In Hawaii, poke in a supermarket is almost as common as sliced bread in a grocery store anywhere else in America.
It’s often strips or chunks of tuna, but might be octopus or a dozen other things, and marinated so many different ways that calling one version authentic would be like arguing among friends who makes chili the right way.
As poke bowls, usually fish and rice with many add-on ingredients, have caught on in the continental U.S. in recent years, they’ve also made inroads into Germany.
I’d long been an avid fan of sushi but only recently got into tasty, healthy poke (rhymes with OK) bowls. While they’re still an exotic bridge too far for my home stomping grounds in Grafenwoehr, Aloha Poke in Regensburg is a little under an hour away.
The poke bowls at Aloha, a chain with 10 locations scattered primarily in Germany’s largest cities, are fully customizable should you want extra rice or a little bit more protein.
The closest thing on bases in the Army’s Bavaria footprint is Bun D’s, which isn’t all that close other than that the food comes in bowls, and that there are some healthy options. Also at Aloha, they aren’t hawking added ingredients to jack up the price.
The poke bowls come in two sizes, regular and large. If you’re famished, I recommend going with the larger one at just under 14 euros.
The bowls are made up of five components: base, protein, toppings, sauces and the “happy end.”
If you aren’t in the mood to customize your bowl, they have recommended choices as well. You probably at least want to get some input from the people who know their product best. Case in point: I once went with tofu, kiwi and avocado together, which was a mistake.
The protein choice includes ahi tuna, salmon, shrimp, the catch of the day, crispy tofu and smoked turkey. The happy end is where you choose the three final toppings that give the bowl an appealing look.
My go-to bowl has salmon and calamari for a protein and a multigrain rice base, topped with zucchini, mangoes, kiwis, cashews, avocado, sesame seeds and chili. I’ve eaten at Aloha Poke a few times now, and besides my one unfortunate combination, the only thing I’m not a fan of are the zucchini strings as a base.
Fortunately, the restaurant is open for takeout while the coronavirus lockdown continues in Germany. I have eaten inside before the pandemic ruined everything, and the decor and atmosphere is pleasant and tranquil — it reminds me of the beaches in Malta and Costa Rica with the setup.
The staff at the Regensburg location is friendly and my first time there, I struck up a conversation with an employee. We talked about where we were from and he offered some cool sites to check out in the city. I look forward to eating there again when the world returns to something resembling normal.
Address: Neupfarrplatz 11, 93047 Regensburg
Hours: Open daily from, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. The kitchen closes 30 minutes before closing.
Prices: 9-14 euros
Menu: German and English. Takeout is available.
Information: Phone: +49 0941/630 833 45, online: aloha-poke.com/regensburg-neupfarrplatz