The round-up: where to get your poke fix on the Gold Coast
If you’ve been outside at all this week, it won’t come as a surprise that the Gold Coast is in the midst of a barely survivable heatwave, which can seriously limit your choice of daytime eats because who really wants to tuck into a hot curry when it’s 40-degrees out? Not us. Keep your cool by sticking your fork into a deliciously fresh poke bowl instead. Not sure where to find one? Fret not friend, we’ve round-up some of the city’s finest for your eating enjoyment. Wondering what the heck a poke bowl is? Allow us to introduce you. Pronounced poh-keh, it is a Hawaiian twist on a traditionally Japanese dish of raw fish on a base of rice or quinoa and accompanied by a wide range of toppings from edamame to pickled radish. The best part? It’s delicious, healthy and fresher-than-fresh! Now that’s our kind of summer snack.
Poké Poké, Mermaid Beach
This Mermaid Beach locale is arguably the one that started our collective obsession with the dish as the coast’s very first dedicated poke place. From the mastermind behind Bonita Bonita, Poké Poké sets a pretty high standard for the fishy feasts. Our pick? The sashimi-grade tuna in soy and sesame, topped with avocado, shallot, crispy plantains and wasabi mayo over brown rice.
Poké California, Surfers Paradise
In the heart of Surfers Paradise, Poké California puts a Cali-style spin to the traditional Hawaiian staple with ingredients like pineapple, kale and sweet corn. The venue’s owner Michael Kang, originally from South Korea, encourages poke lovers to build their own bowls – and the choices are endless, so go nuts.
Kombi Fresh, Various
The Gold Coast’s first poke-bowl food truck is here! Well, it’s not so much a food truck as it is a rad-looking 1970s caravan, but we digress. Kombi Fresh does the rounds of a few local markets so keep your peepers peeped for all of the poke goodness.
Elk Espresso, Broadbeach
Destined to be different (and delicious), Elk has turned the traditional dish on its head to create the Poke on Spelt (yes, a poke bowl on toast) using fresh Tasmanian salmon, creme fraiche, pomegranate and mango and it’s pretty darn impressive.
Harajuku Gyoza, Broadbeach
Peruse the menu beyond the ridiculously tasty gyoza and you’ll stumble upon a delightful salmon sashimi-topped poke bowl. Wash it down with a growler (that’s a cheeky 1.9 litres) of Yoyogi beer and you have yourself a feast fit for a king (or queen), but maybe don’t drive afterwards.
Aloha Bar & Dining, Broadbeach
Broadbeach’s not-so-secret bar has been dishing up the goods since it opened in 2016 making it one of the first on the coast to pioneer the poke. There are four different varietals including salmon, tuna, eggplant and tofu and sous vide chicken and if you can handle some heat, make it spicy.
The Kitchen at The Collective, Palm Beach
Delighting diners with two sensational selections, The Kitchen offers a Hawaiian tuna poke, which contains Sashimi-grade tuna, shallots, soy, sesame, avocado and garlic en croute, alongside an Asian salmon poke with avocado, pickled cabbage, sesame seeds and soy on crispy wontons. Wonton more? Well, you’ll just have to take a trip to The Collective to try it for yourself.
Caffeine Kings, Miami
Let us tell you this for sure, there’s nothing okay about Caffeine Kings’ poke, it’s pretty much perfection on a plate. Featuring freshly caught local salmon, edamame, cucumber, pickled radish, warm brown rice, bean sprout and crispy shallot. Not a fan of fish? Customise with tofu and mushroom or teriyaki chicken.
Finn Poké, Byron Bay
Okay we know that it isn’t technically the Gold Coast but we feel it would be remiss of us not to include Byron Bay’s first dedicated poke restaurant. The menu combines the fresh, clean flavours of California with the local, organic produce of Byron Bay, what’s not to love?
Honourable mentions: Duck into Burleigh for Stones Throw‘s excellent creation, Sandbar in Surfers Paradise, Wild Fish and Chips at Pacific Fair and Red Hot Cod in Burleigh Heads also dish up a delightful bowl, SoPo Dining Room in Southport and Currumbin’s new Black Sheep Espresso Baa.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.