A True Hawaiian Poké Experience

Poke Bowl

Poke Bowl

The poké craze has finally arrived in Northern California. Not long ago, Poké lovers could only find this seafood concoction in Southern California, where it’s all the rage, but now poké restaurants are popping up everywhere in the Bay Area. For those who are unfamiliar, poké (pronounced POKE-AY) is raw fish cut into cubes. Served on top of rice or on a bed of salad greens, and you’ve got yourself a poké bowl.

In most poké places, the poké bowl experience goes something like this: Choose your base, a choice of white or brown rice, or salad greens; then choose your fish (usual suspects include ahi, octopus, shrimp, salmon – though it can be almost anything sliced or cubed as poké is the Hawaiian word for “slice or cut”); then finish off with sauce (usually described only as “mild,” “spicy,” or “not spicy”) and various toppings. Toppings can include crab salad, chunks of avocado, sliced cucumber and onion, etc. This is the typical way poké is served in most poké restaurants.

What makes Aloha Fresh unique is not only the extremely fresh fish (they fly in their Big Eye Tuna, Ono and Sailfish, along with fresh produce from the ocean, like seaweed and sea asparagus, from Hawaii three times a week), they also remain true to the traditional Hawaiian way of serving poké.

The poké at Aloha Fresh is marinated in sauces created by Chef Sam Kong Kee. This means that the fish has so much more flavor than the chunks of pre-frozen fish doused with sauce at the end of the pick-and-choose process at all of the other poké places. It makes a huge difference. Instead of bland chunks of ahi or salmon, you get a flavorful bite of super fresh seafood with just the right amount of tasty sauce to complement the poké perfectly.

Chef Sam, who describes poké as “Hawaiian soul food,” has created a variety of delicious combinations, including the popular Shoyu Poké, flavored with ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. The Chinese Black Bean Poké is a unique blend of the house-cured salmon marinated in black bean sauce made with fresh garlic, oyster sauce and scallions. Our favorite is the Wasabi & Tobiko Poké, Aloha Fresh’s signature dish featuring fresh ahi dressed in spicy wasabi and horseradish mayonnaise, topped with tiny rice crackers – the combination of soft rice, silky tuna, creamy sauce and crunchy crackers is sublime—a revelation in taste and textures. Other tasty items on the poké menu include a miso-glazed poké, citrus shrimp cocktail, crab and avocado poké and out-of-this-world Lomi Lomi, made with the house-cured salmon. Make sure to try your poké bowl with the black rice.

Orders come with two sides. Choose from seaweed salad, house-made kim chee, and crunchy marinated cucumbers to name a few favorites.  You can also order a side of Kalua Pork to go with your poké bowl for a surf and turf experience.

Aloha Fresh also sells their poké by the pound which is how it’s done in Hawaii. Amazingly fresh sashimi platters are also available.

For real Hawaiian poké, there’s nothing better than Aloha Fresh.

Aloha Fresh
19740 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014

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