*This is no longer operating, Bun Me Baguette took over the location*
It's interesting that the City of Vancouver randomly selected vendors for their little street food experiment. I'm not sure why they didn't go into more detail as to the type of food, quality and staying power of each business. Case in point, I didn't even get a chance to try Chinese Skewer King, it didn't last very long. And some carts didn't even get up and running before the prime summer months. I digress. Now when it comes to classic Asian street food, there is nothing more common than the meatball (particularly curry fish balls). So, I was pleased to find out that there is indeed a cart that serves balls and lots of them! With sauce no less! Ahem...
Residing at the prime corner of Robson and Hornby is Poke'm. The premise here is to pick your balls and sauce. Nothing like a choice of balls and sauce! One order of 4 costs $3.75 and the combo of 2 choices goes for $7.00. A little pricey for meatballs; but it is consistent with most of the other food carts in Downtown. Not knowing what to order, I asked for the 2 most popular balls. The first one was the Cuttlefish Balls with Japanese sauce. By looking at the picture, something is quite obvious. If you said that it looks like balls with Terimayo (a la Japadog), you are correct. A combination of teriyaki, mayo, sweet wasabi, nori and sesame seeds, this tasted very similar to the Terimayo. In terms of the cuttlefish balls, they were quite soft with only a slightest of chew. I personally like mine a bit chewier; yet they were still quite good.
I wasn't as enthused about the Chicken Balls with Vietnamese sauce (sweet peanut, cashews, fried onions and green onions). Nothing wrong with the sauce itself, it was not bad with a definite nuttiness. However, the chicken balls were too big. I don't like big balls. Uh... Anyways, the sauce to ball ratio (man, this whole post sounds sketchy...) was not good. Furthermore, there was this strange aftertaste from the chicken ball that was not pleasing. Imagine the aftertaste from a Vietnamese beef ball in the form of a chicken ball. However, this could just be a personal preference. Actually, I enjoyed the snack here at Poke'm. Not bad, especially with all the possible combinations. But... once again it comes down to the pricing. Normally, curry fish balls are one of the cheapest items. I realize that there are operating costs involved and this is not exactly curry fish balls. I'm just wondering if people can look past that psychological barrier due to the image of meatballs and how much they should cost.
- Easy-to-share snack-type food
- Interesting combinations
- It's actually not bad
- Despite all the positives, do people want to shell out almost $1.00 for each ball?