So I know this isn’t technically Asian, but it’s very Asian inspired (though some would argue it’s a but Seattle inspired). The food is fresh, they use Asian ingredients, and it’s good so I’m reviewing it. Ahi Poki Bowl just opened up in Scottsdale and one of my friends who is Hawaiian keeps on raving about it. Knowing he has a legit knowledge of great food, we went.
This is also a chain restaurant and the original restaurant is in SoCal.
For the uninformed, poke is a type of raw fish salad that is kind of like deconstructed sushi, or the burrito bowl of sushi. Most of the ingredients added on are Japanese or Japanese-American in origin.
By the way, these dishes look a lot sexier when they’re in bowls. They look kind of like takeout when they’re in plastic boxes so I took some pictures of our friend’s bowls.
I ordered a 3 scoop with all of the extras on it.
My three scoops according to some friend’s advice: Marinated Tuna, Salmon, Octopus. All were good choices because you could noticeably taste the fish. I wish I chose something else besides octopus.
Some people didn’t like the spicy tuna because it wasn’t very flavorful. I tasted some from my friend’s plate and agreed. The cubed fish pieces are much more attractive and it feels more satisfying.
I had brown rice and salad (half and half) though I think if you like white rice go for it. It probably absorbs much more of the flavor.
While getting every sauce and every topping, some things get clouded into obscurity and some things shine.
Here’s the menu for reference.
Things I’ve noticed:
The Spicy Creamy – Very good spicy sauce that gives a great mouthfeel to the dish
The House Sauce – Standard sweet soy sauce. It’s pretty good.
The minced crab – It’s a nice texture but I would debate if it was worth the added $0.75 cents
The seaweed salad (highly recommended) – Gives a unique, fresh and slimy texture found in tradititonal poke (according to my friend).
The crunchy onions – Gives a great texture if you’re into fried stuff on salads.
The avocado – I’d say it’s the equivalent of adding avocado to your Chiptole burrito. It’s nice but not necessary.
The Ginger (gari) – Noticeable due to the acidic and ginery taste. I love eating gari in sushi. If you don’t eat gari, don’t get this.
Things I regret noticing:
Wasabi –When you mix stuff up and take a big biute of wasabi, your head starts to hurt. I would honestly ask this on the side.
Jicama – Like water chestnuts but a bit more pair like. I don’t like water chestnuts because they’re flavorless and ruin a dish ment to have a soft texture. Almost the same with kicama. If you like texture in your dish, get it. If not then stay away.
Masago – the little roe stuff was unnoticeable in my mound of stuff. If you like it, order it. If you don’t care for it, don’t.
Things I didn’t care for:
Cucumber – It’s good filler at least
Daikon Sprouts – It’s also good filler at least
Green Onion – Standard and does the job
Roasted Seaweed – apparently it’s tradition but I couldn’t taste it. Better with less flavors probably.
The Citrus Sauce – Good but overshadowed by too much toppings. Probably best to eat alone
Chili flakes – Not significant. But at least there’s sriracha near by.
My friends and I commented on how the ambiance reminds us of a seafood chipotle. Howerver, instead of a Hawaiian vibe, I got sort of a Seattle vibe. The giant decal next to us is sea related, but it reminds us of the cold, fish bearing sea and not the relaxing Hawaiian air.
Overall, the ambiance is very modern with a hint of grey. It was enchanced by the rain we got that day as well, making it feel like I was in Seattle rather than Phoenix.
Service is like Chipotle. You line up and order as you go. The great, type-casted menu was very easy to follow and ask for what you want. Essentially, this is a fast food restaurant in terms of its service.
A bowl (two scoops) is about $8.00 and a box (three scoops) is $10.50. There are certain items that are extra and I would honestly only recommend the seaweed salad as the extra ($0.75).
My total dish with EVERYTHING was about $13.00s so that’s a good range to think about.
I think everyone will think that Ahi Poke has a Chipotle-esque style and their serving style is no exception. You order up front with a big, nicely designed menu hanging above you and order whatever you want.
Poke is getting popular and it’s very advantageous for a place like this around Phoenix at this time. If you want something healthy and fresh and are willing to spend a little more on quality, Ahi Poke is for you