Hip-Hop Poké Hits Bondi
When I was told that Dining Dave was off on holidays and I was needed to do a restaurant review, I thought, “Awesome – free food!” It wasn’t until after I’d committed that I learned that said food was raw fish. As someone who tried and hated sushi aged 20 and repeatedly forced herself to try and eat salmon to the point of vomiting, this was not good news. At that moment, I was Ron Burgundy jumping into the bear cage, immediately regretting my decision.
Despite my reservations, I grabbed a fish-hungry friend and totted off to KingFish Poké in the hope that my unrefined pallet had matured over the last ten years. Ever-committed to my job, I was ready to try everything and had already begun formulating a plan to chuck up discretely if necessary.
Luckily for me, this lovely little gem hidden on Bondi Junction’s Spring Street has a number of options for the non-fish inclined. In fact, one of its most appealing qualities – aside from the hip-hop, gangsta decor – is the wide variety of choices available. They have a number of set dishes, all named in line with a rapper theme, which give you a choice of salmon, tuna, kingfish, chicken, boiled eggs or tofu. So, whether you’re vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, carnivorous or just little bit particular, chances are they will have something just right for you. And if all else fails, you can build your own bowl, which offered so many mouth-watering options it gave me a headache just thinking about it.
I went for the ‘Kendrick’, a delicious mix of tamari-poached chicken, carrot, edamame, pea tendrils, rice vinegar cucumbers, seaweed crackers and the house ponzu. For my ‘baseline’ – once again following the hip-hop theme – I chose zucchini noodles. I was not disappointed. Fresh and flavoursome, it was the perfect light and healthy meal. Despite not understanding what half the ingredients were, I enjoyed every mouthful and made the involuntary good-food-groans to go with it. The combination of textures was well designed and the ponzu accompanied the concoction perfectly, adding a citrusy finish.
My friend built his own bowl consisting of salmon, snow peas, carrots, beetroot, chilli puffed rice, cucumber, shiitake mushrooms, zucchini noodles and roasted sesame miso. He too was delighted at the result. We both opted for a Smalls bowl, as opposed to a Biggie, which was sufficient in size, but in hindsight – a wonderful thing – we both felt that opting for a ‘baseline’ of rice might have been wiser, given that we were off to the pub immediately afterwards!
KingFish Poké haven’t reinvented the wheel here, but what they do, they do well. It’s like most other salad bars or poke places where you can see the ingredients laid out in front of you and they mix it all together to your particular taste. Unlike many other places however, the food is wonderfully fresh and the staff are super friendly and helpful. You can eat in to enjoy the cool, hip-hop diner vibe or you can take your meal to go. It’s simple but effective.
Opened in September last year by the same crew who own the legendary Ruby’s Diner, KingFish Poké is extremely health-focused – we are in the Eastern Suburbs after all. Their sauces are all gluten-free and the staff are more than happy to mix things up to suit your dietary needs. Even the drinks they stock are healthy. I tried the Living Lemon Soda by Healthy Humans and it was delicious.
Once you know of its existence, the location is actually very convenient. Directly opposite the entrance to Eastgate Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, it’s perfect for a quick dinner-grab on your way home from work, even better for fuelling up before a Coles or Kmart mission.
All in all, I’d highly recommend this place. It’s quick, easy, high-quality health food, brought to you with a smile. What more can you ask for in life?
Address 74 Spring Street,
Open Mon-Sun: 11.30am-9.00pm
Prices Smalls: $13.90; Biggies: $16.90
Cards Accepted Yes