Why You Should Have Fresh Poke In Kailua-Kona at Umekes
It had been my first time in Hawaii and I was stoked. I had gone around the main islands and had found myself in Kailua-Kona and was looking to try some food in the area. To be honest, I wasn’t really familiar with Hawaiian food at the time. I was under the misconception that everything involved spam, and overall wasn’t really good food. Anyway, my guide told us about a dish called poke, and we decided that we should have some fresh poke in Kailua-kona and see for ourselves. It goes without saying, the stuff was heaven.
When we went into the restaurant, called Umekes, we were a little bit unsettled by the atmosphere there. There was so many, people who were ordering the stuff. It was obviously popular as there was a little bit of a line outside the restaurant. Nevertheless, the guide insisted that we must try this Poke stuff so we stayed in the line alongside the other tourists to see what exactly the fuss was about.
Poke is traditional an entree and a side in Hawaiian cuisine which is usually accompanied with a main, such as some fish or meat. It’s a combination of raw fish or sometimes raw meat which is mixed with herbs and added into a little bit of a marinade. It is eaten raw in its marinade, it is a little bit like a nice sushi roll with dressing, without any rice if you will.
Although we had waited such a long time, the food arrived really quickly to our surprise. I guess it doesn’t take much time to prepare poke as it is a raw food, they probably had barrels of the stuff back in the kitchen. I ordered some Japanese style cooked local fish with the poke, and I can tell you that the combination is simply amazing. My taste buds were immediately sky rocketed to heaven and back.
The slightly sour sensation from the marinade mixed with the lovely texture of the raw ahi tuna intertwined with the lovely herbs and spices in the poke was a flavor explosion. It was such a nice treat to have on our trip to Hawaii and was very unexpected. Like I said, I was wrongly under the impression that Hawaiian food was not the best of the best. Well, I can tell you after trying this poke, it’s certainly better than some of the fancy French restaurants I have been to. The fresh poke in Kailua-kona at Umekes definitely impressed.
The fish was also extremely delicious and was great in balancing out the very raw taste of the poke. It was a lightly marinated and cooked Japanese style fish, which had been the catch of the day. Very tasty and a perfect accompaniment.
Therefore I can only say good things about the fresh poke in Kailua-kona which I had during my stay in Hawaii. For anyone that does not like raw fish, I recommend they try this as there is barely any fishy taste at all and you can order anything they make grilled or like the Hawaiians say “Pulehu” which means grilled in Hawaiian.
This story is dedicated to all Poke Virgins like I once was but now I am proud to say I am now Poke Proficient! And I am spreading the good news to all that will listen and walk the same unknown road that I had dared to take my tastebuds down but now I see there was nothing to fear in reality! Thank you to all the staff at Umekes who were so patient and kind to me and my girlfriend as we navigated uncharted waters of Hawaiian Poke Bowls for the first time you all made the experience so pleasant and TASTY! Thank you so much and we will always come to Umekes each year we visit and tell all our friends of our adventure in Kona with Umekes the best freshest and nicest Poke Bowl experience for Poke Virgins! IMUA …. and SHAKA ….