Saturday, November 26, 2016

Vancouver Poke Shop | Pokerrito Review

Disclaimer: This was a complimentary media tasting.
Pokeritto Review
Ever since I tried my first poke bowl on my trip to Hawaii about two years ago, I've been hoping and praying that the poke trend would come to Vancouver. My wishes were certainly granted when numerous poke shops popped up all over downtown Vancouver in the recent months. I've so far only visited a couple of them but today I wanted to sure with you my review of Pokeritto. To read all about this poke shop that offers a build your own bowl option, click.......

Opening its doors not too long ago, Pokeritto is located on Dunsmuir Street between Richards and Seymour. With a build your own bowl option, Pokeritto is basically the poke world's Chipotle or Subway. After you enter the restaurant, line up and wait your turn to move down the ordering counter, choosing your base, protein, mix-ins, sauces, sides, and toppings. Prior to this media tasting, I've actually already visited the place twice and my first visit was less than stellar. After lining up for a good 15 minutes, I was utterly appalled by the stingy portions the servers were doling out. I literally got a pinch of lettuce, and edamame beans in numbers I can count with one hand. The customer in front of me actually exclaimed  to the server: "Can you give me more than two pea shoots?"
Pokeritto Review
Pokeritto Built Your Own Bowl (Large)
Nevertheless, I returned once again (on my own, not for a media tasting) after hearing that there were improvements made with the portioning. I was pretty skeptical at first but after ordering the same thing as I did the first time, I was impressed that they've made some positive changes to the service. The servers were giving out reasonable portions and weren't skimping out on the more expensive ingredients. The photos you see in this post is from my third visit, this time as a media guest. I ordered two large Build You Own Bowls and they each cost $13 with an added dollar if you want to substitute one of your sides for guacamole.
Pokeritto Review
Pokeritto Built Your Own Bowl (Large)
Because there is a wide variety of proteins (ex. tuna, salmon, scallop, octopus) and toppings to choose from (ex. guacamole, Japanese seaweed salad, crabmeat salad, tomago), it's easy to create something you know you will enjoy. The large bowl makes for a quick and fresh lunch option but Pokeritto still has some shortcomings.

Firstly, because the fish is not marinated in the sauces, the flavors don't quite penetrate the meat. You do have a wide variety of sauces to choose from (ex. umami, wasabi-basil, creamy mayo), but I would rather prefer having all the meats pre-marinated in one sauce, providing a richer and deeper flavor.
Secondly, the food here isn't consistent. Despite the measly portions on my first visit, the server added the right amount of sauces and this ensured that every bite was flavorful and rich. My second visit went the same way but on this media visit, I noticed that there was an imbalance of sauce to content ratio. There was too little sauce to go around so some bites are rather bland.

All in all, I would recommend Pokeritto. Despite having some portion issues in the beginning, the restaurant definitely worked out its kinks so every customer is now getting a fair portion. The ingredients taste pretty fresh and the plethora of items options is a big plus. With that said, more consistency in the sauce to content ratio is needed and I do hope that they offer pre-marinated options for the future!

About Pokeritto:
558 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver BC | www.pokerrito.ca
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