Cape Town foodie escapades: Hokey Poke Review

So I managed to actually have a lunch break yesterday, and side-stepped my usual saladpalooza, for another new foodie escapade in the inner city.

Hokey Poke is a poke bar located within the central business district of Cape Town.

Hawaiian Classic | Cape Town Original

“Dafuq is Poke?” you ask?!

Well my dear reader, Poke is essentially Hawaiian cuisine that entails serving raw salad. Hokey Poke takes this crunchy, vegetarian-katnip idea, and runs with it…but with a twist. Poke into their menu list, and you’ll note a whole assortment of ingredients one usually sees in elaborate chef-like dinners, to add to your lunchtime meal.

There is Hawaiian-style poke (raw tuna and shredded kombu making an appearance), as well as other non-traditional flavors like salmon and toasted almonds (need to try this next!)

When I arrived at Hokey Poke, and got to talking with the owner Max, I realized this bar operates quite a bit like the ‘fast fine dining’ Chefs Cape Town is pushing Cape Town to embrace. Hokey Poke creates a way for us to stay on schedule, while enjoying a customized, quality (healthy as f*ck) meal, somewhere clean.

The decor of Hokey Poke is really chill. I can see how Hoick Design Studio brought the elements of Tokyo and Miami forth. It may be accidentally painted as another Cape Town ‘hipster’ joint, but this is very much a non pretentious, quirky stop-and-go food bar – not an everyday thing, but a once-a-week lunch spot for sure.

Hokey Poke is fast and fresh with their owners Singapore-inspired grub – without desecrating good taste, health(you still need them vitamin awesomes!) and quality.

My Meal

One can build-your-own bowl using Hokey Poke’s guided list: Base, Protein, Toppings, Garnishes, and sauces.

I chose the special of the week, which had: Sticky Rice, Chicken, Radish, Kale Slaw (coleslaw with Kale…its pretty nice actually), Avocado, Spring Onion, Coriander, Peanuts & Honey, Sesame Seeds, a Lime & Yuzu dressing…and Soy Sauce for posterity.

I also had a side of Gluten Free Nachos (also, what the actual fuck is gluten?! We need answers)

The meal was really new for me, insofar as I’ve never had a salad that…raw. Like, not even Food Lovers Market salad’s crunch that much.

I love spiced chicken so it would have been lovely to get some spiced strips. However, I did enjoy the robustness the dressings gave the bowl. The minute I poured the dressings onto the meal, every single thing exploded with tangy rich flavor individually.

Also, hot sauce is life guys!



All the sads 🙁

What about the vegetarians?

This is your nirvana.

Enter, ye who stuffs self on gourmet ‘rabbit food’.

What of the drinks & booze?

There are soft drinks available, but customers are permitted to BYOB if you need something stronger.

Drink choices available: Deluxe Coffee, kombucha, Stoney, cold-pressed juices etc.

I like a place that doesn’t try too hard. Hokey Poke doesn’t invite you to get too comfortable thanks to their chairs and white tiled walls; but its welcoming enough to drop in on.

A bowl of their grub goes by quickly when you’re famished so you’re likely to return to work sated.

Hokey Poke get’s an all-round 7/10.

“Most people don’t want to stop what they are doing and sit down and eat for two hours and be at the mercy of a server who might not want to bring the check or the wine when you want it…They don’t want the ceremony of it anymore. They want more control over their experience.” – Bret Thorn , Nation’s Restaurant News senior food and beverage editor

Hokey Poke

(021) 422 4382

01 Church Street, Cape Town
South Africa

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri: 10am – 9pm

Sat: 10am – 4pm

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