Finally!! Poke Bowls in Brussels at PokiPoké
What’s a Poké (pronounced Poh-keh) Bowl you might ask? Poké is cubed raw fish, seasoned how you like it, mainly with Asian ingredients such as yuzu, soy sauce and rice vinegar. A Poké Bowl is a traditional Hawaiian dish, which is basically a base of rice topped with the raw fish cubes, fresh veggies, sesame, fried wonton strips and a soy-based dressing on top. Different restaurants in the US and other places around the globe have changed the recipe a bit, for example by exchanging rice with quinoa, but the traditional one is either served with rice or just the fish, plain, with veggies.
Until just a few months ago Brussels had no restaurant serving the Hawaiian specialty, so I came up with this recipe for a salmon, avocado and mango bowl. Since I can be very lazy sometimes, though, I was more than happy when I saw that finally a Poké place opened: PokiPoké. Close to Flagey, almost next to Racines I bumped into this place with the pink neon lights at the entrance, just a few weeks ago and finally managed to try it last Saturday.
It’s a stylish place, very minimalistic with fairly little decoration or details, besides some cool posters and cosy lamps. When passing by the foldable wooden chairs and tables at the end of the long room you’ll see the bar where you order and choose from the many ingredients to compose your Poké Bowl from.
So there’s two ways to go, either you choose all ingredients yourself and build your own bowl, or you go for the ones that are put together by the very nice staff at PokiPoké. I went for the 808 bowl with ahi tuna, avocado, radishes, spinach, red cabbage, crispy onions, sesame and some extra edamame and Jalapeños along with a dressing based on olive oil and yuzu.
Of course I got the big portion, which is quite generous and keeps you busy eating for a while. It’s a bit hard to mix all the ingredients without losing them from your bowl, while managing to finish the whole bowl with just chopsticks and nothing more. I’m sure I could’ve asked for a spoon, but I like living on the edge and also I’m sure with more practice I’ll get better eventually.
The fish is very fresh, nicely seasoned and the amount you get is very fair. The veggies are crispy and all in all was a nice, refreshing and light lunch which doesn’t leave you hungry. It was a true feast for the eye and of course you can’t compare this dish to a tasting experience at more sophisticated restaurants, but it is definitely a place I would come back to or order from when craving a nice and simple lunch.
Good to know:
- Chaussée d’Ixelles 331, 1050 Ixelles
- Price: A small bowl is 7.90-8.40€ and a big one 10.90-11.40€