Hanalei Poke

Hanalei Poke - Fresh From-the-Boat Poke
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Where else could you talk to the person that caught and prepared your food? This food truck offers flavor and creativity inside a daily made fresh poke bowl! What else could you want?

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Hanalei Poke serves some of the freshest poke on the island, if not anywhere in the world. Fresh fish, expert preparation, and creative raw fish dishes make this unassuming food truck a must-try.

The fish at Hanalei Poke isn’t merely brought in from nearby docks, but chef-owner Jeremy Burwell catches most of it himself. The raw cubes in your poke bowl were likely on his line just a few hours ago, as was the flying fish that the roe topping is from.

Once caught and prepared, the fish is mixed into one of many creative poke bowls.

The Local Girl – Spicy mayo, sesame, garlic, and the red algae limu kohu.
 Mac Bowl – Wasabi mayo, cilantro, mint, basil, avocado, radish, and furikake seaweed seasoning.
 Hawaiian Style – Sesame, the Hawaiian condiment ianoma, limu kohu, and furikake.

The complete menu features dishes with sesame oil, chili pepper, spicy mayo, wasabi mayo, spicy sesame, or cilantro cream dressing.

All of the poke dishes are prepared when ordered, and they all come with complimentary toppings of red onion, white onion, green onion, limu ogo (seaweed), and tobiko (flying fish roe). More toppings can be added if you’d like.

In addition to the poke is a sparse menu that consists of little more than a few non-alcoholic drinks. This leaves little to order if someone doesn’t like fish, but for fresh poke, there are few places with more expansive menus or better dishes.

A few of our favorite menu items at Hanalei Poke include:

Hawaiian Style
Infuse your poke with island flavors with the Hawaiian Style. Imanoma is a condiment made from the kukui tree’s nuts, and limu kohu and furikake both come from the nearby ocean. These combine with a sesame dressing to give the poke fish authentic local flavor. The flavor might not be tropical fruits like you’d expect, but it’s just as Hawaiian.

Kealia Bowl
The Kaelia Bowl is full of ingredients that you’ll recognize and a few you might not. Cilantro, basil, mint, mango, watermelon, and avocado combine with spicy sesame dressing for a richly varied poke. Add some macadamia nuts and crushed red pepper to top it off.

The Paddler 
The Paddler simple bowl of wasabi aioli, chili pepper dressing, avocado, and furikake seaweed. Having fewer ingredients really lets the quality and flavor of the fresh fish shine.

Tofu Fantasy
Don’t like food from the ocean? Go vegetarian with the Tofu Fantasy. Cubed tofu replaces the cubed fish, while radish sprouts, macadamia nuts, garlic, and cilantro cream add both flavors and textures.

Create Your Own Bowl
Create Your Own Bowl if you want to pick and choose favorites. Select the fish (one or two), sauce (one or many) and toppings (three or six) to make something perfectly tailored for your taste.

The food truck itself looks nothing like the food that comes from it, having a rather unassuming appearance. This isn’t a place that you want to judge based on its exterior, though. Stop for a bowl when you’re walking by, and you’ll get some of the best poke you’ve ever had. After all, where else can you meet the person who both caught and prepared your fish?

Insider Tips:
-Having trouble finding the food truck? Look for big images of Guy Fieri — he ate here when the truck was featured on Food Network.
-The selection of beverages is limited and prices are somewhat high. If you are looking for more options, head next door to Big Save to get a couple of drinks while you wait for bowls to be prepared.