Get your pokē on! New Hawaiian stall opens in Sliema, bringing fresh concept to Malta
Attention foodies, we’ve got a treat for you! Freshly opened just this week, a new and exciting cuisine has just landed in Malta, and it’s something (most of us) haven't tasted before. Po-K (pronounced po-kay) is officially the first Hawaiian cuisine stall to open on our islands, at the Plaza Shopping Complex (Level 0) in Sliema.
I met up with Kyle Sciberras, the brains behind the idea, to get the low down. He explains, “pokē has always been a popular dish in Hawaii since it’s easy to make, it’s tasty, and the ingredients are found in abundance.” Pokē in Hawaiian, actually means raw, diced fish and is also considered a typical farmer’s dish, since it consists of a lot of fresh ingredients harvested from land and sea - sounds divine!
“After years of working in catering and educating myself on different aspects of the food industry and different cuisines through TV shows, reviews and articles, I realised that this is one of my passions, so why not make a living out of it? The island of Hawaii has always intrigued me, and I realised there was a niche in the Maltese market for something of its kind,” says Kyle.
Kyle has always loved exploring different tastes and trying new foods - even mixing different types. “Hawaiian cuisine is derived from a mix of cuisines mostly coming from Asia and South America,” he says, adding that a country’s cuisine is always interesting, and a continent’s cuisine even more so. “One can only imagine what a cuisine from a mix of countries and continents brings to the table!”
So, what is a pokē bowl, exactly? “A pokē bowl is made of three components. The first is the base, traditionally made up of sushi rice or soba noodles. The second is fresh, raw fruit and vegetables like cabbage, pineapple, tomatoes, mango, etc. The third component is the protein, which is traditionally ahi tuna or salmon, both uncooked and pre-marinated. And finally, the bowl is dressed with sauces to create a complete dish full of bursting, unique flavour!” Sounds delicious!
Video: Luke Ellul
Intrigued? “People should expect nothing but exciting, flavourful, healthy Hawaiian food, and none of the arguably more common salads. At Po-K we are committed to serving customers a full meal at very reasonable prices,” says Kyle. Po-K also offers vegan options prepared with tofu, and bowls with wok-cooked chicken, for those who'd prefer meat rather than raw fish.
Kyle also mentions that at Po-K, they're working hard to reduce plastic waste within the company. "We serve our pokē bowls in actual coconut shells brought over from Bali, which not only are reusable, but look great too. They make you feel like you're actually in Hawaii!" In keeping with the Hawaiian theme, Po-K serves coconut water and a range of Japanese cold brew teas, as well as 'Contribute' water which donates money to charity with every bottle bought. They also serve smoothies for breakfast, made from fresh fruits. And having tasted a bowl myself, I can honestly say it is one of the freshest, healthiest, and most filling dishes I've ever tried. I'm drooling just thinking about it!
Will you be getting your pokē on?