September 2, 2017

Poke Shack at Bridgetowne Libis

Mahalo! Poke is a raw-fish salad, it is like the hamburger of Hawaii, ever-present at family gatherings, parties, tailgates, and supermarket delis across the Hawaiian Islands. Poke began with fishermen seasoning the cut-offs from their catch to serve as a snack. Traditional poke seasonings have been heavily influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines. 

I am quite familiar with this dish as my immediate family (grandparents, aunts and uncles) have lived in Kauai for several years before moving to Mainland US and I always hear my grandma talking about this (and heard the pronunciation from them too haha). I also have an American friend who’s a chef and loves making them. I think they are your healthy and more filling alternatives to the dishes that you would usually eat. 

There have been debates and confusion as to how this word is pronounced: “pok-keh”, "pow-ki", "poh-ki", “pow-kay", and “pow-keh" hahahaha! Whatever... it sounds funny to Filipinos because there's a word in our language that refers to something green when one says this word. But I asked my grandma and found some YouTube videos by Hawaiian locals pronouncing the word as "poh-keh" with a short e sound. But whatever you want to say it depends on your preference. 

Unlike ceviche, which is cooked using the acid that is in vinegar or citrus fruits, the meat you put in a poke bowl is usually raw. But time has changed and Pole has evolved into many forms. Yakow just like your Pokémon’s, they too evolves. 

I went to visit the newly-opened Poke Shack at Tera Towers, Bridgetown along Libis Quezon City with some of my blogger and foodie friends. It's the newest restaurant in this side of the metro that offers Poke bowls inspired by different cuisines that will transport your taste buds across the globe. Here's what we got to try at Poke Shack:

Salad Chips – crunchy tempura-battered iceberg and lollo rossa. They will remind you of Kang-Kong or Kale chips but they use lettuce so the chips are more delicate yet crunchy.

Crocutes – choose from crab and cheese or spam and cheese. These are Spa, or crab sticks with cheese in succulent potato fingers. One of their appetizers that I really like. The outside was crispy and the inside is soft, creamy and cheesy. 

California Tuna – Poke Shack’s California bowl in jam-packed fried sushi form. I love sushi and this is one of the best fried Cali maki I've tried; it's packed with flavor and very filling. 

The Standard Shack – It contains tuna, celery, onion, crispy showa mix, ebiko, furikake, and sesame seed with classic poke sauce. The meat can be switched to Salmon btw. 

Salted Egg Crunch on Salad – chicken, spring onion, pickled red radish, black and white sesame seeds, red onion, togue (bean sprout) with salted egg sauce. Salted egg has gained favor to a lot of people, it's the in thing now in gourmet dishes in restaurants. I actually love them, I eat them as is or mixed with raw tomatoes cubes. I also like it made into a batter and mixed with shrimps and chicken. It gives any meat some good saltiness.

Salmon Sriracha – salmon, celery, onion, crispy showa mix, ebiko, furikake, sesame seed with Sriracha mayo. If you're a fan of Sriracha and anything spicy, this one is made for you. I liked that what we tried had the right amount of spiciness, since I am not someone who can tolerate too much spiciness in my meals.

Mediterranean Catch – salmon, tuna, parsley, black olives, white onion, celery, chili finger, cherry tomato, grapes, showa batter, furikake, ebiko with olive oil and lemon juice. This contains all the good ness of tuna and salmon. A perfect bowl for the seafood lover and those who are trying to eat healthy. 

Santorini Shawarma on Noodles – chicken shawarma, shitake mushroom, celery, boiled egg, spring onions, cherry tomato, black tobiko, and black olives with aioli sauce. This is my favorite of all the Poke bowl that we tried. If the rice id overwhelming for you, this is your best option. I love this variation; I don't know what's in these noodles but I found the noodles super creamy. It contains several types of noodles btw. And the toppings: chicken, olives, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and the egg, they all went super well with the noodles. A MUST-TRY!

Jeju Chicken – chicken, black and white sesame seed, broccoli, cauliflower, pickled onion, leeks with Bonchon sauce. This is for those who love anything Korean! Super yummy sauce with the chicken and the generous amount of cauliflower and broccoli toppings. 

Chicharrones Zing – crispy pork liempo, salsa, pineapple, red egg, sesame seed with chimichurri and Sriracha. This is a new take to our favorite grilled liempo in tropical style. If you're a fan of  this Filipino favorite, like me, you'll surely enjoy this!

Tuna Tataki – tuna tataki, pickled red radish, pickled cucumber, cherry tomato with satay sauce. Another must try from Poke Shack. The satay sauce gave more depth of flavors to the tuna tataki. 

Shack-a-Delic Cotta – mango and coconut panna cotta topped with sweet caramel cream. Love this dessert as it contains the yummy goodness of coconut cream, coconut jam and mangoes! The sweetness is not over the top either.

Hey, Puddin’ – coco-caramel bread pudding with Vanilla ice cream. I love pudding because it always reminds me of my grandma, she always makes them back in the day when she was still living in the Philippines. I like that their pudding is sweet, soft and moist. That vanilla ice cream on top made it more yummy!

Shack Blend Iced Tea and Ocean Side Lemonade – two of the drinks that you can pair your Poke Bowls with. Both are definitely refreshing!

If you’re feeling creative, you can also customize your Poke Bowl. You can choose your base: either rice, lettuce or noodles; or you can do it half-half: half rice and half noodles. Then choose your meat (1 choice), add a sauces (1 choice) and toppings (choose 6). There are tons of variations and possibilities of combinations that you can create really. If you don’t have any idea what’s going to work well, you can always ask the staff to help you out. 

G/F, Tera Tower, Bridgetowne Business Center, 
Libis, Quezon City
Contact Nos: +63 9260718992 / +63 9293173857

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Poke Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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