77 Swan St
Richmond, VIC 3121
Although I’m not 100% sure about the poké bandwagon, I have to admit to feeling a little tug of curiosity every time I walk past a new specialty poké store. I mean, fresh fish and other titbits on rice? What’s not to like?
So it was with that mentality that I decided to try out Mahalo Poké, just a few doors down from its older sibling, Brotherambo. It’s a sweet little place, the pink pastel walls dotted with tropical-themed prints and fronds of greenery. But it’s not all breezy health food here. Alongside a menu of poké bowls and organic smoothies, there’s also waffles fries, burgers, and fried chicken. The Hawaiian-themed brunch also looks rather interesting.
Salmon sashimi is my favourite, so the Spicy Salmon ($15) was a no-brainer of a choice. Served on a bed of brown rice, this bowl consisted of a mixture of fresh salmon, pickled ginger, edamame, and a variety of veggies, tossed in spicy ponzu and drizzled over with creamy soy tahini. As far as poké goes, this was a fairly classic and safe combination.
The Mahalo Tuna ($18) was a less traditional choice, the vivid tuna accompanied by pickled chillies, heirloom tomatoes, and pineapple, and topped with a dollop of wickedly creamy Hawaiian gribiche (think a thick, eggy tartare sauce). But as nice as the combination of tuna and gribiche was, I felt that the ingredients just didn’t come together very well.
This meal at Mahalo Poké has made me realise something very important – I am just not a poké-person. I really can’t put my finger on why this is the case, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that I just find the flavours in a poké bowl too disparate and messy – give me a chirashi bowl any day.
Rating: 12/20 – not a pokémon.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.