As the sun set on a balmy autumn day in Perth at St Martin’s Centre, the tall palm trees swayed, the soothing strains of a ukulele were heard and a bevy of beautiful hula dancers were at the ready with colourful floral leis. You could easily have been mistaken for thinking you had been magically transported to Hawaii. The Official Opening/Media Night to celebrate Aloha Poké’s first international outlet was an resounding success. We had the pleasure of meeting the dynamic John Chen one of the four founders of Aloha Poké and Melinda Khan. They were engaging, witty, charming and passionate about their brand.
‘Poké’ – is the Hawaiian word for 'chopped' and in its pure form consists of raw, marinated ahi tuna, served with toasted sesame seeds, sweet onions and scallions. In Hawaii it is the go to food for surfers who are looking for a protein packed meal. To make it more of a substantial meal, rice and greens are added to the tuna or salmon.
In keeping with the island theme, the cocktails created by Ku Barz were Piña Colada, Mai Thai and Sex on the Beach. For those who prefer there was also wine and beer available. We were then ushered into the main part of the restaurant where Melinda and John enlightened us about the history of poké, their ethos and interesting facts about the foundation of Aloha Poké. They are both excellent speakers who captivated the audience with their presence and their witty anecdotes. After a trip to Hawaii, they were won over by the freshness of poké and decided to bring the magic of Hawaii to Singapore by opening up the very first outlet in 2015. In Singapore, Aloha Poké sells an average of 170kg of fish a day and an average of two poké bowls per minute during lunch. This is mainly due to the fact that only the freshest sashimi grade salmon and tuna are used. Today, there are eight successful branches in Singapore and we are lucky to now have one in Perth. Perth was chosen because we are blessed with fresh seafood that is available all year round.
Poké bowls are offered in two sizes – Lil Swell ($15.90) and Big Kahuna ($20.90). You simply choose your base – white rice, brown rice, mixed rice or salad. Then you choose your protein – tuna, salmon, tofu or seasonal fish in original, spicy or wasabi mayo. A wide variety of toppings are available which include carrots, jalapeños, fruit, almonds, walnuts. To liven things up, you can add superfoods like avocado, chia seeds, pomegranate, quail eggs, flying fish roe and edamame. Healthy drinks like coconut water, cold pressed juice and still or sparkling water are on offer to quench your thirst. These poké bowls certainly pack a nutritional punch, that will put a smile on your face and a pep in your step! The emphasis here is on freshness and this is evident from the vibrant colours of the fish and the greens. It was a real treat watching sous chef Bohari, skillfully demonstrate how to prepare fresh salmon for the poké. We watched closely as he deboned the salmon with a pair of tiny tweezers.
Throughout the evening the dulcet voices of husband and wife team Polkadot and Moonbeam, kept us thoroughly entertained. The guest speaker for the evening was intrepid, big wave, international surfer Zac Haynes-Love, a local Perth lad who credits poké with giving him the stamina to keep crushing it. The lovely dancers from Dance Collective clad in grass skirts and hibiscus flowers à la Moana swayed to the music and made us feel like we were at a genuine luau.
You can choose to dine in with your friends, as they are able to seat up to 40 diners, or you may choose to takeaway. For your convenience they are open during the working week, Monday – Friday from 11am - 3pm. Every bowl at Aloha Poké is made fresh, can be customised and is created with love! We suggest you hula your way down for a healthy bowl of poké goodness soon, as you can avail of a 10% opening discount up to the 18th of May! Mahalo!