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Food, Reviews

Do the Hokey Poke

A couple of weeks ago Jeanne and I were invited to the launch of Feastfox – you can see my full post here – an app that allows you to book a restaurant quickly and spontaneously.

At the launch, we were given a chance to use the app ourselves, to book a table at a random restaurant given to us by the organisers. And we were given Hokey Poke – a poke restaurant that was only 800m away from Twankey Bar where we were having drinks.

You can read about Feastfox and our experience using the app, here. But today I am talking about Hokey Poke and the amazing food we had the chance to try out on the night.

On arrival, Jeanne and I sat at one of the bar tables as it was really full, and perused the menu. Jeanne had been there before, and raved about it for over a week, so I was pretty excited to finally get in on the action.

We ordered a couple of sides to start: edamame beans with lime and furikake, and tamari roasted almonds, and munched away while trying to choose what we were going to eat that evening. Now, the menu might seems small and you are probably thinking, “why was it so hard”, and my answer is: because everything sounded so darn good.

Because it was a chilly, rainy and overall miserable evening, Jeanne and I decided to try the broths. Jeanne had the Steaming Hot Broth (no. 8) which included: shiitake mushrooms, pumpkin, radish, turnip, bok choi, carrot, sugar snaps, sprouts, seaweed, rice noodles, sake, soy, fresh ginger, coriander, spring onion and furikake seasoning and she chose to have it with prawns. I chose to have the Piping Hot Broth (no. 9) which included: shiitake mushrooms, quails eggs, bok choi, carrots, sprouts, carrots, fresh ginger, rice noodles, coriander, spring onion, mint, spring onion, furikake seasoning and lime and I chose to have it with chicken.

Both the broths tasted amazing, and each had their very own distinct flavours. The depth of flavour in each of the broths was intense, and the veggies and other ingredients fresh and tasty. I have never had a quail egg before, so I was a little hesitant to try it, but it tasted so delicious with the broth – super impressed and glad I took the plunge and tried something new (which I don’t always do).

Next up, Jeanne and I shared a Poke Bowl because, well, we couldn’t leave without me having a taste. We had the Special 6, which was the Poke Bowl Jeanne had tried previously, and because she really enjoyed it and thought I would too.

The Special 6 included: Bulgogi beef, pickled pear, sprouts, radish, mint, purple labneh and crushed pistachios, and wow was she right. The beef was so soft and tender, the pickled pear added a sharp (but enjoyable) flavour, the crushed pistachios gave the bowl a crunch and all the other delicious veggies filled it out.

Overall, our Hokey Poke dinner was one for the books. It’s a quirky little hole-in-the-wall that is worth waiting for a table, and is somewhere Jeanne and I will be visiting a lot in the future.

The staff are super friendly, the vibe is great and the décor quirky, making it a one-of-a-kind eatery that those who enjoy character-infused venues will absolutely love and, of course, the food is freaking amazing.

Thanks for having us Hokey Poke, and we will be back! For those interested, visit their website and check out their menu at hokeypoke.co.za.

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