Oh poke bowls, just when you think they’re almost forgotten, out sprouts another. This time it’s Pololi, a franchise from Hong Kong that’s found its way to 51 Telok Ayer Street. The takeaway store is hard to miss, with it outstanding interior and hand-drawn floral murals, exuding a tropical and vibrant atmosphere.
Aptly located within the CBD where busy executives can come and go for a quick takeaway, Pololi targets those looking for a quick lunch fix that is packed with proteins. There are a few counter seats outside where you can perch your weary bodies for a meal, if you’re not in too much of a rush to get back to the daily grind.
Pololi makes ordering an easy process: simply choose your base of white rice, brown rice, salad or a mix of both. Then, choose your desired poke.
While it seems to be lacking in accompanying ingredients like kale chips, peas and the like, it makes up by having one of the most comprehensive selections of intriguing marinades for your poke.
Plus, knowing that you’ll be spoilt for choice, you can have tasters of each marinade before coming to a decision.
Pololi offers two different sizes of poke bowls, with a Keiki (150g of fish) going at $15.99 and a larger portion of Kama’aina (180g of fish) at $17.99. Marinades like Avocado Mayo, Yuzu Pinenut, Traditional Spicy, Thai Sweet Chili and Wasabi Miso were available when we visited, but the choices are constantly changing, so you might not get the exact marinade mentioned above when you visit.
Kama’aina, A Mix of Avocado Mayo and Wasabi Miso, with White Rice mixed with Mesclun Salad ($17.99)
The avocado mayo marinade had a very intense and creamy texture, melding with the thick cubes of salmon. The wasabi miso provided for a lighter taste, with a slight savouriness coming from the miso and a little kick from the wasabi. These two marinades went well together, with the latter balancing out the former.
Overall, the combination with the rice and salad definitely made for a filling meal.
If work’s getting a little tad too hectic, why not help yourself to a beer? Especially when it’s from a Hawaiian brewery like Kona Brewing Company (might as well complete the poke experience).
Big Wave Golden Ale and Castaway IPA ($10.99 each)
Kona Brewing Company aces its packaging game with aquamarine colours and crashing waves. It’s also won me over with unbelievably refreshing beers.
The Golden Ale is lighter in flavour as opposed to the IPA. The former is refreshing and gives that thirst-quenching feeling when you take a big gulp of it, completely washing your worries away.
The IPA has heavier and richer caramel malt tones, with a hint of a citrus undertone that finishes clean and crisp.
I have nothing but praises for Pololi’s selection of marinades and Hawaiian beers. With competitors like A Poke Theory and Aloha Poke just down the road however, it might be hard for Pololi to cause a wave considering how late it is to the party.
That being said, I believe Pololi offers up an authentic bowl of poke, simple and straight to the point as opposed to all the others with fancy side ingredients. Add on the fact that it’s a takeaway concept, it might prove to be a faster and more nutritious solution to surviving the daily grind. Besides, I really like the beers, so…
Expected Damage: $20 – $30 per pax