We all know what a poké bowl is but do you know where it comes from? If you are guessing Japan, that’s half correct. But the word poké (pronounced poh-kay) stems from the Hawaiian language that means ‘chunk’.
Poké bowls are typically composed of small chunks of marinated meat or seafood, usually cubes of raw tuna tossed in chopped scallions, sesame oil and soy sauce. Traditional poké flavours are heavily influenced by Japanese cooking mainly because of Japan’s invasion in Hawaii during WWII. In fact, the poké began as a fisherman’s food where the cutoffs of their catch would be served as a snack along with other condiments.
Today, the concept of poké bowls has travelled the world as a global food cult, especially amongst health-conscious people.
This guilt-free indulgence is both a treat as well as clean fuel for the body. The healthy and well-balanced combination of vegetables, grains, nuts and protein is a creative twist of the salad – perfect for fitness enthusiasts who constantly look for a fun alternative to a wholesome meal.
You can also pick and choose your favourite ingredients and toppings – making the process of ordering a poké bowl much more exciting and interesting. If you’re bored with the same combination, switch things up and you’ll get a different bowl. If you’ve not tried it yet, here are five best poké bowl places in KL to enjoy them.
Kurin is a popular lunch spot for those working around KL Sentral for its fast moving queue and variety. The restaurant, located in Nu Sentral, is known for its fresh and tender Norwegian salmon. Each bowl is packed with flavours and a generous amount of toppings. Give the torched tuna with wasabi mayo a try –- the lightly charred exterior goes well with the wasabi coating for a mouthful of satisfaction.
Kurin, Nu Sentral, 201, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Founders Ryan Too, Nick Alec and Bryan Lee were so fascinated by the Japanese influence on the traditional poke during a trip to Hawaii that they decided to bring it back to Malaysia. The trio opened Paper Fish in 2016, a poké restaurant serving healthy fast food. The winner of the Battle of the Poké Bowls 2017 is the go-to place for a quick and nutritious meal – each bowl contains between 400 to 500 calories. For starters, order the classic poké of Shoyu Salmon or Miso Wasabi Salmon with a quinoa base.
Paper Fish, 26, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, +603 2385 0007
Situated in Publika Dutamas is Fin, a favourite place for crossfit enthusiasts to load up before and after an extensive workout. But unlike other poké bowl places that cut their meats to small chunks, Fin offers large pieces of chicken and fish in a more wholesome serving. Everything is homemade, so you’re guaranteed freshness and great flavours. Go ahead and order the Mad Mex Bowl or the Sumo Salmon as they are both crowd favourites. If you’re craving for something sweet, try their smoothie bowls that come in a variety of flavour combinations from dragon fruits to avocados.
Fin, G2 Block A3-08, Publika, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, +6012 780 0270
Good Monster incorporates Malaysian flavours that local customers will fall in love with instantly. Interesting combinations include the Nyonya Pescetarian that comes with ikan bakar and otak-otak (baked fish paste) and a nasi lemak rendition of coconut oil rice, seaweed kerabu, sambal ikan bilis and curry pineapple.
Good Monster, Lower Ground Floor, Mid Valley Megamall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, +603-6734 0803
Eatomo opens its third outpost in Bangsar after its successful joints in Taman Desa and Solaris Dutamas. Of course, you’re here for the signature poké bowls that are topped with fresh salmon and marinated tuna but Eatomo has been upgrading its menu with a new repertoire of items including Japanese don renditions and noodle dishes that are inspired by poké-bowls. Eatomo’s variety ensures that you get a different bowl every visit.
Eatomo Food Co Bangsar, No.21, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, +603 2202 3280