Owners Judith and Peter opened their Ottawa Street Poke eatery on Dec 3rd 2019. A family owned and operated business -Peter does the cooking and Judith runs the front and back of house. Both Toronto transplants, they have spent years in the food and beverage industry and eventually found themselves commuting out of the city each day for work. They made the move to Hamilton and immediately felt at home here. Residing in Barton Village they do their part to support local whenever they can. Tired of working late nights in the restaurant industry they decided it was time to venture out on their own.
Opening Poke Co. in December just months before the pandemic hit wasn’t the easiest – but the community was so receptive and supportive says Judith that they developed a following within a matter of weeks.
The concept is clean and simple with about eight permanent menu items along with a few rotating specials depending on what seasonal fresh ingredients Peter brings in that week.
Poke is a traditionally Hawaiian dish, that literally means to cut or slice into pieces – the concept originated as locals were known to prepare their freshly caught fish diced and seasoned with sea salt often served on a bed of rice. The concept has since evolved and has taken on many different flavours and ingredients over the years.
Judith noted that many of their dishes have Asian influence as they are both big fans of Vietnamese, Koran and Japanese cuisine. The flavours just work so well with the Poke concept say Judith. With a strong culinary background and Red Seal Chef certification Peter knows his way around a kitchen but has come to learn what is most important is to cook what you love. And it certainly shows in their eclectic menu.
When asked about their most popular dish Judith says it’s a toss-up, for a first time Poke-er she suggests the Afro Samurai – this dish is prepared with fresh salmon, sushi rice, unagi sauce, ‘crab’ salad, corn, cabbage, cucumber, green onion, sesame seeds and crispy seaweed. If you like sushi you’ll love this dish. For the more seasoned Poke lover she suggests the Seoul in a Bowl – spicy ahi tuna, sushi rice, Korean red chilli paste, edamame, cucumber, bean sprouts, cabbage, green onions and nori – this dish pairs well with their house made kimchi.
Poke Co is completely dairy and gluten free and all sauces are vegan. Not a fish fan? Hanoi Rocks is prepared with sous vide pork and The Goods is made with compressed tuna. Beef and tempeh have also been featured in their daily specials. For those wanting a little bit of everything you can choose to build your own bowl from a variety of ingredients.
Located at 193 Ottawa Street N. Open 11-8:30PM Monday – Saturday. Takeout or delivery is easy as Poke Co. can be found on Curbside Pivot, Uber eats, Skip the Dishes and DoorDash. Call or pop in to place an order directly with the restaurant.
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