Poké is an authentic Hawaiian dish that has become wildly popular in Seattle this last year. Directly across from Seattle University, a new poké shop has just opened under the Rianna apartments on 12th Ave.
Newport Poké offers a make your own option for poké bowls.
Newport Poké is one of 12 poké shops to open in the Seattle area. Opening day was March 31, where a special “all bowls are buy one get one free” drew in large crowds. When I stepped foot into Newport Poké for dinner, I was the only customer in the shop. However, this didn’t take away from my first impression, and it certainly gave me a chance to see how excellent their service was.
Similar to many other Poké restaurants, there is an option to build your own bowl or choose from the three they have offered. There is the La Raza bowl, which includes a unique twist the shop has taken on the traditional style of poké: hot Cheetos. The Grinds bowl is more standard, coming with pacific shoyu and a variety of toppings. Their third bowl is the Spicy bowl that includes a white rice base, tuna with mango-habanero and a selection of spicy toppings.
If service is a must-have, then Newport Poké is a five out of five; the staff was attentive and kind. Immediately, I was greeted and asked if I had ever been to Newport poké before. After telling them that I hadn’t, they offered me samples of their popular tuna and homemade k-town sauce, a customer favorite.
A regular size can get you three scoops of protein, while a large features five. The prices vary from $10.99 for a regular and $12.99 for a large. Seeming slightly costly, I opted for the regular, assuming three scoops of protein would be enough. Newport Poké gives you a 10 percent discount if you are a Seattle U student. This is definitely an upside to the slightly expensive prices and reduced the cost of my meal by $1.20.
I was somewhat disappointed when it came time to eat. My poké bowl consisted of salmon, avocado, crab salad, edamame and sesame seeds on white rice with their popular K-Town sauce. Three scoops of protein weren’t as much as I had anticipated, and found myself with a whole lot of rice at the end and not much of anything else. What I did find in my bowl I thoroughly enjoyed, but I am not sure if the serving size aligned with the price.
Head across 12th Ave to Newport Poke to choose and create your own poke bowl.
If you’re looking to build your own bowl just as I did, you can select from a base of white rice, brown rice, a taro chips blend, or a spring mix. Their protein selections include tuna, salmon, spicy tuna, octopus, bay scallops, lomi lomi salmon and vegan tofu. It should be noted that tuna and octopus are the most traditional proteins when it comes to Hawaiian poké bowl. Their choices of sauce are pacific shoyu, ayo spicy mayo, K-Town sauce and mjango unchained.
The shop’s interior is very warm and welcoming. They have a variety of murals and artwork displayed and played upbeat music that enhanced my experience. Since its location is close to campus, it was an easy walk.
Newport Poké has a personal twist on this Hawaiian dish. While some may find it untrue to the authenticity, I think their own style will work to make poké exceptional to their shop.
An overwhelming 12 poké places opening in the Seattle area means there is a lot of competition. This competition may result in certain businesses trying new things to attract customers, even if it varies from the traditional serving of poké.
Newport Poké lets you add hot Cheetos to your bowl for an extra crunch and hint of spice. This odd topping varies from the customary style of poké, but may be unique enough to grab people’s attention. Whatever it is they’re doing, it is working. According to their Facebook page, they have sold over 3,500 poké bowl this last month alone and hope to do even better in the future.
Overall, I enjoyed Newport Poké. The discount they give for Seattle U students is very generous and it would encourage me to come back in the future. As for their personal twist on this traditional style of food, it is up to you to judge whether it’s working or is too much of a departure.
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