Fast Food · Fusion · Hawaiian · poke · Restaurants · Seafood

Pacific Poke – COVID-19 edition

On Tuesday, I wanted a break from cooking. I was yearning for something different, like Ethiopian from Yegna Restaurant on International Avenue. However, a little voice inside my head asked me, “Is it wise to travel so far? What would Dr. Hinshaw say?” I pictured Dr. Hinshaw’s kind face and I could hear her soft-spoken voice telling me to order delivery or pick up food from a restaurant closer to home. I guess I’m feeling pretty lonely if I’m having imaginary conversations with my medical hero. For this post, let’s listen to “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

I was still craving something out of the ordinary, so I called Pacific Poke  for pick up. L and I both ordered a large build your own poke bowl ($16), which included three proteins and four toppings. When I carried the food back into the house, I was surprised by the weight of the bowls. Pacific Poke doesn’t skimp on the portions.

pacific poke

We both chose traditional sushi rice, ahi tuna, wild salmon and crab. L topped his bowl with a double order of seaweed salad, sesame miso hummus, ginger jicama, avocado nori (+$1.50) and masago (+$1.50). I picked a double order of seaweed salad, cucumber kimchi, ginger jicama, and masago (+$1.50).

Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 4.14.39 PM
Posted without permission from Pacific Poke.

Pacific Poke serves sustainable seafood. The cubed salmon was a bright orange colour, richly flavoured and smooth in texture. The crab was creamy and when I poked at the mixture, it came apart in fluffy strands. The ahi tuna was firm and fresh. L and I were both impressed with the fish. The masago was worth the extra charge – the fish roe provided a salty pop of the sea.

Lieghotn

L and I thought we could detect a spicy heat in the house ponzu sauce. The amount of sauce was just enough to bind all the toppings to the seafood and rice. The white rice was firm, slightly warm, with a pronounced hint of vinegar. We were both surprised the rice was so good, considering Pacific Poke isn’t a traditional Japanese restaurant. I’m curious to see if the brown rice is as well-made as the sushi rice.

poke me

I liked all the toppings I picked. The seaweed was crunchy and tangy. The jicama tasted like a Korean pear and added a sweet, refreshing crunch. I took a bite of L’s avocado nori and hummus. The avocado was smooth and tart, the seasoning reminded me of guacamole. I think the hummus he chose would have paired well with the more non-traditional ingredients, like quinoa, corn salsa, chicken or vegetarian proteins. One issue with making your own bowl is that unless you know what you are doing, some of your choices may not pair as well as Pacific Poke’s chef inspired bowls.

poke mixed

I haven’t tried all the poke restaurants in Calgary, but so far Pacific Poke is my favourite. The quality is superb and the ratio of protein to rice to topping is proportional. When we return, I’d like to try a dish off the chef inspired menu, such as The Main or The Cali. Hitting the Sauce gives Pacific Poke two fat thumbs up.

Pacific Poke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brunch · Fusion · poke · Restaurants

ZCrew Cafe – Brunch with Haskayne 3.0

L drove me to my brunch with Haskayne 3.0. He accidentally dropped me off at the wrong location and I had to hoof it for the last seven blocks. When I got to ZCrew Cafe, Screamy asked me why I didn’t just call L to pick me up again. That idea never even occurred to me. She inquired why L didn’t come with to brunch. I said because he wasn’t invited. Screamy said it should be assumed he’s invited, as he’s my husband. I told her that in the future, she needs to be more specific with me. For this post, let’s listen to Shakira & J. Lo’s Superbowl performance.

