October was all about the poké bowl from Hai Poké! In fact, I may or may not have become a “regular” this month….
So, what is poké?! (pronounced “po-kay”)
It’s a marinated raw fish salad that sits on a bed of rice with pickled veggies, crispy wontons, sauce, and optional avocado. If you are a fan of sushi then you will love this!
This dish can be found on the west coast and is very popular in Hawaii. I had my first poké experience this past August in California and am so glad it’s finally here in Columbus! I haven’t seen any other poké bowls offered on menus yet, so this has been an exciting find.
Mico and Nile are the men behind Hai Poké. Nile, a recent Ohio State graduate, knew he wanted to start up his own business and his friend Mico, who studied Business at Toledo, joined in for the journey. Hai Poké has only been running for about 3 months and already has a strong following. Currently they function as a pop-up restaurant (Thursdays and Fridays from 4-9PM at Oddfellows Liquor Bar and for November they will be serving on Tuesdays at Denmark On High). A Hai Poké food truck was their initial plan but after logistics, they felt pop-ups were the way to start. A physical restaurant space is still on their goal list. And to improve their payment processing efficiency, they make use of these compare card machines that also add customer satisfaction and boost sales.
Their fresh Ahi tuna is picked up on the same day as the bowls are served. Their fish is also sourced from the same supplier as local spots like Tensuke and Fusian. The fish tastes delicious and the portions are pretty generous. The bowl is very filling and costs $10 +$1 for avocado ($9 for veggie bowl).
Mico and Nile are so friendly and take the time to talk to their customers. They have welcomed me with big smiles and hugs. I’m so happy they started their business because poké definitely elevates the (614) food scene! I recommend trying it, even if you’re weary of eating raw fish. And if you don’t finish, I’ll gladly take the leftovers :p