Poke bowls, a common delicacy in Hawaii has made its way to Toronto with a number of poke focused restaurants over the past year.
Here is a list of the different poke bowls I have tried in the city:
This is my go to place for poke bowls. Conveniently located on Elizabeth street , it is not far from city hall. You have the option of either building your own poke bowl or to get a pre-selected bowl.
Pictured below is the Cali bowl with white rice, shoyu-coated salmon & ahi tuna, crab meet slaw, avocado, fried onions, sesame seeds, masago, edamame, and garnished with sesame seeds and topped with spicy aioli.
The ingredients tasted very fresh and the large was very filling! If you do not have a huge appetite, the regular size should be filling enough. Service was quiet good and there is a decent amount of seating.
The 2nd time I visited I tried the Hui Hou poke bowl with honey ginger salmon, crab meet slaw, edamame, seaweed salad, masago, fried onions and sesame sees.
The salmon marinated in honey ginger tasted quite good. Overall this poke bowl was really good. That being said, I still preferred the Cali bowl slightly over this one.
The Poke Box
The poke box is conveniently located right in the heart of the financial district. They offer their poke bowls in a box rather then a plastic bowl as in other places.
Its exclusively a take out place, as there are very few tables available.
I went during their opening and got the half price poke bowl. Pictured below is one of their specialty poke bowls with salmon, tuna, crab salad, mango chili, seaweed, edamame, avocado and sushi rice.
Overall it was pretty good. They also offer zucchini noodles as a base as well which is nice as they are the only ones that offer this to my understanding.
The ingredients were pretty fresh. As for the sizing, it was a decent size poke bowl,but smaller than the large at Poke guys.
In terms of service nothing stood out. However, it was extremely busy during their promotion so maybe they are a bit better now. I will have to try it once again to get a better grasp on how their service is in comparison to the others.
I went to Pokito soon after their opening this summer. The place is nice and there is a fair amount of tables . Service is also really good. Pictured below is a spicy salmon bowl consisting of sushi rice, spicy mayo, crispy onions, seaweed, mandarin oranges, and guacamole.
It tasted really good. Ingredients were quiet fresh. My only objection is that the spicy salmon was not really very spicy and price wise its a bit expensive compared to the portion size. At almost $16 with taxes, you can get a comparably priced poke bowl at poke guys, but it is much more filling.
Overall I would give the slight edge to the Poke guys. They are my favourite of these 3 as their poke bowls tasted the best overall and offer the best value for your money. Pokito would be a close second and then followed by the Poke box.