Pololi

Pololi

Where:
Pololi
35-39 Graham Street
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852-2755-8099

Price:
HKD90 per ‘poke’ / tuna ricey salad bowl

The deal:
Going out to lunch is a goddamn institution in HK, but old habits die hard and I still eat ‘al desko’ so I can save my calorific expenditure for night time and weekend nom adventures.  In really fucking boring news, I normally pack my own lunch (Salad! Lean proteins! Healthy fats!) but then sometimes the shit hits the fan, I’m out late the night before or the meat at the supermarket looks so fucking depressing that I can’t bring myself to buy it and then I’m fucking lunchless and about to endeavour on one of the most fucking depressing missions in Central – trying to find something decent for lunch which won’t leave you hungry in an hour (rules out pretty much all quick Chinese food) or bankrupt.

I don’t like to eat too much wheat, particularly if it’s in the form of sub-standard bread cause if you’re going to eat bread, make it fucking count for something.  So this results in me roaming around Central trying to find something which doesn’t resemble a fucking wheat field, but the options pretty much look like this:

breadbreadbread
But you know, I’m trying to be fucking healthy.  TRAIN MEAN, EAT LEAN like that motivational picture I pinned to my fucking Pinterest the night before, next to six recipes for kale smoothies and ‘no sugar’ grain free biscuits (which used a shit tonne of honey and are entirely made from calorie dense almond flour, but no biggie cause it’s NO PROCESSED SUGAR OR GRAINS).  So maybe I should go to Olivers or Great Food Hall and build my own fucking salad.  Except then you’re waiting a fucking eternity in a sea of people attempting to get their health on by also buying a pretty fucking lack lustre salad.

Artist’s impression of FYN at Great Food Hall / Olivers at lunch time:

crowd
Or perhaps I could go to Pret a Manger to get a flat boxed salad, with its flaccid salad greens and utterly depressing proteins.  Yeah that smoked Scottish salmon and potato salad box or that “healthy Skipjack tuna salad” with those sad ass edamame beans, gives me feelings like this:

cryingcar
I guess there’s always Simply Life – that brown cardboard box filled with some sugar snap bean salad, beet salad, the tomato salad and whatever fucking pathetic, shit boring selection is left if you get there any time after 1pm always excites the taste buds.  No really – not changing your shit ever is really working for you, Simply Life.  DON’T EVER CHANGE, that broccoli salad option is so so rad, you should serve it til at least the year 2050.

imsobored
Or maybe I should pay SEVENTY EIGHT FUCKING HONG KONG DOLLARS (that’s TEN US DOLLARS) for a pathetically sad looking tinned tuna salad from NOOD FOOD.  NOOD FOOD, R U FUCKING SERIOUS?  HKD78??? AREN’T YOU MAKING ENOUGH FUCKING MONEY FROM THOSE ASSHATTED JUICE CLEANSES THAT YOU’VE SUCKED HALF OF HONG KONG INTO BUYING?? JUDGING YOU NOOD:

oprahdisapprove
But seriously, If none of those options work, sometimes I like to go to MX, line up for fucking ages to get some unidentified meat, in some sort of cornstarchy sauce on some rice. LOLZ J/K – YOU TELL ‘EM DOWAGER COUNTESS OF GRANTHAM:

downtondowagerdesperate
So today, I finally decided to hike my lazy ass up to Graham Street to try Pololi.  Pololi is set up as a take-away joint with a few counter seats and a dog.  I even saw some customers eating their lunch on the steps outside (so fucking bohemian, amirite?).  Pololi makes “poke” (pronounced “po-kay”) which hails from Hawaiian – taking cubes of sashimi grade raw tuna, mixing it with a dressing/sauce and then serving it with the option of rice, salad or 50/50.

There’s about six different raw tuna options, one scallop option and a vegetarian option – a creamy tofu.  If you haven’t been before, they’ll let you taste all the different tuna + tofu options (which was surprisingly fucking good).  No scallop tasting though – can’t give that exxy shit away for free. Pololi homies, the taste test is a nice fucking touch.  The ahi tuna has options like the Hong Kong style (marinated in soy sauce and coriander), the wasabi mayonnaise with fish roe and spicy tuna.  Raw high protein tuna, salad, plain rice – it all feels pretty fucking healthy, doesn’t it?

You get to choose two proteins for your poke and I predictably went for the “wasabi mayo” and “spicy tuna” ahi options.  Fuck yeahhhh they will add more chilli for fuck yeah spicy times.  It looked like a fuck yeah and I wasn’t even crushed by disappointment when I finally ate it.  I gotta say, it’s been a long fucking time since I enjoyed a takeaway ‘al desko’ lunch in HK without feeling like I’d been totally ripped off.  The tuna was fresh as fuck, the dressing used to marinate the tuna was a fuck yeahhhhhh and mixed in with the rice, salad and the avocado I added in myself, shit was filling and most importantly, fucking rad.

I gotta say though, that Pololi can definitely lift their salad game. Their salad was just adequate with a good dressing but end of the day, it was just fucking boring ass lettuce. If you go 50/50, the salad gets packed right next to the warm rice, so there’s a bit of fuck no wilt going on.  I don’t think it would kill Pololi’s profit margins to shred a carrot, slice some tomatoes, maybe thinly shred some cabbage in there…Spotting this potentially sad salad times, I stopped off at the wet markets on the way back and checked out six different stalls to pick an avocado, my body braced for the constant disappointment of HK avocados.  I actually managed to select one which wasn’t a black fucker inside but it was still pretty disappointing in texture.  HK avos, Y U always break my fucking heart but why can’t I fucking quit you?

So at HKD90, Pololi is NOT super cheap, but as it’s only +HKD12 more expensive than those sad ass NOOD FOOD tuna salads and they use sashimi grade tuna, I can definitely live with their price point. Word of warning though, Pololi have only been open one month and while service was fine for me, I was also the one customer they had at the time. There’s only one very well intentioned girl proving tuna tastings and then making pokes, and shit is time intensive.  This is going to be fine for them if they only have one customer every 10 minutes but if shit takes off for them, shit’s gonna get  real.  Godspeed my Pololi homies, hope your service times don’t end up on Struggle Street when shit picks up for you.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhh!

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