Sushi Quality Fish for $15?
Hashtag Poki, Berkeley, California
Poke is a Hawaiian dish with roots in Japanese flavors. Essentially, Poke (pronounced POE-KEH) is raw fish, cut into cubes, placed over rice, with toppings. If you are a sushi lover then you will love poke. It is a sushi roll, deconstructed in a bowl.
What is great about Poke as well is that you can eat it on top of salad if you are looking to make it lighter. It can be a healthy snack, or a filling and healthy meal. The only trouble I find with Poke is that it is not always good. Finding a good Poke place is hard, but when I tried Hashtag Poki I was so impressed!
When you arrive at Hashtag Poki you will walk in to see a counter and explicit directions.
- Step 1: Choose size, mini, small, or large. The difference is between how many scoops of protein you want. Mini is 2 scoops, small is 3 scoops, and large is 4 scoops.
- Step 2: Choose a base, either white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, wontons, or salad.
- Step 3: Choose sides, crab salad, edamame, ika salad, or seaweed salad.
- Step 4: Choose protein out of a selection of raw fish such as salmon, tuna, spicy tuna, albacore, yellowtail, shrimp, ikura, or tofu.
- Step 5: Choose mix-ins, such as cucumber, masago, avocado, and jalapeño.
- Step 6: Choose sauce, like ponzu, spicy shoyu, wasabi mayo, spicy mayo, or citrus yuzu.
- Step 7: Choose toppings, such as ginger, wasabi, nori, fried garlic, sesame seeds, furikake, and whatever else they have seasonally available.
My order included both spicy tuna and regular tuna as my main proteins, plus I added ikura (salmon roe/eggs) as an additional protein. Technically this meant I ordered a small. I then chose sushi rice as my base, with crab salad, edamame, and seaweed salad. My mix-ins were masago, and japapeño, and then I added spicy shoyu and a bit of wasabi mayo. Finally, I added all of the toppings available.
- Spicy tuna: This is the perfect choice for someone who likes spice, but also doesn’t love the texture of raw fish cubes.
- Crab salad side: If you like crab, this is the perfect addition.
- Add salmon roe to any bowl as an extra protein. If you like salmon roe this is a great addition, although it will count as one protein (+$2)
- Fried garlic is a must-add topping. It takes away the too strong garlic flavor and leaves you with something that adds flavor and crunch.
- Macaron ice cream sandwich for dessert!
I have tried a lot of Poke restaurants in my life, but this is one of the best I have had recently. All of the sauces are very obviously homemade, and the fish is extremely fresh. If you are in or around Berkley and craving sushi but feel like spending only $13-17 per person, Hashtag Poki is a great option!