• Follow in the footsteps of Hawaiian fisher folk and do the Oké Poké

Follow in the footsteps of Hawaiian fisher folk and do the Oké Poké

19 April 2017 by Neil Sowerby

HAWAIIAN fishermen have long been in short supply in the Northern Quarter. Easy to blame global warming or the absence of colourful enough shirts for them. So it’s good to say aloha to the next best thing – a Church Street cafe devoted to Poké, seafood led street food from that sun-kissed Pacific archipelago.

They have to go spoil it by calling the place Oké Poké, but, hey, spot a gap in the healthy eating market and go for itI It might be said we are following London, where the concept fetched up on the shore last year and is blossoming. Naturally, online hospitality bible Big Hospitality, this week identified Poké as one of six global tends that should be on your radar (the others are dumplings, British charcuterie, Portuguese, Syrian and, erm, Danish pastries).

So what is Poké? Pronounced ‘poh-kay’ by the way. Marinated raw fish, taking its name from the Hawaiian for slice of cut, it came from the off-cuts from the catch snacked on by fishermen. Sounds suspiciously like Ceviche to us. That didn’t quite conquer the high street, but it’s regularly spotted on hip young menus which have the hots for Pacific Rim. Certainly, it has that Asian meets Polynesian vibe about it, salmon and tuna providing the fishy ballast.  

Signature Poké bowls cost round  £7.95, including Classic Ahi with raw tuna, avocado, sushi rice, carrot, wakame, cucumber, spring onion and a soy, ginger, garlic sauce. There is the option, too, to build your own, from a palette of ingredients plus garnishes and a choice of six sauces ranging from sweet pomegranate to ‘hot hot hot’ Ikiki.

Poké is also available in a ‘deconstructed sushi’ wrap form they call 'Pokérito' with all of the above ingredients wrapped up like a nori seaweed burrito at £6.95. Grab a smoothie to wash it all down.

It’s the first Manchester venture of Saman Golesorkhi, who has three other dining venues in Barbados.

Oké Poké, 59 Church Street, Manchester, M4 1PD. 0161 879 7735. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-9pm, Sun 11.30am-4pm. Does takeaways.