Bondi Junction's new poke bar puts a fresh spin on a favourite.
Poke circa 2017 isn't exactly new, especially in Bondi, but make a beeline for newly opened KingFish in the Junction and you'll find a fresh spin on the genre with ingredients made in-house, sparkling green tea and matcha cookies to boot. Oh, and did we mention there's a healthy dose of hip-hop on the side?
GT's food and style director, Emma Knowles, who also co-owns Ruby's Diner, is behind the new bar, which aims to be fast, fun and keep a strict focus on provenance: all the sashimi-grade fish in the bowls and burritos comes from fine fish purveyor Martin's Seafood, and the pickles, ferments and dressings are made on site.
Matcha and white-chocolate crackle bars
The menu features nine road-tested combos like the Kendrick and the Bey - perfect for poke virgins - while the more seasoned can go their own way and build from "The Bassline" (brown rice or zucchini noodles, say) through to "The Flava", which might be any of seven Japanese-leaning dressings. Along with the usual sashimi suspects, there's tofu, tamari-poached chicken and soft-boiled eggs, and an array of crunchy morsels to top it off.
Questlove is a take on Ruby's breakfast salad
"Our poke is not necessarily a traditional approach; it's more of my take on it," says Knowles, whose menu includes tailored touches such as matcha rice, house-made seaweed crackers, chilli puffed rice and a selection of six pickles and ferments. "There's almost always a condiment or pickle on the dishes in my house," she says.
Drinks are light and bright, with a tight offering of chilled sparkling green tea, rotating house kombucha (finger lime kicks things off) and Fetco batch brew for good measure, while even the virtuous will struggle to walk out without a treat, whether it's a matcha white-chocolate crackle bar or a cacao nib and matcha truffle. Come summer, look forward to matcha coconut panna cotta.
The Tupac mural
Bowls are perfect for lunch on the go or delivery (KingFish is on UberEats and Foodora), but those who nab a stool can enjoy a reimagined, seafood-loving Tupac in mural form (sorry, no hologram here), designed by David James and painted by local artist Steve Smith. Knowles's partner, Ed, is on DJ duties, selecting an on-theme mix of hip-hop to match the menu. KingFish, we like your moves.
KingFish, 74 Spring St, Bondi Junction, NSW, 0401 006 405, kingfishpoke.com.au. Open 11am-8pm daily.