Restaurants in LA, New York, London and Sydney have already brought a taste of island life to their smoggy cities with poké, or ‘Hawaiian Sushi’, and now Dublin is finally catching the wave of one of the fastest rising food trends of recent years with the arrival of Klaw Poke on Capel Street.
A cross between Japanese sushi and Peruvian ceviche, traditionally poké, pronounced poke-ay, is made up of chunks of raw tuna, salmon and other seafood marinated in soy and sesame and mixed as a free-form salad.
The menu at Klaw Poke will give diners a chance to taste new-school versions of poké serving it atop trendy rice or salad bowls, with a list of tasty topping options that will allow for endless possibilities for flavor and texture combinations – you’ll never have to order the same thing twice.
Rising out of a derelict shop on Capel Street, the new restaurant opened quietly on Friday 19th May and owner Niall Sabongi says they sold out Friday, Saturday and Sunday – a sign that Dubliners are already hooked.
“The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and the best thing was that we saw the same people come back twice or three times.”
Over the past two years, Niall, the man behind Klaw in Temple Bar and Rock Lobster fish and steakhouse, has been getting to grips with the Hawaiian delicacy working for short periods at a time in dedicated poké restaurants in London and New York.
On bringing the trend to Dublin Niall says: “Like at Klaw, my vision for Klaw Poké is to make seafood more accessible.”
“It helps that poké is addictively tasty, really clean and healthy, and uses Irish seafood. It ticks all the boxes.”
Customers can build their own poké bowl choosing from a menu that includes:
– Base: Brown rice, quinoa, noodles or kale,
– Protein: Salmon, tuna, octopus, yakitori tofu
– Toppings: Edamame, housemade kimchi, sonomono cucumber salad, a selection of Irish seaweeds, and more
– A Choice of Dressings
Putting as much thought into the veggie option as he does the seafood, the tofu is grilled over a charcoal fire – a technique that Niall says transforms usually bland tofu into something temptingly tasty.
The charcoal grill will also be used to serve another of the new restaurant’s specials, yakitori.
Putting a Klaw twist on the Japanese dish that most popularly comes in the form of skewered chicken, at the restaurant diners can enjoy grilled fish and octopus.
Elsewhere on the menu you’ll spot fish tacos and favourites from Klaw, such as lobster rolls, oysters and krab klaws.
Klaw Poke will be open 8am-9pm Monday to Friday.
At the weekend the eatery is set to become a new go to brunch spot, and will attract late night revelers too opening until 11pm, with the promise of wine in the near future.
As Niall says: “we’re bringing the best from one island nation to our island nation.” Hook, line and sinker – we’re sold.