I was looking for a quick and easy place to eat for lunch. Feeling the need to have a cleaner meal I walked into South Granville’s poke solution. Poke is fish and raw vegetables over rice, a Hawaiian staple and now this year’s IT food trend in Vancouver. Although the concept is pretty much the same from one restaurant to another, I would soon learn that not all poke is made equal.
As a little hole in the wall I wasn’t expecting much, but at least more than 7 small chunks of salmon. My bowl had barely any fish, hidden in a forest of greens and over a bed of rice. I was forced to ration my seven salmon chunks, so that I could afford a sliver per spoonful.
This is the “Vancouver bowl” with salmon, crab salad, green onion, sweet onion, cucumber, and sesame seeds. This is the snack size version, which is still quite a bit of food. But that really doesn’t matter given that there was hardly any flavour, despite all the ingredients and the menu describing it all being coated in their “Hawaiian original sauce”. The undressed crab could have done wonders with a dressing of mayo, and the greens a drizzle of sesame oil. But with only a little seafood represented, I was basically having soy sauced vegetables over rice.
The clerk admitted to mistakenly adding seaweed salad to my order, which I thanked her for. Because of it the bowl had more depth and without it, it would have been all the more unpleasant to finish. And I was also abruptly surprised by the chunks of onions hidden within the mixed greens. They were chopped, but still stuck together in a raw chunk. They would have been better served deep fried to give the bowl some needed crunch.
Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Not the best poke solution that Vancouver has to offer, and with so many alternatives, you really need to offer more to stand out. If $10 isn’t too much to pay for you, look forward to adding on extra ingredients and toppings at an extra cost; for something not only substantial, but tasty from first spoon to last. Needless to say, I was disappointed enough to not need a return visit. Don’t deny your cravings.