Hawaiian for dining

November 30, 2017

Did you know poke comes from Hawaiian culture? It’s a type of fish salad bowl using sliced raw fish, traditional maui onions and a variety of other ingredients such as pineapple, sesame seeds, wasabi, soya sauce, perhaps over rice or cabbage. It can be served as an appetizer or even the main course of your meal.

This week I dove into Edmonton’s first and original Hawaiian poke restaurant,
known as Splash Poke. Their mascot, Splash the green sea turtle, is stoked to share poke with you in an Edmonton first. This unique dining spot is truly one of a kind here in Edmonton, from the variety of bowl recipes ready to order to the ingredients available in building your own!

Building your own is easy. You start with a base of brown rice, white rice, salad or vermicelli noodles or make it half and half! You can pick proteins like tuna or salmon, scallops, shrimp, chicken or tofu. You can mix in extras like cilantro, jalapeno, seaweed or cucumber.

Toppings include a seaweed salad, corn, pineapple, mango, tobiko (type of fish eggs) or a crab mix. At this point you pick your sauce and garnish and dig into your personalized poke. But if all these options are too overwhelming for you, the choices on the menu are also quite varied making it
easy to choose between just seven possibilities, instead of limitless ones.

The works is a salmon and tuna bowl using all toppings and mix-ins, all garnishes and dressed with a sriracha aioli and splash aioli. It’s a great catch-all for someone unsure of what to get but focused on a full experience. The classic is another tuna and salmon bowl that utilizes a shoyu sauce, traditional toppings like seaweed and sweet onions and topped with sriracha
aioli and unagi sauce.

The other options are all excellent too; the tropical is a fun sweet mix with pineapple and splash aioli, the spicy is a shrimp and tofu bowl that’s got plenty of heat! The prairie is a marinated chicken bowl with pineapple, sesame sauce and panko, among other toppings. The friendly is another tuna and salmon bowl with some fun and sweet traditional mixings. Finally the harvest is there as a plant-based option using tofu and shoyu sauce.

Each bowl is a colourful display of toppings that present a stellar piece of art. They’re so pretty you might hesitate to eat it all. I had the works on brown rice which was a masterfully messy bowl. The flavours danced together so gracefully. It was a party! The aiolis paired so well with the fish and toppings flavours, the rice was perfect, the ingredients all very fresh. It was a fantastic time that I’d recommend to anyone.

– Brendan Collinge