Splash Poke - Hawaiian Poke Bowl

I have been waiting for Splash Poke to open for some time now, having seen their storefront on Jasper and 109 St with a "Coming Soon" sign for several months. I didn't plan on attending their grand opening on Tuesday night, but somehow I found myself in a line that snaked around the corner of the block and lasted for 3 hours that night.

For those who don't know, a poke bowl is a rice bowl topped with raw fish chunks tossed with various toppings and sauces. It originated in Hawaii where poke means "to cut into pieces", and it's basically a chopped up and dressed up version of Japanese chirashi.

First let's take a look at the menu. The concept of Splash Poke is very similar to Subway, where you can customize your order to your liking. To make it simple, pricing is based on scoops of protein. I would recommend ordering the double or triple splash (2 or 3 scoops).

For those who don't want to bother with customizing, there are 4 "Splash Favourites" to choose from. These cost the same as the double splash since they all have 2 scoops of protein each.

The setup in the store is the same as Subway as well. All of the available ingredients are displayed behind the counter. Customers can pick and choose, and watch their food being prepared. As I approached the front of the line, the first guy took my order and scooped the rice into the bowl. Then the next guy mixed my choice of protein with sauces and mix-ins, and finally the last person added toppings and garnish. The whole process took several minutes, and was further complicated by the fact that the tall glass partition between us was rather soundproof and the staff and I could barely hear each other above the background noise. We basically had to yell, and my order was heard wrong several times. Hopefully this will not be a problem in the future when things quiet down and there are less customers in the store. (EDIT: Splash Poke let me know that they will be replacing the glass partition, so this should no longer be a problem!)

At the end of the lineup was the cashier, who accepted payment and kindly asked if I was interested in dessert. Currently the only dessert option is ice cream mochi. Beside the cashier was a glass display case that housed drinks and grab-and-go orders that had already been prepared ahead of time. I don't think many people went for grab-and-go that night after waiting 3 hours in line, but I'm sure it will be a popular option for the lunch crowd in the future. Speaking of, I'm not even sure if Splash Poke is open for lunch. Try as I might, I could not find their opening hours anywhere. If anyone knows their hours, please let me know. (EDIT: Hours are now posted on Splash Poke's Facebook page.)

So after an excruciatingly long wait, I finally got my hands on a customized poke bowl. Since there was a 15% discount on opening night, I splurged and got a triple splash with salmon, scallop, and ahi tuna which was an extra $1. But oh my goodness, it was so worth it. The ahi tuna had a much firmer texture than the regular tuna, and a much more distinct flavour as well. The raw seafood was really fresh, and all of those sauces and toppings just brought everything together so well. Call me crazy, but I almost felt like the wait was worth it as I inhaled my bowl in a matter of minutes.

One issue I noticed was that the rice and the protein were not apportioned equally among different bowls. The rice was not measured in any way and the staff was just eyeballing it. From what I observed, some bowls had less rice and some had way more. As for the protein, the staff used a scoop to measure, but some scoops were not full and some were more than full. I think this is something that needs to be addressed in the future. But in any case, Splash Poke is definitely worth trying and I already have a craving for another tasty poke bowl.

Splash Poke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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