There have been plenty of unhealthy food trends to make their mark in Hong Kong in recent years — from steak frites to crazy-combo ice-cream sandwiches — so it’s nice to see when a healthy newcomer gets swept up in the tide of Hong Kong food fads and trends. Pololi might have kicked off the poké bowl craze two years back, but a steady stream of new openings is making it a close race for the title of best poké in Hong Kong. Here are four places slinging the most authentic bowls from the Aloha State.
Started by three friends in 2015, Aloha has recently revamped its menu, bringing in some pretty high-profile consultants to jazz up their poké offerings. Lindsay Jang, co-founder of Hong Kong yakitori institution Yardbird, and Erik Idos of Mexican-fusion fave Chino, have weighed in on the moreish menu of pan-Asian flavours and condiments, with enough variety to allow for many return trips.
Chopped, marinated pieces of yellowtail, ahi tuna and salmon form the base; while dressings range from spicy yuzu to gochujang to yuzu miso, and condiments include shiso guacamole, ponzu tofu and the requisite runny egg yolk. We recommend the gochujang marinade, which packs a sweet and spicy punch, tempered by thinly-sliced cucumbers, while the pickled wasabi is the most tongue-tingling option, with kewpie mayo and Japanese furikake seasoning rounding out the full-bodied flavour. For a lighter option where you can really taste the clean flavour of the fish, opt for the shoyu onion dressing, which balances just the right amount of savoury umami and refreshing acidity to enhance the sashimi. You’ll also want to pick up a poké pocket (or two or three) — aburaage tofu pouches stuffed full of rice and poké.
Order through Deliveroo or Whatsapp +852 6356 2335 for further locations on the island (10 bowls minimum).
Aloha, 20 Hoi Kwong Street, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, +852 9386 8984, helloaloha.co
We have Pololi to thank for bringing the original poké shop to Hong Kong, and two years on, it’s still going strong with a loyal following and a menu that’s stuck. They’ve expanded now to three shops in Central, Sheung Wan and Wan Chai — all bearing their signature hibiscus flower hand-painted walls — so if you work island-side, chances are your poké fix is just around the corner.
Menu staples include ginger shoyu, wasabi mayo, spicy miso and Dynamite — the try-it-if-you-dare option — while new seasonal or daily specials are constantly in rotation. The three steps are simple: pick your base (rice, salad or half-half), pick your poké flavour (HK$90 for 180g or HK$100 to build your own), and add in any extras (we recommend the spam musabi). While tuna dominates the menu, there are a few non-ahi options as well including yuzu pine nut salmon, creamy tofu, and furikake edamame.
Pololi, 35-39 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong; additional locations at pololikai.com
The Poké Co.
Decked out in white, this popular spot in Wan Chai dishes out a stream of colourful, flavour-packed bowls conjured up by native Hawaiian chef Rodelio Aglibot. The classic tuna is one for poké purists with a generous helping of vibrant red tuna mixed with cucumber, sweet onions, seaweed salad, sesame seeds, pickled ginger and spring onion greens. We’ve found the quinoa-based creamy salmon also stacks up well against other versions in town, with diced mango and orange segments lending a bright citrus zing.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, try the Korean Bowl which is fired up with a crimson Korean spicy sauce, togarashi, fried shallots and crispy nori chips; or the smoked chicken poké, an unconventional but tasty mix of brown rice topped with smoked chicken, BBQ corn, sweet onions, grated carrot, fried shallots and sweet coconut flakes to curb the heat. A spicy wasabi mayo ties the whole ensemble together, and is great for those who love the flavourful condiments and marinades of traditional poké but aren’t necessarily fans of raw fish.
The Poké Co., Shop 2, G/F, Rialto Building, 2 Landale Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3705 1782, thepokeco.com
If you thought the korrito (Korean burritos) trend was crazy, you have yet to try pokerritos — the poké-burrito mash-up that Pokéworld dishes up from its small Sheung Wan storefront (is there anything Hong Kong has yet to come up with?). The grab-‘n’-go option is ideal if you’re running between meetings, but we’re still fans of the traditional bowl set-up which gives you more leeway to mix and match your favourite toppings and add-ons.
The base follows the same formula — rice, salad, or half-and-half — while proteins include salmon, salmon belly, tuna, octopus, cooked prawns and tofu. As for dressings, choose from the most eye-watering wasabi mayo to a lighter vinegar sesame dressing or the more unusual Japanese BBQ sauce, and go crazy with the toppings: edamame, masago, seaweed, crab, wasabi squid, avocado, scallop — you name it, they have it. A sprinkling of veggies, seaweed and spring onion adds the finishing touch to your custom poké bowl.
Pokéworld, G/F, 8 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2811 2115, pokeworldhk.com