Though I was uncharacteristically late, Strong Zero, Queen B, and Shady Bones were even tardier. I guess we aren’t on Japan time anymore! After fielding more questions about L’s absence and whether or not I should call him, we ordered food. Geez – I had no idea L was so popular. Why would they want him when they already have me?

tea

I enjoyed my pot of Jasmine Dragon Pearl Tea ($5.50). The blooming flower inside the clear pot was aesthetically pleasing. The tea was mild and fragrant with a subtle sweetness.

tofu

Screamy enjoyed her Crispy Tofu Bowl ($15). She said the tofu wasn’t crispy but it still tasted good. Her favourite part of the dish was the kimchi as it brought all the ingredients together.

matcha

Shady Bones ordered the Matcha Pancake ($17). She spent a good five minutes debating whether or not to eat the orchid. She shared her dish with Strong Zero.

burger

Strong Zero ordered the Monster Bao-Ger ($19). Man, this dude is precise. He cut his burger and the pancakes into half with surgical precision. Strong Zero said the little potato doughnut tasted like sweet, spicy balls. He offered me a bite of his food and I didn’t think before I spoke and said, “Why, don’t you like it?” He looked taken aback and responded he did like his food, he just wanted to know if I wanted to try it.

fried chicken

Queen B ordered the best looking dish – Korean fried chicken and waffles ($19). You could hear the skin crackle as Queen B cut into the chicken.

poke

My Special Poke Bowl ($17) tasted healthy. The wasabi mayo and teriyaki sauce were minimal, allowing the natural flavours of the vegetables to shine through. The rice was a little hard and I found a fish bone in the salmon. Overall, a tasty bowl.

ZCrew Cafe offers some seriously Instagramable meals. It’s a cool little spot offering brunch with an Asian twist. I can see why it’s such a popular spot with the kids.

ZCREW Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Fast Food · Hawaiian · Japanese · poke · Restaurants

Kona Poke

Asian Persuasion and Lil Strawberriee saw Kona Poke’s pictures on Instagram. Located in the Plus 15, it helps if you bring along someone familiar with the office maze. Office Dad easily navigated us to Kona Poke but when he saw the line-up, he ditched us for Vic’s HK Café in Chinatown.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.25.14 AM.png

We waited at least 30 minutes in the line-up. There was one staffer who cheerfully apologized for the wait and he would take an extra couple minutes to chitchat and talk to the customers about the Kona experience. After waiting so long, it was nice to get that extra special care.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.24.42 AM.png

Build your own poke bowl is easy to do with Kona’s 1-2-3 steps. Step one – pick a size. A regular contains two scoops of seafood for $10.50 and a large offers three scoops for $13.50. If you have a big appetite, get the large. The regular size was perfect for a light lunch.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 11.13.37 AM.png

Step two – pick a base. Choose from sushi rice, brown rice, field greens and tortilla chips. Kona was out of sushi rice so I asked for brown rice and field greens. The brown rice was very warm but by the time I got back to my cubicle, it cooled down. Initially, I was disappointed not to get sushi rice, but it turns out the brown rice is my favourite. Nutty and firm, it adds a nice chew and contrast to the softness of the fish.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.24.58 AM.png

Step three – pick your sides. Cucumber, jalapeños, sweet onions, red cabbage, and for extra avocado ($1.50), crab ($1.50) and crab n cado ($2.00). I picked cucumber, sweet onions and red cabbage. I was informed that the crab was a bit like a crab salad.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.25.43 AM.png

Step four – pick any two scoops of albacore tuna, salmon, octopus or ahi tuna. An extra scoop will set you back $2.00. Kona was out of ahi tuna, but I could still get tuna and salmon. Next time, I’d add an extra scoop of seafood, just because I’d like a piece of fish in every bite.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.25.55 AM

Step five – add your sauce. Options include: Kona ponzu, maple miso, lava and spicy mayo. I asked what was in the lava but it was pretty loud and all I got was awesome. I added the Kona ponzu, lava and spicy mayo.

Step six – stack it up with crunchy peas, ginger, sesame seeds, furkikae, green onion, wasabi and masago. Unfortunately, Kona was out of crunch peas. I added everything but ginger.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.25.06 AM

I mixed up all the ingredients and quickly devoured my delicious bowl of goodies. The ingredients and sauces melded well together. For $11, I thought Kona offered good value for fresh, healthy, personalized fast food.  In the future, I’d love to see fresh seaweed salad as a topping. As this was Kona’s first week, I completely understand that they ran out of ingredients. I’m a fan and plan on bringing more of my office mates to try the ahi tuna poke. Next on our foodie list – Poke and Vitality Tap.

Kona Poke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato