January 10, 2018 Achrafieh Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Pick a Poke: Lebanon’s Poke Experience Takes You on a Journey to Hawaii and Back

4.6 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:92/100

Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 6/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 29/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: 9/10

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“Pick a Poke” and leave with a smile on your face! A new Hawaiian restaurant has newly opened in Beirut, and it comes with a wide selection of mixes inspired by this trendy American fresh local food. Tuna, salmon, shrimp and much more to satisfy your cravings.

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Located on Abdel Wahab street in Achrafieh, facing "Le Sushi Bar" comes "Pick a Poke," a small place decorated in white and blue with one yellow neon sign to decorate the wall. White lights, sea-inspired decor and three high tables for the dine-in clientele. It’s much more than food or quick eating it’s the positivity this eatery oozes and the passion the two owners reflect.

OMG... wait until you’ve tasted what they have in store. Amanda and Peter, hand-in-hand, welcome you, smile, serve and take the time to impress you. I’m a big fan of Poke and allow me to say; this is the first time I enjoy it in Lebanon.

The place: three high tables decorated with decorative fruit shapes, yellow and white stools, an open kitchen, three fridges and three television screens. Lights pending on ropes come down from the ceiling reminding you of a boat.

Before going into the details of every plate, let me tell you what you’ll be expecting. Great rice, enjoyably sticky but not sweet, served warm. Fresh seafood, not too cold but a balanced temperature your palate will enjoy. The sauces are what takes a normal plate and elevated it to perfection. Spices, ingredients, ideas, all mixed to impress. The ingredients are not set on top but prepared and then served on a bed of rice.

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Tonight’s experience:

  • Classic Ahi Tuna: The House’s favorite bowl, the original Hawaiian special, steamed rice loaded with our pre-marinated ahi tuna mixed win Maui onions and scallions. The simplest of things is sometimes the tastiest, simply tuna and rice, bluefin premium quality and the signature sauce that tickles your palatal buds as you enjoy a bite after the next.
  • Island rush: steamed rice, loaded with half ahi tuna, half salmon mixed with mangoes, pineapples, avocados, tossed in the mango habanero dressing topped with cilantro, for them island vibes. An explosion of colors, green, yellow and orange, a cocktail of flavors... a journey!
  • Salmon crunch: the west coast special, steamed rice loaded with salmon mixed with avocados. Daikon radish, cucumbers, carrots, crab sashimi, tossed in the so-Cali dressing topped with fried onions and crispy. My favorite is not a plate for the faint-hearted. It kicks hard, the sauce and the spices with the fresh ingredients. A must try!
  • Fire bowl: the name says it all, get ready for an eruption of flavors, steamed rice loaded with salmon mixed with avocados, edamame, crab surimi, tossed in the volcano dressing topped with scallions and crispy. It won’t be too credible if I write about them all plates to be awesome but in fact, this is the truth! I loved it!

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Best for last; the flaming shrimp, the best dynamite shrimp I’ve ever had, a hundred times better than PF Chang’s. Beer battered shrimp, deep fried to crunch. An airy crunch that’s flakily embracing a tender heart. Feel the sauce, its power and spiciness... so finger licking great!

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Other than being exceptionally delicious, Pick a Poke also has a signature Lemonade and frozen drinks you must try. Finish your experience with the snow cold shavers iced Poke.

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I loved it so much that I ordered delivery the next day, enjoyed my lunch at work and planned to repeat the experience more often. So happy to have discovered “Pick a Poke"; two thumbs up guys.

 
Suitable For: Quick Eats

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