For people who can never decide between sushi, salad or comfort food, Ahi Poké is the perfect restaurant to visit. Poké is a traditional Hawaiian-style raw fish bowl. The food trend has grown rapidly in the U.S., in cities renowned for their cuisine such as Brooklyn, New York, and Venice, California. Social media has advanced the excitement of poké, with food accounts on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, promoting the cuisine.
Located on a quaint road just off of Oxford Street, the restaurant provides a quiet sanctuary from the crowd and chaos of the famous shopping district. The restaurant is small and slightly cramped, especially during the rush of a Saturday afternoon, however, the white and baby blue decor creates a simplistic and relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant’s seating and furniture are arranged using islands as tables, an ode to the tropical between the restaurant and the origin of poké, which is the island state of Hawaii. Employees take your order at the counter and then proceed to prepare your poké bowl right before your eyes.
Overall, service at the restaurant was decent. As the restaurant is quite simple and relaxed, there were no waiters, but only employees working at the counter to take your order. Nevertheless, this was not to be a problem as everything was easily accessible and the employees were fast, yet tedious workers, when preparing the food.
As for the food and quality, all of their ingredients were fresh, and the fish was as delicious as the sashimi at any eminent sushi restaurant. The recipe and the preparation of the food stayed true to its heritage and Hawaiian origin, as they used the ingredients that would traditionally be in a poké bowl, without adding any odd or insignificant twists to the recipe. The main ingredients for most of their dishes were a selection of fish that consists of either tuna, salmon, or shrimp; and a selection of either brown or white rice or quinoa. For a vegetarian option, customers can substitute their choice of fish for sautéed mushroom. To complete the dish, there is an addition of savory toppings and sauces. Although there is a very wide range of toppings and sauces, the most notable and authentic ones are edamame, avocado slices, cashew nuts, kale, and pineapple for toppings, and for sauces; sriracha mayo, sweet ponzu, and black chili. The options for the dishes were simple enough, as the restaurant offered four specific poké bowls as well as a “Make Your Own Bowl” selection. The bowls come in two sizes, regular and large, and the prices range between £7.95-£11.95, based on the size of your bowl and the amount of toppings you choose to include in your order.
The restaurant’s laid-back yet fast paced atmosphere provides a perfect lunch spot for anyone on-the-go or in a haste. The restaurant provides to be a fast food location without diminishing the integrity of their ingredients or dishes, while still providing and promoting healthy food options. Furthermore, poke maintains to be a healthy dish containing proteins and carbs while still obtaining an eccentric flavor combination due to the use of various sauces and toppings. Ahi Poké finds the balance between quality food and fast food, without settling for a bland dish at a restaurant with a never ending queue. Nevertheless, the distinction of this restaurant is damaged by their lack of vegetarian options, since, not every single vegetarian enjoys mushrooms. In addition, the restaurant seems to be located in a district with many gyms and exercising facilities, and therefore the restaurant can be substantially packed with hungry gym members after the dismissal of an exercising class.
Nevertheless, Ahi Poké is an exceptional spot for a quick lunch and I would definitely visit the restaurant again.
Address: 3 Percy St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1DF
Hours: 11:30 AM – 9:00 P.M (closed on Sundays)
Written by Staff Writer Naz Ozturk
Photos by Staff Writer Naz Ozturk