Thursday, 20th October 2016 – Pokē, West India Quay, London
Another day at Canary Wharf, another trip to Kerb at the Quay for lunch. After the preponderance of somewhat less healthy options I decided this time I would try and do myself some good with my lunchtime choice so I had a quick look at the Kerb website to see which traders would be there and decided that Pokē sounded like an interesting option.,
It’s fair to say that pokē is very much a thing at present, at least on the London food scene, though I’m less bothered about trends in food than I am about taste, flavour and, if at all possible, traceablity.
For those of you who don’t know what pokē is the guys at Pokē define it as Hawaiian style sushi, though I think that does it a minor injustice because it tends to make you think of maki rolls and the like. It’s quite a bit more interesting than that.
Anyway once over the bridge to West India Quay I located the stall quickly and joined a very short queue (it was very cold out and I think that may have deterred potential diners) to see what I could get for my money. The choices very very tempting and I eventually decided that the tuna was the most alluring choice of the main items.
The guys staffing the stall are friendly, helpful and possessed of a good sense of humour (and possibly a taste for other people’s champagne if they can get it). They were efficient as well which you can’t always say for the street food truck merchants. What you get for your money is a substantial amount of fish, served on a bed of black (or forbidden) rice, not a grain I’d encountered before (or at least not consciously), with some wakame and seaweed, as well as some very pretty little pickles including baby sweetcorn pickled in beetroot juice, which made it a gorgeous shade of pink, and left it crunchy and delicious. Oh and a scattering of furikake, something I’d be happy to eat more of.
The tuna also came with a macadamia nuts, and edamame, and I added some spicy aioli just to perk it up further, before refusing the avocado they offered and scooting back to the office with my loot, it being way too cold to sit outside and eat!
Once there, how did it taste. Brilliant actually! Fresh, clean, not too heavy even with the rice.
The tuna was tender, just right, not too fiercely seasoned, the crunchy vegetables were the ideal accompaniment and I am now a convert to black rice, which was nutty, tasty and cooked to perfection. It more than made up for the deeply disappointing rice the week before at Vinn Goute. I have every intention of seeking some out to cook at home, especially if it really is as nutritious as some of the articles I found about it suggest.
I’ll be eating there again for sure.