Review: Poke Surf

New Hawaiian poke bowl restaurant lives up to the hype

The Hidenwood Shopping Center is only a walk away from CNU’s campus, so when the restaurant Poke Surf came to town this month, I had to try it out. 

Poke Surf serves poke bowls, traditional Hawaiian cuisine full of nourishing values and healthy ingredients. They also have vegan and vegetarian options if you so choose. 

The food there ranges from $2 to $12, so for the financial status of a college student it’s a perfectly good in-between choice for a meal (they even have a college student discount when you show your ID).

Now when I first went to this place, my friend Anna and I were shocked. Anna, another fellow Junior like myself, loves to try new cuisines and shops around the Newport News area. Though when we arrive, we usually aren’t as excited as when we get to the new place. That wasn’t the case for Poke Surf.

Anna and I walked up to the restaurant from the parking lot and were welcomed with colorful balloons and a creative sign celebrating their grand opening. The place radiated a fun and carefree energy that encouraged us to walk in quicker.

As we walked inside Poke Surf, the interior was decorated like the beach. The restaurant’s atmosphere was very much aligned with its Hawaiian-cultured background, but it had a modern twist. The small details of the collective interior decoration is what enlightened my mood the most. Beside the row of tables was a glowing, bubbly lava lamp that just screamed “beachy.” The lights were designed to look like seagulls flying in V shapes, but in a fresh and cute design, rather than in a tacky manner. 

Anyways, don’t get me started on the chairs. You know how there is always that silent argument of who gets the regular chair and who gets the plush booth chair? Well at Poke Surf, regardless of where you sit, you are comfortable while sitting in style. That sounds cliché, but it’s true. There is one long yellow booth that runs along the side of the wall while bright turquoise chairs sit at the other end of each table.

Besides the interior design, the food was incredible too. Personally, I am a picky eater, so navigating what to combine with what was an obstacle I was not ready for. Luckily, the staff at Poke Surf noticed my nervous indecisiveness and were very generous to help me figure out what would taste best for me with certain foods. In the end, I decided on a Poke bowl with sushi rice, and I combined it with many ingredients that surprised even me: chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, mango, peach and scallions. At the end of that, I decided to top it off with Yum Yum sauce and wonton crisps. 

Altogether, the poke bowl was a delicious and hearty meal that ended my day in the best and healthiest way. The chicken and sushi rice were cooked just right, and all of the ripe fruits and vegetables were in their prime state. Because of Poke Surf, I have decided I now understand my sister’s obsession with Yum Yum sauce and will join her in that obsession. 

As I end this food review, I highly recommend trying out Poke Surf. The restaurant has a fun vibe with a delectable taste that’s really in tune with its Hawaiian background. If you are a student and live in the Rappahannock building, you really don’t have an excuse to not go and use your student discount.

~Ashley McMillan, A&E Editor~

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