Pōk: The Raw Bar is the ultimate go to in Dallas for any time of the day but beware, the lines are OUT the door during popular meal times. If you're looking for fresh, healthy food (that also looks bomb on social media) get yourself to Pōk asap. I sat down with owners and fellow SMU students, Francois and Brandon, and spoke with them about their hot, new restaurant. Not only did I get a sampling of their menu items but I also got educated on poke 101 and their specialty matcha drinks. The ingredients used in their sushi-like bowls are flown in everyday from exotic places such as Scotland and the South Pacific Ocean (because lets face it, Dallas doesn't have the best raw fish) and everything is totally gluten free. The menu can be a little intimidating to newcomers like myself who don't know the difference between ponzu and yuzu sauce so, I broke it down for y'all below. Get your chopsticks and your iPhone cameras ready because after you read this you'll be ubering to Pōk before you can say "fish."
EATS (the poke)
1. Shiitake Tofu Kimchi
Myth: Only people who like raw fish will like Pōk. Fact: Pōk has an option for you fish haters. The shiitake tofu kimchi bowl was specifically designed for those who just don't have the same affinity for tuna and salmon like most of us do. I had my bowl with a base of bamboo rice but you can choose to have it over citrus kale, cauliflower rice or a kelp zucchini slaw.
2. Salmon Asian Pear
For those of you maybe want something sweeter, lighter or refreshing in taste, pick the salmon asian pear bowl. The fresh chunks of pear is the perfect combo with the base of the citrus kale and salmon. Also the little beads on top are these awesome things called lotus chips—super yummy.
3. Spicy Tuna
The spicy tuna bowl is both Brandon's and the crowd favorite. Full of avocado, cucumber, tuna and their signature spicy aioli, the spicy tuna bowl is a delicious bowl and one of their best sellers.
4. Spicy Ponzu Tuna
The spicy ponzu tuna bowl was hands down my favorite (which says a lot because each bowl was so tasty). I had this bowl on a bed of the citrus kale which was the perfect combination with the marinated cucumber and red onion. The combination of spices and the yuzu sauce complements the fresh tuna pieces. My favorite thing about this bowl was the kelp noodles in it. Tossed in a creamy aioli, the clear, crunchy noodles not only taste amazing but also aid in digestion.
The Drinks: Matcha, Matcha and More Matcha
Complete with their trendy "It's never too matcha" sleeve, these drinks (available in hot or iced) are enough to make anyone swoon. With an extensive matcha menu, I tried:
1. Matcha x Almond: Tasted like a thin mint, so yummy.
2. Matcha x Coco: Only hot one I tried that tasted like a warm, creamy cup of tea.
3. Matcha x Cacao: More subtle, cacao bean is stronger than coco but less sweet.
4. Citrus Glow: Fresh and delicious! Tasted almost like a matcha spin on an Arnold Palmer (fan fave).
Pōk uses the first grade matcha (v rare for restaurants). Say goodbye to caffeine crashes because their ceremonial matcha gives you more energy for a longer and extended release that'll keep you going.
Moral of the story, head down to Pōk and make your snapchat and your stomach happy. Oh and for those wondering, the difference between ponzu and yuzu...ponzu is a citrus based sauce that is tart, and a thin watery substance. Yuzu is a strong Japanese citrus fruit used to create the citrus flavor in the ponzu sauce. Happy eating!