The wave of Hawaiian-inspired poke bowl restaurants opening across Long Island reaches Roosevelt Field this week, with the debut of Island Poke in the mall’s upstairs Dining District.
James and Jasmine Wang, who own and operate Sushi Ko Japanese restaurant in Merrick, are opening the Island Poke concession in Potatopia’s former mall space, adjacent to Maoz Vegetarian. James Wang will be behind the counter chopping up the ingredients for the Hawaiian-inspired fish dish (pronounced POH-kay).
“Poke bowls are very close in style to sushi, even though it’s Hawaiian, so it’s very easy to transfer my sushi skills,” Wang says. “The main thing about poke is you build up your own bowl — it’s customizable.”
Customers begin by choosing a “base” such as white or brown rice or kale noodle. (For fewer calories, go for the salad base, Wang says.) Then, add the protein: tofu, raw ahi tuna or salmon, or cooked chicken, shrimp or scallops.
“You can build endless combinations, so you never get bored,” Wang says.
Mix-ins such as sweet onions and green edamame beans, spicy sauces and toppings (avocado, mango, crunchy wasabi beans) add flavor and crunch.
New to poke-mania? Newbies can choose from seven preset “signature bowls,” also on the menu. The Hawaiian Classic mixes ahi tuna, onions and cucumber. The Spicy Ponzu Tofu bowl tosses in green edamame beans, seaweed and sea salt.
Bowls cost $7.95 for one scoop, $9.95 for a medium-size serving and $12.95 for a large bowl. Add a dollar for toppings such as pickled shiitake mushroom, mango or roasted macadamia nuts.
Island Poke, 516-667-6731