Lucky for us, poké specialist Aloha has recently moved closer to Foodie’s neck of the woods, relocating from Quarry Bay to a more central SoHo location that’s spacious, bright and breezy, with plenty of tables for dining in. Coincidentally, it’s also just down the block from Pololi, another well-known poké shop – we sense some friendly competition afoot.
Created by Chino chef Erik Idos, Aloha’s updated and expanded menu showcases a range of raw fish, veggie and even cooked options atop a bed of white or brown rice and/or greens. We like the option of going half/half with two different protein toppings since we’re both so indecisive and so greedy. Prices range from $80 for tofu with goma ponzu and shiso guacamole, to $90 for various tuna or salmon combos, to yellowtail at $110, to cooked black cod with miso and pickles for $130. Extras like 1/4 avocado ($20), runny egg ($10) and quinoa ($15) can be added to take your poké to the next level.
A few months ago, we dedicated one of our food wars to this raw fish craze sweeping the 852 with its fresh, healthy and filling flavours, and Aloha was one of the poké contenders. We really dug Aloha’s beautiful presentation and mixture of textures in our tuna, avocado and seaweed rice bowl, but the slight brownish tuna colour was a bit off-putting and we wondered if the fish had suffered in transit.
We recently headed to the new shop to give Aloha another go, and this time, our poké bowl literally bowled us over. A well-sized, deep well was filled to the brim with a combination of pleasingly red tuna chunks marinated in a spicy gochujang (Korean chilli paste), sesame and cucumber sauce and more subtly spiced salmon with yuzu miso, creamy avocado and crispy garlic, plus al dente kernels of brown rice, a mix of greens, a heap of thin nori shreds and a scattering of sesame seeds. We loved the freshness, the flavours and the attention to detail.
We’ll be back try out the newly launched happy hour snacks (Monday–Friday, from 4pm; all day Saturday and Sunday), such as crispy spicy salmon wontons ($50) and seared tuna with butter lettuce ($75), which sound great for afternoon grazing.
51 Graham Street, SoHo, Central, 9386 8984