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Vancouver's Pokerrito is poke with a twist

Poke stop: Owner Jung Moon brings his version of the Hawaiian favourite to Downtown Vancouver

The beautiful Waikiki in a bowl from Pokéritto.

Abby Wiseman/Metro

The beautiful Waikiki in a bowl from Pokéritto.

It’s places like Pokérrito that remind me why I love living and eating in Vancouver. It embodies the kind of the principles of food that many Vancouverites share: fresh, tasty and healthy.

I’m new to poké, which is traditionally a Hawaiian raw fish salad that is common fare on the islands. Pokérrito (558 Dunsmuir St.) owner Jung Moon–formerly a sushi chef– took a spin on the classic by serving up the salad burrito-style in a seaweed wrap.

You can create your own meal by choosing from the plethora of proteins–including crab, octopus and scallops–and vegetables or choose from the pre-designed menu with names like Waikiki, Diamond Head or Hanauma. There is a regular ($10.50) and large ($12.95) size to choose from.

I ordered the North Shore in a seaweed wrap (burrito-style) and the Waikiki in a bowl. I came just before the rush and the many staff behind the counter whisked me through fast, creating the colourful dishes with precision.

The Waikiki is an octopus and scallop based poké with a combination of sweet flavours, like corn and sweet onion, and savory flavours, like radish sprouts and crispy onion, pulled together with Waba sauce, which has a hint of wasabi. The dish is bright and hearty, with a nice layer of brown rice at the bottom. The combination of sweet, spice and texture will keep you coming back for the Waikiki.

The Waikiki in a bowl and North Shore burrito-style from Pokéritto.

Abby Wiseman/Metro

The Waikiki in a bowl and North Shore burrito-style from Pokéritto.

The North Shore in a wrap looks like a giant sushi roll, which once again makes my eyes happy. The combination of flame seared tuna with pineapple, tomato, radish sprout and umami sauce is super clean in flavour. I almost wanted a little bit of the spice of the Waba sauce to kick it up a notch, but without the spice the pineapple really came through.

As for eating the North Shore burrito-style, I expected the seaweed wrap to fall apart or be a little tough, but the contents stayed largely intact as I made my way through it with ease.

By noon the line-up was out the door, but I can definitely see why. Pokérrito is the perfect place to grab a super fresh, high-energy meal that will push you through the rest of the work day feeling good. Like Hawaiian vacation good.

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