Oh Gawd, I love a good poké.. Nope, not talking about that thing you used to do to strangers on Facebook to get their attention.
I’m talking about Poké bowl. Those pretty little layered bowls of sushi grade fish, rice and toppings. Next to burgers and ramen, I never tire of getting face to face with a bowl of poke. Not only are they visually stunning to look at they are so darn delicious! What I love most about it is being able to feel like I’m eating a tray of sushi without all the fiddly work of eating every single piece. I love how fresh it tastes and how you can customise it to your exact specifications. For the record, I cannot have poke without avocado!
The London Poké scene was kicked off by the street food legends that were Eat Poke. Thanks to Ceclia and Guy I was able to get my poké fix. Shortly after they started their street food operation a couple of other players came onto the scene. Some good, a few great and quite a few were horrible. I think that I’ve had them all at least once.
So here is my 2019 List of Londons Best Poké Bowls (According to me)
I think that Island Poké was the first proper poke shop here in London. I really love that they have well thought out house bowls at just under £8 with combos that work for the Poké virgin. They also have the build your own bowl option with unlimited house toppings for just under £9.
Island Poké also does collab bowls with local restaurants that use ingredients that you might not associate with Hawaiian flavour profiles.
I think that they are the most generous is serving sizes making for a brilliant value bowl made with top-notch ingredients.
They have 6 locations across London
Ahi Poké is a bit of a funny one for me…. I went a couple time when they first opened in 2016. I liked it, but I thought the way they dressed the fish was a little heavy, all o could taste was the sauce. Fast forward to 2018 and they opened a new branch in the Bloomberg Arcade and boom I give them another try.
Hitting the nail on the head with the fish dressing to make sure it still feels fresh but perfectly seasoned. Love that they have kale as a base option alongside more traditional grains such as brown rice and quinoa. They probably have the biggest selection of ways to dress your fish. Love that you can do a bit of all the sauces to come up with your perfect combination.
I think that they are one of the more expensive poké bowls in London in terms of value for money, that said I do not regret spending a penny for any of the bowls I’ve purchased from Bloomberg Arcade branch.
They have 6 Locations across London.
I have so much poke love for Polu Poké . You see, Cecilia (formerly of the Poke Pioneers Eat Poke) is a founder of Polu. It took a while for her to be able to open up a proper shop, but boy am I glad she did.
Seriously fresh fish and super clever toppings like yuzu avocado, pink pickled sweetcorn and black rice. The classic bowls come in at around £7.50 You can build your own and also get them as poke rolls.
If cold poke is not your thing… they also do clever warm pots for chillier days. Think a Hawaiian take on ramen!
They have two locations in London, and I feel like there will be more really soon.
Starting off as a Street Food Truck with Kerb, Lords of Poke got their first proper kiosk at Peckham Levels in 2017. They serve up sashimi grade fish with some seriously tasty toppings. Brown and Sushi rice with kale and Courgetti options for bases... I really love that you can pimp your own bowl with the crunchy toppings.
They have said goodbye to Peckham, but you can grab a bowl from their Shop in Paddington Central, Camden Market or on the streets with Kerb
Chirashi is a little off centre to be considered a proper poke bowl. This is more of a sashimi bowl where the fish are the Super Star.
The fish rests on Carrots, Radishes, Cucumbers, Burdocks, Lotus roots or Edamame beans on perfectly seasoned Sushi Rice.
If you love a good quality poke bowl, then you will covet this bowl. you can find them at Old Spitalfields Market
Most of my list focuses on bowls with Hawaiian or California vibes... But Tombo focuses on the Japanese style of poke. Portion sizes are a little smaller than most, but the quality is there.
I like the poke on offer here, but it makes the list for being the total package. It's a sit-down cafe so its a step above fast food. Plus they have a pretty substantial menu to choose from like gyoza another little nibbles. They have brilliant matcha drinks and matcha desserts.
Honi Poké are getting an honourable mention... Why? Well when I first tried them when they opened in SoHo, I was less than impressed. The portion sizes were really tiny in comparison to other bowls on offer. The ingredients themselves were not that inspiring. Avocado was this weird hyper smooth avocado sauce that felt synthetic.
Fast forward to 2018 and I stopped in for a quick bite and things have changed for the better. Decent potions, good looking ingredients and they were trialling out Konjac noodles. I need to go back and try them again as I never place a restaurant in lists like these after one lucky visit.
I think that they are probably the cheapest when it comes to doubling up on the fish at £1.50 per scoop