Notes on... Kuula Poké


It's 7,187 miles from Hawaii to Birmingham and, I'll be honest, some Mondays it sure feels like it. Which makes the arrival Kuula Poké to the Great Western Arcade a city-brightening addition even before you've tucked into the food. And I'll get on to the food in two shakes of a salmon's tail. 

The new healthy takeaway — with some seating upstairs — was the idea of founder, Felicity, who fell in love with poké (pronounced poh-kay, daaahling) while working in LA (sweetie). She shuffled over to the dish's native Hawaii to learn more before spending time on the Parisian food scene and finally landing in Brum. The usual four-stop journey, then?

Poké, for the uninitiated, usually combines sliced fresh fish with sushi rice, fresh salad and tropical fruit and the "hero" ingredients here are lomi lomi salmon, ahi tuna, tahini miso chicken and huli huli tofu (a traditional Hawaiian marinade). Being as Letterbox is based literally a stone's throw from KP (don't throw stone's kids, it ain't cool), we've already nailed the perfect bowl. Opt for that Lomi Lomi but with most of the set accompaniments that come with the classic tuna bowl. So, that's salmon, pineapple, sushi rice and pickled red onion, plus the Gaga and Cooper-sized stars of the whole damn show: wakame seaweed and shoyu (ginger and tamari) dressing. Oh and do get the optional crispy shallots and sprinkle of sesame seeds for a warming nuttiness to the whole shebang.

At £7.85 for a regular bowl it lands squarely in my once-a-fortnight-for-a-treat bracket, but it's so darn good I won't be missing a single one of those by-now rigidly diarised dates with deliciousness.