Over at MMTM headquarters, we love catching on to new culinary trends before the masses jump in. And, of course, we make sure to share these with our readers. Such is the case with poké, the raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, which is quickly becoming a food staple in South Florida.
Most recently, we told you about the poké at Sunny’s and even shared that restaurants like BLT Prime are offering specials around the menu item. If you’re still not too familiar with the dish, we’ll give you a brief 101 on poké, here it goes: you can find traditional forms called aku (an oily tuna) and he’e (octopus) at most poké savvy restaurants. Increasingly popular, ahi poké is generally made with yellowfin tuna and it’s the Hawaiian verb for “section” or “to slice or cut.” Now you’re an expert!
Thankfully for us, we have a new restaurant solely dedicated to poké. Poké 305 is a fast casual restaurant with a simple and straight forward menu, which we think will become quite popular for a quick lunch among the Brickell business crew.
Here’s how it works. Choose one of the 7 signature bowls or make your own. Simple, right? You can also choose whether your poké creation will come in a bowl, burrito or salad.
When we visited the restaurant, we decided to try out the some of the signature bowls. Below you’ll find a brief recap of the ones we tried and our thoughts.
The Alaka’l (The Big Mao)
Salmon, crab salad, tuna, tempura chips, daikon, seaweed salad, carrots, wonton chips, black and white sesame seeds, edamame, cucumber, jalapeño, and wasabi aioli sauce.
I loved the concoction of flavors and textures in the bowl. You’ll get soft, chewy, crispy and crunchy. There’s a lot going on, in the best way possible and the dish was thoroughly satisfying yet light and refreshing.
Marinated tuna, white onion, scallion, daikon, ginger, mango, avocado, white sesame seeds, yuca chips, and ahi sauce.
This bowl seemed to be a favorite amongst the guests the night we visited and rightly so. The tuna is incredibly fresh and we loved the surprise of having some of our favorites like mango and yuca as part of the bowl.
Also, we had the most flavorful and delicious miso soup. The restaurant offers a few side dishes to complement your poké creation – although we must say that the bowl left us very satisfied!
At Poké 305 you’ll find hints of Latin flavors as options to add to your poké creations, because it’s Miami and you can’t escape the influence. I loved to see hometown favorites like yuca and chicharrón incorporated into this otherwise healthy Japanese/Hawaiian menu. I can appreciate the dash of innovation and burst of familiar flavors, which taste like home (always a good thing.)
We finished off our meal with Mochi (Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice.) I’ll admit I’ve never been a huge Mochi fan, but with flavors like mango and pistachio, I gave the ice cream rice cakes a chance and I’m oh-so-very glad I did.
Mel’s take: Poké 305 is the type of place where you’ll find a favorite dish and make an unapologetic escape for a healthy, fast, and fulfilling lunch. I really love this concept and can only hope that Poké 305 makes its way to other neighborhoods including the burgeoning city of Doral which is where my 9-5 office is located. I love healthy choices at Poké 305 and the fact that they’ve capitalized on a trend that I’m hoping is here to stay.
Standout dishes: Rather than a dish, I would say it’s the poké itself that makes for a protagonist role. The fresh fish becomes the headliner in all dishes and will make you come back for multiple visits in hopes of finding a new favorite combination.
Also, I know most people will gasp, but I’m not a huge fan of Mochi (I know! I’m a little ashamed.) I can’t exactly pinpoint what throws me off (maybe the texture) but the Mochi I had at Poké 305 was so deliciously perfect, I felt like an immediate convert.