It’s no secret that the latest food trend in Vancouver is poké. Restaurants dedicated towards serving the much beloved Hawaiian marinated, chopped raw seafood salad have been opening up left and right. Looking back, the “oldest” poke shop in Vancouver is Poké Time which opened this past summer at 1258 Robson Street. Recently, I visited Poké Time on two occasions with fellow food bloggers where we were regular customers (non-media outing).
Poké Time Menu
At Poké Time, you can build-your-own bowl. You start off by choosing a base (bowl, salad, nachos, burrito), then protein (salmon, albacore, scallop, ahi tuna, shrimp, tofu), mixers (jalapeno, green onion, cilantro etc), sauces (tarty ponzu, roasted sesame, gochu chili etc), toppings (carrots, pineapples, red cabbage etc) and garnish (masago, nori, ginger etc). For dessert, you can enjoy a Dole Whip pineapple mango swirl. Bowls are priced based on number of protein scoops: 2 scoops ($10.95) and 3 scoops ($12.95). The food is assembled along the counter which gives customers full view of the ingredients being used in their order.
Signature creations are also available (perfect for the indecisive). These include The Works, Spicy Scallop, BC Bowl, Zen Bowl, Super Crunch Burrito and more.
What We Tried
I ordered the Super Crunch Burrito – one that’s quite food porn worthy in my opinion. The ingredients list for the burrito is practically a paragraph: marinated salmon, marinated albacore tuna, salad, cucumbers, corn, mandarin oranges, crab salad, seaweed salad, red cabbage, avocado, corn flakes, onion crisps, nacho crumbs, sriracha, wasabi aioli drizzle and sesame seeds. This signature creation was assembled at a reasonable speed.
The staff person graciously cut my burrito in half.
For the price level ($11.95), I thought that the proportion of protein to everything else was reasonable. It was an overall filling burrito but not just based on rice. My issue with it, however, was the taste – it simply lacked flavour. I read on Yelp afterwards that sauces were available for you to add onto your meal, but that wasn’t obvious to me during my visit. In contrast, my North Shore bowl from Pokkerito was full of flavour – it really had some oomph to it. The sushi burrito needed something more. In terms of texture, I definitely tasted the crunchy bits from it.
Hanson (Nosh & Nibble) had a large Zen Bowl (albacore tuna, salmon, sweet onion, green onion, cilantro, cucumber, roasted sesame dressing, crab salad, seaweed salad, corn, mandarin oranges, sesame seeds, nori) ($12.95).
Maggi (vieamaggi.com) had the Hawaiian Traditional (2 Scoops Ahi Tuna – Hawaiian marinated, seaweed salad, avocado, sesame seeds, nori) ($11.95).
David (pickydiners.com) had the regular Spicy Scallop (scallop, green onion, jalapeno, masago, sriracha aioli sauce, corn, crab salad, pineapples, carrots with gochu chili drizzle) ($10.95).
On a different visit, Kristina (drunkennoms.com) and I split a Dole Whip Pineapple Mango Swirl ($3.95). I hadn’t indulged in this popular dessert served at Disneyland/Disney World, so I did not digging to learn what it was made of. It is, in fact, a non-dairy, soft serve frozen dessert. Although a Dole Whip has the taste and consistency of soft-serve ice cream, it actually gets its texture from ordinary food thickeners. I do not know what Poké Time’s Dole Whip is made of, but the traditional ingredient list includes the following:
- Coconut Oil
- Stabilizers (Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Karaya Gum, Pectin)
- Citric Acid
- Natural & Artificial Flavor (contains Pineapple Juice), Modified Food Starch, Malic Acid, Artificial Color (Yellow 5 & 6)
- Mono & Diglycerides
- Less Than 2% Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking).
That being said, the Dole Whip at Poké Time was not bad. Very fruity and not too sweet. We went with a pineapple and mango swirl but the the pineapple flavour was very dominant. You couldn’t tell the mango flavour at all. In terms of texture, it was smooth but on the icier side. It is a dairy-free dessert afterall so creaminess is not to be expected.
Overall Impression of Poké Time
The sushi burrito I had was filling but lacked flavour to make it truly enjoyable. The Dole Whip wasn’t bad and I’d have it again. Rating: 3/5