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Restaurants & Bars

North Poke - new Hawaiian place in Kensington Market

Dr. John | Oct 21, 201607:00 PM

Noticed a mention about this place on the Toronto Life website and it is close to Klafouti's work, so we decided to try it out tonight. We've been to Hawaii twice and always enjoyed having poke in all its variations (albeit, finding many versions salty). Some fish shops have a whole display case of poke, with many flavourings and types of seafood.

North Poke is primarily a takeout operation. There are a couple of stand-up counters to eat at, but no seating. The menu features 6 versions of poke. These can be had a la carte so-to-speak or in a bowl with rice or taro chips or salad. The bowls come garnished with a bit of avocado and a little seaweed salad. Apparently all the seafood they serve is sustainably sourced (so they said, but the person I spoke to didn't have a lot of details).

We ordered the special of 3 snack bowls for $15. The Hawaii Classic features ahi, shoyu, cucumber, onions, sesame seeds, nori, and macadamia nuts. Definitely not the simple traditional poke of just tuna, onion, seaweed, and salt or shoyu. But pretty damn tasty - very fresh fish, no oversalting. The Big Wave featured albacore, a jalapeno citrus dressing, black garlic, mayo, and pickled shallots. Also not traditional and a nice balance of many flavours. The Waimea featured salmon, togarashi dressing, sesame, onions, shallots, and supposedly edamame (MIA as far as we could tell). Equally yummy.

We didn't try the other 3 versions: another salmon with Korean flavourings, ahi with ponzu and mango, and octopus with potato and kale. They also have Spam musubi (spam sushi), which we declined to try (we had it in Hawaii and have no strong reason to have it again). They are planning to also serve shave ice, although it might not be enticing until next spring/summer.

Although everything we tried was great, it would be nice if they did have one simple traditional poke on the list. It would also be nice if the combo version could be done as one large bowl instead of three small ones.

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