The secret to a good Poke Poke bowl
Poke Poke makes healthy meals that are easy to snag even for people who are always on the go. They toss in different kinds of rough marinated meat, match it with various vegetables and signature sauces, and place their savory concoction on top of smoking-hot and fluffy rice.
At first glance, these hefty creations come off as intimidating with its long list of ingredients, but these rice bowls are actually deconstructed favorites from Japanese and Hawaiian cuisines that most Filipinos are familiar with.
Take the traditional Basic bowl, for example, it has raw ahi tuna and salmon sashimi cuts tossed in shoyu—and this just might be the most bang-for-the-bowl out of the entire menu. Bestseller For the Rich Only is a delightful all-day breakfast bowl mix of tenderloin beef, crispy bacon bits, fish roe and soft-boiled egg drenched in garlic yogurt dressing.
The bestseller’s tough contender Cali, is the ultimate choice for California Maki lovers out there—it has kani and raw fish mixed with a refreshing mango mayonnaise twist. But if you ask chef Kel Zaguirre, you should give his personal favorites Dragon, Samurai, and Unaju a try for a different kind of Japanese gastronomic experience.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get better (or taste better) at Poke Poke, chef Kel shares an off-the-menu trick: You actually have the option to turn your favorite bowl into a stir-fried meal. Sorry chef Kel, this is one secret that shouldn’t be kept!
You’ll get to enjoy toasted grains that are mixed well and enveloped in sauces and dressings, and stir-frying amps the flavors for each bowl. This is also the best option for anyone that isn’t a fan of raw meat, chef Kel says. For this kind of customers, they can have their protein of choice seared, poached, or cooked any way they like it.
The restaurant also steps it up as they attempt to make “healthy” trend, creating bowls fit for the lifestyle program of health and wellness guru Nadine Tengco. Poke Poke regulars can now choose from three new Sexy Bowls that go perfectly with Sexy Beast’s natural and cold-pressed juices. Here, Japanese rice is traded for healthier carb options like brown rice and quinoa, and the heavy, creamy dressings are ditched, too.
Chef Kel shares that these Sexy Bowls have simpler and more straightforward flavors and textures, but the components of each bowl make up a recommended and balanced meal—it has just the right servings of greens, carbs and protein.
Poke Poke recently opened its fourth branch at SM Megamall Atrium in Ortigas. Other branches are found in Greenhills, Estancia Mall and SM Aura.
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