I’ve seen poké (pronounced po-kay) online through various foodie channels. It is a Hawaiian dish inspired by the food fisherman ate as they took the offcuts. It is heavenly influenced by Japanese cuisine with the use of raw fish, rice and soy sauce. Manchester’s own poké place, Oké Poké, opened in April so I was excited to come visit one evening.*
Oké Poké Exterior
Oké Poké is quite easy to find, located in the Northern Quarter next door to Pie Minister. They’ve kept the look cheerful with some window decals in bright colours displaying exactly what they have to offer to consumers.
Oké Poké Interior
The interior is largely decorated with white subway tiles, giving the space a bright and clean feeling. Inside there are a few wooden benches with tables, and some bar stools near the entrance. The tables have a really nice deconstructed look which contrasts, yet works with the white tiles.
As Oké Poké caters mostly to the lunch time crowd, their aim is mainly focused on the taking away of their food. This can make the venue seem barren when you are visiting at non-peak times. Perhaps this will pick up more once people know it exists?
There are a range of drinks in two sizes (12oz and 16oz) to go with your food costing around £4-£5 from simple juices to protein shakes. The former costing £3.45 is fairly expensive for what they are, you are probably better getting their more complex drinks. Hot drinks are in the Infusions part of the menu and cost £2.45 each.
Across two visits, I sampled three different poké bowls, or rather, boats. Having this in a bowl would have been nicer as it allows easy mixing of the ingredients, much like I would a Korean bibimbap. Unfortunately, the bowls doesn’t quite lend itself to this.
The Classic Ahi is a brilliant one to start off on if you already like sushi as it contains sushi rice, tuna, avocado, carrot, wakame (seaweed), cucumber, spring onions, sesame seeds and classic sauce. There is nothing in here I don’t like.
The Teriyaki Jack is a good one if you are not keen on raw fish. It contains black rice, free range chicken, radish, red cabbage, celery, edamame beans, coriander, spring onions, pickled ginger and teriyaki sauce. The only weird ingredient I find in this combination is the pickled ginger. I like it on its own, but I usually have it as a palate cleanser to raw fish, which this didn’t have…
The Lomi Lomi contains red quinoa, salmon, cucumber, mango, celery, mixed leaves, spring onions, walnuts and pomegranate sauce. This one is brilliant if you’re worried about your carb intake.
Of course, you can have any of these as a pokérito, essentially a wrap costing £6.95 instead of a bowl which costs £7.95. You can also just assemble your own from the ingredients they have if you don’t like any of the premade options.
Overall ratings and comments
6.5/10, -1 for the slow service I experienced on my second visit. This may be due in part to the staff slowly getting used to how things are done, so I’m hopeful this will improve. -0.5 for expensive prices for the simple juices. -1 for the poké boat, not bowl, -1 for the chopsticks to go with the poké boat, I know it’s an East Asian-inspired dish, but the boat would just be easier to eat out of if I had a fork or spoon instead. The staff were very friendly and helpful with the ordering process. £7 -£8 for a lunch is quite hefty, but considering I easily spend that much at Yo! Sushi this makes sense.
Would visit again?
As I don’t work nearby, I would only come here for an evening meal or a weekday lunch. Given the fact that Manchester is more often cold and the limited seating here, I may struggle to come here often. I think it’s a very good option for those seeking healthier meals if you happen to work nearby though!
Address: 59 Church St, Manchester M4 1PD
Have you heard of poké before? What would you order if you came here?
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* I was invited to the launch event and thus did not have to pay for my food and drinks. This did not affect my opinion in this review.