps and scallops, notes of wasabi to caress your nostrils and fresh cucumbers. I'm officially in love with Poke!
Down in the Financial District on Pearl street is Poke diner - you will want to try!