Poké Culture has Finally Hit Delhi!

Lo & Behold! Poké culture has finally hit Delhi! Poké (pronounces as po: kay) is a Hawaiian concept that has gripped the imagination of the world. Touted as the IT thing, this food trend is essentially sushi in a bowl, originally a Hawaiian raw fish salad this new updated version has a lot more Japanese influence and only the name now has Hawaiian roots. Japanese cuisine usually works very well in fusion food; my favourite and the most successful example being Nikkei, a mix of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines (Hello, Chotto Matte!) So, it’s no surprise that this healthy meal-in-a-bowl is replacing the more traditional Ramen, Khao Suey and Udon noodles which are a lot more gravy-based whereas Poké bowls are more ingredient-based and the sauces are essentially light salad dressings.

The Poké Bar, a concept in the restaurant Guppy, another new enthusiastic concept by AD Singh is a tiny 15 cover space with neon signs, funky Art Deco pieces, and Manga-inspired upholstery. A concise straight to the point menu with 5 pre-made options or a fun worksheet to make your own Poké page involves you and helps you personalize your order.

Chef Prakhar who’s handling this division happened to be there and helped me in every step of the way. So, out of 30 odd options, I ended up with a Tofu & Avocado Poké bowl with Quinoa (barley & millet are also options) braised onions, pickled cucumber, jalapenos, baby spinach, lotus root chips, tempura flakes & jalapeño crackers. Whew! I also topped it up with a ponzu dressing and their poké sauce. The bowl was light, tangy because of the mandarin undertones of the ponzu and had some obvious no fuss flavor with a big punch. The quinoa was cooked just right, something a lot of places find difficult. I also had their Gari Mocktail but I wanted a bigger Gari hit. We also ordered Chili Garlic Edamame for the table because it never grows old!

All in all, I really enjoyed the concept, the meal on its own and the quirky interiors that make the place stand out from Guppy. A big thumbs up to Chef Prakhar who overtook from our server who was still struggling with some of the Japanese ingredients and patiently helped me order like it was the most important activity of his day; this kind of importance and dedication go a long way in the service industry! I will probably pop in around 7 again when I want to cut the calories without living on soup or salad.


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