HONU is here to give hungry Jakartans a first taste of the island-inspired Hawaiian poke bowl!
Poke bowls are definitely having a moment. But despite getting major love everywhere else in the world, we hadn’t really seen these babies in Jakarta until HONU Poke and Matcha Bar opened up in late February. This breezy Kemang neighbourhood cafe serves up major island vibes with their Hawaiian-style raw fish bowls and refreshing matcha drinks.
So what are poke bowls anyway? Poke (pronounced ‘poh-kay’ not ‘pohk’) is a traditional Hawaiian dish made up of the classic combination of raw fish, rice, and toppings – not to be mistaken for Japanese chirashi bowls. For one, the raw fish comes in the form of hearty chunks instead of traditional sashimi slices. At HONU, a friendly team clad in fun Hawaiian shirts make your poke to order at the open bar. They’ll start with a base of sushi or brown rice, and scoop up a serving of chilled raw tuna or salmon (or tofu for the vegetarians!) tossed in a sauce, and finish off with garnish to round things out.
Standby combinations include our personal favourite, the vibrant Honu-Lulu (chunks of Ahi tuna paired with shoyu, nori and cucumber) and their best-selling Two & Two – a combo of salmon and tuna with their special creamy sauce and tempura crunch. Vegetarians are also in for a real treat with HONU’s special flavour-packed tofu bowl.
Of course, if you’re anything like us, one bowl won’t quite cut it. It was the weekend, so we ditched our diets and ordered off the Not-So-Poke menu too. We added an order of the grilled chicken bowl (with extra egg, of course) and sweet potato fries with the addictive wasabi mayo to really hit the spot.
If you’re all about the matcha life, HONU’s matcha lattes with honey and milk are the real deal. The hardest decision is whether to get it in iced or hot (both versions are equally delish.) HONU also whips up a mean pineapple juice – fresh, icy, delicious and packed with vitamins so it’s good for you. #winwin
Just be warned: it’s a small space, so try to get there early if you’re heading out on the weekend. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see resident doggo Soba the Frenchie peeking out from behind one of the tables. That’s right, HONU is dog-friendly too, making them score extra brownie points in our book!
HONU, Jl. Kemang Selatan Raya No. 125, South Jakarta. p. +62 21 7179 3580.