Sherman's Food Adventures: Pokey Okey (Kingsway)

Pokey Okey (Kingsway)

So I haven't done a poke post in quite some time.  To be honest, I don't really follow the coming and goings of poke joints since the explosion of such restaurants 5+ years ago.  There are just too many and most can be interchangeable with each other.  Sure, there are a few that stand out, so I do end up going back to them for the occasional meal.  One example of this is Pokey Okey.  I've actually been here a few times and even though I enjoy their bowls, I never got around to posting about it.  Well, I guess it was meant to be because they invited me to try some of their signature creations.  I gladly accepted as I was confident that I would enjoy their food.

They have 3 prominent bowls on the menu named after a colour.  The first is the Yellow Bowl with spicy salmon, scallop salad, seaweed salad, pineapple, sweet corn, purple cabbage, ramen egg, tempura flakes, seaweed flakes and Pokey Okey sauce.  Of the 3 colours, this one is the most mild-tasting even with the spicy salmon.  There was plenty of natural sweetness from the tender scallops to the pops from the corn and pineapple.  We chose a mix of white rice and spring mix and this was lighter than 100% rice.  It is worth mentioning that the ramen egg was perfect where it was runny while not being too salty.

Onto the Green Bowl, we got more impact from the combination of tuna, salmon, capelin roe, seaweed salad, purple cabbage, soybeans, imitation crab, wasabi peas, seaweed flakes and wasabi mayo.  Beyond the big chunks of fresh fish, the wasabi peas were the most prominent ingredient with its sharpness and crunch.  When the entirety of the bowl was combined, there was a lot going on including the crunch and sweetness from the seaweed salad as well as the briny pops from the roe.

If you wanted full-flavoured, then the Red Bowl would be your choice.  Seeing how this was comprised of spicy tuna, spicy salmon, flying fish roe, seaweed salad, kimchi radish, purple cabbage, fried onion, seaweed flakes and spicy mayo sauce, you can imagine the flavour.  However, beyond the obvious with the spice from the fish and sauce, the kimchi radish made this bowl.  It was spicy and tangy while the crunch added a wonderful texture to go with the soft ingredients.

Now ordering a predetermined bowl of ingredients is a convenient and easy way of going about things, yet, you have the option to build your own bowl too.  So that we did with the Torched Salmon Belly Bowl with extra salmon, purple cabbage, soybeans, imitation crab, cucumbers, fried onion, seaweed flakes, tempura flakes and flying fish roe, smokey teriyaki sauce and pokey okey sauce on white rice.  So the torched belly was fatty, delicate and smokey.  To up the smokiness even more, the smokey teriyaki is the sauce to get here.  Add in the crunch components and you have a very unique bowl.

Talking about unique, the one thing about Pokey Okey is that they are not only about poke.  At one time, they had a wonderful Unagi Bowl, but now in its place, they have a Coconut Truffle Udon.  I thought this was pretty good with just enough truffle for effect without going overboard.  I could definitely get the aromatics of the coconut in the creamy sauce.  Veggies added some brightness where the tomatoes burst with tang.  I would've liked the udon to be chewier, but it wasn't mushy either.

Another cooked item on the menu is the Beefy Bowl with braised beef, green onions, pickled ginger, seaweed flakes and rice topped with an onsen egg.  The generous amount of sliced beef on top was melt-in-my-mouth tender and well-seasoned.  We chose brown rice for this bowl since the ingredients were so hearty.  As you can see, the onsen egg was delicate and runny.  Mixed together, this was tasty where the pickled ginger added the brightness and tang to liven up the bowl.  So as you can see, there is more than poke here at Pokey Okey.  However, their poke is indeed solid with a few unique toppings.  I think their Yellow, Green and Red bowls are well thought-out and satisfy a variety of tastes.  Make sure you add some smokey teriyaki because it really adds depth-of-flavour.

*All bowls were complimentary*

The Good:
- Some non-poke items which are incidentally, good
- Good portion size even for a small
- That smokey teriyaki sauce

The Bad:
- No real dine-in option, purely takeout



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