Poke is the new black

Man of War poke at Wiki Wiki Poke Shop

Like any other area, West Michigan has food trends that get very popular in a given year. A couple of years back it was BBQ, then pho and ramen. This year it seems to be poke.

Poke, for lack of a better explanation, is raw fish salad. In Hawaii, you can frequently find it served fresh in gas stations or local grocery chains. When not eating poke at a gas station, this Hawaiian staple is usually served in restaurants as an appetizer, but having it as a main course is certainly not uncommon. Although you are not likely to find it at a gas station in Grand Rapids anytime soon, it is starting to pop up on local menus as a daily special or even a permanent menu item.

Here are 7 local restaurants that have poke, in one form or another, on their regular menus.

As you can tell by the name, Wiki Wiki Poke Shop a dedicated poke establishment whose primarily entree is poke.  They have only been open about 2 weeks, so get in the pre and check them out.

Ahi tuna poke ot Citizen

Citizen, which has only been open a couple of months, offers a unique ahi tuna poke in a pineapple/lemongrass reduction


Sushi tower at Fuego (no poke photos on file)

Fuego in Grant (photo unavailable) offers Fusion poke dishes.  Our lack of poke photograph is probably appropriate because chef Joaquin is always mixing his presentations up and putting out something new and creative daily.

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Poke at Jaku Sushi

Jaku Sushi has two different poke dishes:  One that is presented in a bowl and the other in spoons.  Both are equally good.

Poke bowl at The Paisley Pig (Grand Haven)

The Paisley Pig has only been around for about a year, but this appetizer has been on the menu since they opened their doors.

Poke Lab in Lansing

Poke Lab opened up the summer in East Lansing and is a build your own Poke place.  You get to choose from multiple proteins and vegetables depending on the size bowl that you order.

Poke at Simple Fish

Even the south side of town got into the poke game this summer with the opening of Simple Fish.

That’s it!  All 7 of these places are new restaurants that have decided to throw themselves into poke at one level or another.  I fully anticipate to see this on more menus as a daily special, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more dedicated poke restaurants pop up in the next couple years.


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