I've been having Pokeh for the past two years now hence I have pretty much tried everything. Classic bowl, Spicy Bowl, Aburi Salmon Bowl, and custom bowls.
Prides itself as Canada's first Poke bar which specializes in Hawaiian poke.
Started out in a little booth in the Hamilton's Farmers Market and now they have a bigger space in the market as well as a stand alone restaurant.
Family owned venture by Salar and Jeannie Madidi which leaves a huge impression on the city with their unique backgrounds and experience along with extremely friendly service.
The days they are closed. I crave Pokeh very often because of them!
The make their own nosh hot sauce that you can add to your bowls. Be careful, they are extremely spicy!
Their bowls of the week/month that they come up with! Those never disappoint and adds a great twist to the preexisting menu.
Their spicy bowl challenge where if you finish the bowl without a drink you get a voucher for the shop. Again, be careful as it is deadly!
Custom bowls are my go to these days as I know exactly what I like and not like in my bowl. If you need ideas or trying to get different flavors, ask anyone there and they are amazing at helping you get the best experience.
Always a great time. From the owners, to the cooks and cashiers I have never had any issues and have always gotten the best service. I have had friends work here as cashiers and I currently know the owner Salar so I may be biased. However, I always keep it real and if I have ever received a negative experience I won't be shy to share.
Both locations have great staff who work really hard and always give you the best quality items and service.
For those who do not know how Poke bowls work; you are presented with an array of fresh raw ingredients with a base of rice or cucumber noodles. You can pick as many as you would like, pair with sauces and toppings and pay according to how many ingredients you have put together.
My first ever Pokeh bowl was a spicy bowl with consists of: tuna, spicy mayo, sesame seeds, jalapeño and white rice. It was delicious. I am not a huge fan of tuna and so the next time I substituted the tuna for salmon.
Every single custom bowl or signature bowl that I have ever gotten have been fresh, flavorful, spicy and very unique. You cannot go wrong with any of the ingredients. The proteins are extremely fresh and delicious. I have been to other Poke places and more often than not, either the protein is not fresh or the rice is under or overcooked. Here, the rice is also very flavorful and has a great taste.
Here are a few of my favourite toppings and add ons I like to get in my bowls. Salmon, pickled shiitake, white rice, sesame oil, spicy kewpie mayo, yuzu kosho dressing, nosh hot sauce, tobiko, Carolina reaper powder, enoki, taro chips, tempura bits, furikake, grispy onions and garlic, and nori strips.
The downtown location is located in the basement of the Hamilton Farmer's Market. It is in the section of the farmer's market that is surrounded by other eateries as well. You cannot miss Pokeh if you are there as the bright red logo and bamboo and ratan décor fills the space. Also there is a line every single time and people are usually drawn to it. A few bar seating available for those not in a rush or have the time to wait. Mind you it is always packed.
The uptown location has similar decorations. A mix of Hawaii, Japan and other Asian influencers. A great flower feature wall that spells out "POKEH" that fills the room. Also bar seating at this location, however much better should you want to dine in.
Both locations always make you feel like you are in summer with the décor and lighting even in winter.
I love Pokeh if you could not tell by now. I am sad that I am currently on the other side of the country. However, when I do head back to Hamilton Pokeh is always my number one spot. Try it for yourselves!!