Poke Poke on Jumeriah Road in Umm Suqeim is the first and original Hawaiian inspired Poke restaurant in Dubai. Although the impact it has had on Dubai’s culinary scene is big the restaurant itself is tiny comprising of a single row of tables and chairs lined up against a wall facing an open prep counter/kitchen. And that’s it. Anything more than a couple per table is a struggle. Yeah, so don’t end up there with a group of ten…unless you want to stand and eat.
Poke in its most basic (Hawaiian) form is diced ahi or salmon tossed with shoyu (soy sauce), sesame oil, onions and sesame seeds. Franchises like Poke Poke have taken that concept and gone to town with it creating all sorts of combinations and concoctions. Today, non-fish options such as meat, chicken, eggs, and tofu for the vegetarians and vegans are also available. Most Poke restaurants allow you to build your own bowl, so possibilities are endless. I stick to Poke Poke’s signature bowls and, although similar, almost always order either the Californian or the Hawaiian; more so the former because of the tangy Sriracha-Ponzu punch.
The behind the counter staff at this branch of Poke Poke are a friendly, accommodating bunch. Taking an order from an indecisive diner while people grumble impatiently in queue must be taxing on the nerves, but I’ve never once seen any of them loose their cool. Much of Poke Poke’s business is home delivery, something I must consider now that they have opened a branch in Dubai Sports City which isn’t too far from my home. I love Poke and am thankful to Poke Poke for bringing the concept to Dubai. Although very limited in space, this is definitely a must visit venue.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on email@example.com.