Poke is the photogenic star of Instagram.
The modern food trend has also caught on in Fairfield County.
Not quite, but rooted in a traditional Hawaaiin sashimi dish, a poke bowl is layered with fresh, sushi-grade raw, marinated fish, often tuna or salmon, with rice and vegetables, then topped with a savory sauce, often like umami or spicy mayonnaise.
"It's popular because it is a very healthy food," said Yoki Lin, chef-owner of Poke House in Danbury, one of five places to try poke bowls in the area.
Poké House, 130 Federal Road, Danbury: Across from Stew Leonards, the Hawaaiin restaurant used to be just an ice cream shop until Owner Yori Lin added the poke bowls. Lin now serves made to order poke bowls and ice cream.
He said workers from Danbury Hospital, carpenters working in the area and office people often fill the small shop at lunchtime.
"I make everything fresh and to their specifications. The (poke bowls) are tuna with white or brown rice, cooked chicken or shrimp, and vegetables, and sauces."
Pokéworks, 14 Danbury Dr., Wilton: The small restaurant in the Gateway Plaza gets a lot of traffic, especially at lunchtime when an employee who answered the phone said they were exceptionally busy. Later, he told Daily Voice customers "love the sauces." Many to try include Sriracha Aioli, Wasabi Aioli, Sweet Chili, and Spicy Ginger.
Pokéworks, 396 Post Road East #30, Westport: The trend in build your bowl, roll or salad system is a hit here with patrons.
Amanda Nguyen on Google four weeks ago posted this review: "If you love sushi come here, it's essentially deconstructed sushi but better because you get to choose what you want."
Pokémoto, 133 Washington St., Norwalk: Pokémoto, 1512 Post Road, Fairfield: You can order poké bowl, poké wrap or poké salad here. Customers select a "base" then add protein, topping, and sauce. For dessert, there is soft serve ice cream.
A signature dish is the "Hawaiian" which is ahi tuna, sweet onions and cilantro tossed in spicy mayo, and topped with masago (roe), green onions, shredded nori, and crispy onions.
William Knuth talking about the SoNo location in a Google review said, "It's like having a big sushi bowl for $11. The sauces were great to top it off with and the staff was well trained and very friendly."
Miyuki's Noodle Shop, 75 Pine St., New Canaan: A noodle shop where ramen is king but two poke bowls on the menu are mentioned in reviews. The chef is also mentioned.
Nick W. of Rye, New York in an April Yelp post said, "If you love Asian inspired dishes this is the place for you. I'm talking Tuna Poke, Ramen, Steamed buns with exceptionally prepared meats, and melt in your mouth Salmon over rice with beautiful greens."
Veronica W. of New Canaan said on Yelp, "The chief certainly has put in her heart in creating the food."
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