WHERE TO CATCH POKÉ BOWLS IN KOTA KINABALU?

No, it’s not a Pokémon. In the recent years, we have seen the growing trend of poké bowls among health-conscious eaters and fitness junkie...

No, it’s not a Pokémon.


In the recent years, we have seen the growing trend of poké bowls among health-conscious eaters and fitness junkies. The number of food establishments mainly serving the nutrient-packed bowls has rapidly increasing in the capital of our country. Yet, the poké craze has not die down.

In fact, this healthy food trend has travelled east, crossing the South China Sea, and hitting the shores of Kota Kinabalu.

Poké bowl (pronounced "POH-keh"), a Native Hawaiian cuisine consists of the rice base, cubed raw fish (salmon or tuna), seaweed, greens, marinade, and a myriad of toppings. They call it a deconstructed sushi bowl, but I call it Lei Cha, Hawaiian-style.


Now, where to catch poké bowls in KK? Poké hunters, here’s the ultimate guide you’ll ever need!

 

1. In a bowl: Biru Biru Café

Biru-biru café is probably one of the pioneer poké bowl joints in KK. Located in Lorong Dewan or Australia Place as the locals call it, it’s easily recognized with the bright turquoise blue shop at the corner. They serve poké bowls in larger portion compared to other bowls in KK and they are definitely very generous with sides and toppings. I normally go for fresh salmon or tuna (if salmon is sold out).

Like any other poké shops, they allow you to select the Build Your Bowl option if you do not prefer the default bowls.


My favourite combo:
Base: Sushi Rice/Brown Rice
Protein: Raw salmon/Tuna
Sides: Japanese cucumber, purple cabbage, Edamame, Seaweed salad
Toppings: Seaweed flakes, sesame seeds, furikake, ebiko, wasabi
Sauce: Sriracha Aoili

You may have their premium add ons such as avocados, quinoa, poached egg or some extra protein if you’re feeling luxurious.

You may pair your bowls with their nutritious detox cold pressed fruit juices as well!

Their poké bowls certainly blow my Monday blues away. No doubt I order them for my lunch at work too!


Location: Google Map
Social:  Instagram, Facebook 
Available on: Grab Food.

 


2. Super Ono

Another favourite place of mine to get my poké bowl cravings fixed if town is far away. Or if I have no idea what to eat if I’m in the vicinity of Plaza 333. Served in clear glass bowls, they come in reasonably large portion. My friend could not even finish the whole bowl!

My favourite combo:

Base: 5 grain rice/ cauliflower rice
Protein: Fresh salmon
Sides: Pico De Gallo salsa, Edamame, Chuka wakame, baked pumpkin, microgreens
Toppings: chia seeds, sunflower seeds, almond flakes, wasabi, ebiko
Sauce: Flaming Sriracha


What I love is, they have more options on your poké bowl base. They have cauliflower rice ftw! And I am so happy to see microgreens are used in their bowls.


Location: Google Map
Social:  Instagram, Facebook 
Available on: Grab Food, MoreFun
 

 


3. Pando Café

Calling all vegans, this one’s for you! This plant-based café has the most interesting and unique menu aside from their bowls. I am seriously tempted to try the tempeh mushroom burger paired with eggless mayo sauce.

 


Their poké bowls or Nourish Bowls, as they call them, also allow you to customize to your liking if you don’t fancy their default bowls, which are also very unique! They have Nasi Lemak Bowl, if you are craving for local Malaysian delight.

My favourite combo:

Base: Brown Rice
Protein: Chickpeas
Greens: Bell pepper, cucumber, cherry tomato, edamame, wakame
Toppings: Nori, sunflower seeds, raisins, sweet glazed pumpkin
Dressing: Spicy Mayonaise
Flavour: Gochujang King Oyster Mushroom

Pando café caters not only to vegans or vegetarians, but also health conscious eaters. They take pride in creating a plethora, yet diverse and fun meals using plant-based food products, gluten-free desserts, and superfood drinks! I totally dig my Spirulina latte.


 
Location: Google Map
Social: website
Available on: Grab Food, Foodpanda, MoreFun, Zelda delivery
 

 


4. Guilt Free Society

If you don’t want to leave the restaurant feeling guilty after eating, this is the place for you! GFS is the latest addition to the poké bowl scene in KK. This means more options for poké lovers, which is totally good news.

This joint definitely steps their game up their poké bowl game by offering more choices on sides and sauces. We are definitely spoilt for choices.


My favourite combo:

Base: Brown Rice

Protein: Fresh salmon/Tuna
Sides: Sauteed Mushroom, Salsa, Fried Cauliflower, Mango, Dragonfruit, guacamole
Toppings: Almond, Cashew, Pumpkin seed, Sunflower seed, Wasabi, Ebiko
Sauce: Wasabi Mayo (you can opt for Asam Pedas or Super Sambal for local spicy flavours)

I totally love the variety of sides and there was no additional add on costs! And the wasabi mayo is amazing for wasabi lovers like myself.

However, the serving size is definitely very small even for a small eater for me. It’s a good idea to have them for breakfast but absolutely not enough for main meals. My second experience with GFS was rather unpleasant as I found a small piece of stone in the bowl. I absolutely do not remember ordering that as a side.


Location: Google Map
Social: Instagram , Facebook
Available on: Grab Food, Food Panda.

 

 


Okeh pokeh, I hope this guide curated by yours truly can help you with poke hunting! From a poké lover’s perspective, my documented experiences are honest, unbiased, unsponsored, and unfiltered.

Gotta catch ‘em all, aite?






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