If you think Hong Kong is a small place, I bet restaurant owners think it is even smaller. Poke bowls are still a relatively new and niche concept in Hong Kong, so for there to be two restaurants serving poke on the same street is a rather amusing coincidence. Aloha, which was previously located in Quarry Bay, has recently relocated to Soho’s Graham Street, mere steps away from long-standing poke spot, Pololi!
I had never visited Aloha at its previous home, but have already been three times in three weeks since discovering it in Central! Located just up from The Globe pub, Aloha is a cute, bright and welcoming space with ample seating and two-tone white and light blue walls that make it feel clean, healthy and inviting.
Unlike Pololi, you can’t see the poke selections behind the counter, as everything is made fresh in the kitchen at the back. You therefore aren’t able to try before you buy, so you just have to trust the chef’s combinations.
Start by choosing between white rice, brown rice, greens or half and half. There is then the choice of tuna, salmon or yellowtail, with three varieties of each. If raw fish isn’t your thing, there are also some cooked fish options, or even tofu. For each bowl, you can select up to two choices of fish and then choose from a list of extras on top.
I think I have now tried all of the tuna and salmon varieties and one of the yellowtail. My favourites are the Gochujang tuna, marinated in sesame and cucumber, and also the spicy yuzu salmon with avocado and crispy garlic. I also recently discovered the pickled wasabi yellowtail which was incredible and very good for clearing the sinuses!
The quality of the fish is excellent, and the flavour combinations utterly delicious. I have now started adding a soft-boiled egg and shiso avocado to my bowl, to give it an extra bit of magic.
Prices are around the same as its Graham Street rival, at $90 for a poke bowl before adding extras (note, yellowtail is slightly more expensive at $110). Here, however, you’ll be served at your table in actual bowls. The service is friendly and reliable and you won’t feel rushed to devour your poke bowl and leave. Aloha also offers happy hour snacks, including some spicy salmon crispy wantons that I am very eager to try. I think I have found my new favourite poke place.
G/F, 51 Graham Street
Tel: +852 2352 3999