By: Stella Sitt
Pokéworks, GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL!! In light of the recent PokemonGo fad (or is it here to stay?), I am extremely excited to write about poké – the new trend that has hit the streets of the East Coast. But…what exactly is poké? Poké, pronounced “poh-kay” is essentially a Hawaiian raw fish salad marinated in soy sauce topped with yummy goodness along with condiments.
Pokéworks, the first poké shop, opened in Midtown West – Manhattan last year, and after seeing this place on Yelp, I knew we had to check out this new phenomenon. The first time Terah and I visited, we hit the lunch time rush. We waited in a queue outside for ~45 minutes before stepping foot into the restaurant to place our order. There is minimal seating in the actual store and it gets cramped during lunch time, so arrive early (11 AM) if you plan to sit down and beat the line outside. The second time we visited, we arrived by 11:30 and only waited for ~20 minutes.
I would liken Pokéworks to the Japanese version of a Chipotle – a fast food restaurant with an assembly line. You’re prompted to choose your base (white or brown rice), protein (type of fish or chicken), mix –ins (seaweed, edamame, etc.) and a flavor (sauce). For $11.95, you can pick two proteins or, for $13.95 you can pick three.
Terah and I both loved our poké bowls! The fish was fresh and the toppings and mix-ins were plentiful. I opted for salmon and tuna on a bed of brown rice topped with with shiso leaves, edamame, hijiki seaweed, seaweed salad, avocado, wasabi, sesame seed, spicy furikake, onion crisps, ponzu sauce and soy sauce. Terah ordered the salmon and tuna combo as well ,but spiced up her bowl with crab salad, which she raved about after. With everything mixed together, the combination was absolutely delicious, fresh,and healthy! The variety of mix-ins and toppings available are a bonus as well.
We give Pokéworks 4.5 stars! Pokéworks definitely lives up to the hype in our books, but we subtracted 0.5 stars because it was a bit pricy. Although we’re both not fans of the Midtown hustle and bustle, our love for poké will bring us back! For you gamers out there, let’s hope it doesn’t become a Poké stop or else there would be real madness.