When it comes to our food, there’s nothing quite like having options.
This is why a place like Aloha Poke Shop is a virtual gold mine for the poke lover at heart.
While the ingredients for your typical poke recipe are pretty standard (Hawaiian salt, limu, inamona, sesame oil, etc.) and limited to what one can find at the local market, the options at Aloha Poke Shop can make the imagination go wild with the possibilities.
Originally starting off as Coffee Factory, a small coffee shop in the Remington College Building in downtown Honolulu, owner Jason Miyanaga and his wife Michele introduced fresh poke and sashimi to their menu.
“We were located in a non-cooking unit so poke and sashimi was a perfect addition to our lunch menu,” says Jason. “Mark Mitsuyasu, who was a customer at the time, saw me cutting a small fillet of ahi and we starting talking. The next day he took me to the fish auction and introduced me to some of the workers. He has become one of my good friends and I have learned so much about fish and the fishing industry [thanks to him]. Priceless!”
Jason is no stranger to fish though. Spending his school breaks in Hilo, his grandpa used to take him to Suisan for ahi, Coconut Island for pualu, Keaukaha for reef fish and up the Wailoa River for mullet and Samoan crab.
After graduating from Mid-Pacific Institute, he attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo, followed by the culinary program at Kapiolani Community College.
Over time, the introduction of fresh fish to the menu was such a hit at Coffee Factory and they decided to officially rebrand themselves as Aloha Poke Shop – with partnerships with professional chef Eddie Mafnas and Kapolei High Culinary Instructor Jeff Sampson – on November 28th of last year.
With such a deep background with food, quality and care is very apparent here. Everything is made fresh to order, using the always fresh, never frozen, “boat to bowl” mantra.
“We are at the auction early in the morning to purchase top quality ahi from the local boats known to deliver the best fish,” says Jason. “Each bowl of poke is made fresh to order, never scooped from tray of poke that was made prior to ordering. If you’re looking for previously frozen tuna products that have been treated with carbon monoxide, tasteless smoke or other preservatives to mask the true quality of the fish, go elsewhere. You won’t find those products here! By purchasing local, we support Hawaii’s economy, responsible fisheries, sustainable agriculture, food security and our local community.”
And now, let’s get that imagination going! To start, there is a “Build your own Bowl” option where you pick your size (regular @ $9.95 or large @ $11.95), bedding (white rice, brown rice, sushi rice or Waipoli greens), and protein (Ahi, Salmon, Hamachi or Tofu).
This is where it gets fun. You can choose from a selection of sauces/seasonings (shoyu, Sriracha, wasabi mayo, spicy mayo, wasabi shoyu, spicy shoyu, sesame oil, unagi sauce, chili pepper water, sea salt) and toppings (green onion, white onion, cucumber, tomato, ginger, bubu arare, furikake, toasted sesame seeds, inamona, chili pepper flakes, natto, tobiko, and limu, or Ikura for $1 more)
For those who would rather omakase, they have set menu items like their popular “Aloha Special” ($12.95 for a regular and $14.95 for a large), which features a blend of fresh ahi, New Zealand salmon and Japan Hamachi along with tobiko and ikura in uni sauce, “Classic Hawaiian” ($9.95/$11.95) ahi with salt, limu, inamona and chili pepper, “Asian Fusion” ($9.95/$11.95) – ahi with special shoyu, white and green onions and furikake, “Spicy Ahi” ($9.95/$11.95) – ahi with special mayo, sesame oil, Sriracha, white onion and tobiko, “Tofu Poke” ($8.95/$10.95) – substitute tofu in any of the signature mixes, “Aloha Chop Chop” ($9.95/$11.95) – ahi, cucumber, onions, romaine, tomato, special shoyu dressing, and “Sashimi Salad” ($14.95) – trio of ahi, salmon and hamachi and a dab of ikura, all over a bed of crispy lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
In addition, they also offer fresh sashimi (ahi, salmon or hamachi), musubis (shoyu ahi, salmon, shiso natto, tuna mayo and SPAM), teas, hot chocolate, and of course a variety of coffees.
Planning a party? No sweat. They also do Party Platters as well as hot items on a pretty extensive catering menu through his partnership with partners Mafnas and Sampson.
“We would like say Mahalo to all our Aloha Poke Shop customers and that we hope you can taste the freshness, care and aloha that we put into each of poke bowls. For those who haven’t had a chance to visit us, we encourage you to bring your creative poke chef hat to create your next poke masterpiece. The options are endless.”
Aloha Poke Shop
Remington College Building
1111 Bishop Street, Suite 116
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Hours – Mon-Fri: 6am to 3pm, Saturday/Sunday: Closed