What is Poke? No, definitely not Pokemon. Not remotely close. It’s a delicious bowl of healthy taking the world by storm! Okay, okay, that isn’t the actual definition but it’s actually raw and marinated fish, served with rice and vegetables with a dressing, and served in a bowl. It’s a healthy trend which is gaining popularity all over the world and has finally come to the New Delhi thanks to The Poke Bar in Lodhi Colony. Poke (pronounced po-kay, meaning ‘to slice’) is usually served as an appetiser in Hawaii but with Japanese foods enjoyed worldwide, a poke bowl today has almost become a quick-fix sashimi bowl with flavours from the Asian country incorporated in servings. Nonetheless, a good poke bowl is packed with nutrients and is a filling meal.

Where

The Poke Bar is in Lodhi Colony in south Delhi, inside the space at Guppy.

Ambience

As you make your way inside Guppy, after a short stop at the bicycle store next door, Poke Bar is on the right. The space is small but vivacious. There are pops of colour literally everywhere and gives it an overall whimsical feel. The bright colours are inspired by the fashion district or Harajuku, in Tokyo. The tables have crossword puzzles with enticing prizes on offer like ‘find all the words and get a cocktail on the house’. There is immediate joy as you take a seat and wait to order.  

The Poke Bar/FB
The pop-coloured interiors of The Poke Bar
The pop-coloured interiors of The Poke Bar

Menu

The menu adds to the whimsical feel of the place. Set on a clipboard, one can either choose Guppy’s signature poke bowls; or make one’s own, ticking off the choice of proteins, grains, mixes, dressings and crunch with the pencil attached. There are some starter choices on offer from the main Guppy menu like the oh-so-deelish pork belly (a must-have, in case you were wondering). The cocktail menu is also inspired by the Tokyo touch. Signature cocktails like Tokyo Summer and Harajuku High pair well with the poke bowls. There is also a sushi-sashimi bar one can order from if in the mood. 

Sharmistha Chaudhuri
Don't forget to devour the pork belly at the restaurant
Don’t forget to devour the pork belly at the restaurant

Recommendations

I tried the Tsukiji Tuna Bowl from The Poke Bar’s signature poke bowl section. Fresh tuna, braised onions, a cucumber pickle, sesame seeds, tanuki, Himalayan salt, garlic shayu and shiso ginger came in a large bowl after we finished off our starters (pork and gyoza). Even though you’ve gone for poke, don’t miss out on the Guppy’s Signature Pork Belly as a starter. Melt-in-your-mouth slow-braised pork belly with  soy-honey glace is the stuff of dreams. The exotic mushroom gyoza, too, was nice but the pot stickers paled in comparison to the meat. 

Sharmistha Chaudhuri
Mushroom pot stickers to start the meal
Mushroom pot stickers to start the meal

I’ve had poke bowls in New York and the tuna bowl at The Poke Bar had its moments. The portion size is enough for one. The tuna was fresh and the freshness paired well with salty and gingery ingredients in the black bowl. My friend made his own bowl, excited to use his imagination to mix and match flavours. Though in the end he ended up creating a vegetarian bowl with kale, I preferred mine. 

Sharmistha Chaudhuri
Enjoy a poke bowl at the namesake place
Enjoy a poke bowl at the namesake place

We ended the meal with black coffee, matcha pudding and mango tart, to savour some sweetness after a poke bowl meal. The pudding was really good, not too over-powering but right with its balance between matcha and caramel. The tart was sweet and paired well with the bitter coffee.

Sharmistha Chaudhuri
Desserts and coffee to end the meal
Desserts and coffee to end the meal

Pocket pinch

The approximate pocket pinch for two would be Rs 2,000 including drinks. 

Contact

011-24690005/The Poke Bar