Those who loved a bowl or burrito packed with fresh meat, rice, and veggies were nothing short of devastated when Chipotle closed its Westport location this past winter. Thankfully, I can be the bearer of some good news for those who are still heartbroken. There’s a new place in town with plenty of fresh meat, rice, and veggies galore for any burrito or bowl you desire. And this time, there’s a Hawaiian twist to it.
Pokéworks, a Hawaiian restaurant whose business took the country by storm upon opening in 2015, recently made its debut in Westport’s Compo Acres Shopping Center. The original founders sought to bring a taste of Hawaii to the public through poké, which is the diced raw fish that is considered one of the main dishes of native Hawaiian cuisine. Committed to offering the freshest of seafood, Pokéworks also emphasizes their sustainable practices and efforts to preserve the world’s oceans in a time when many are not.
If you haven’t visited a Pokéworks yet, here’s the rundown. Just like a Chipotle, you begin with choosing a burrito, bowl, or even a salad as a base. If one of their many signature works doesn’t match your cravings, you can choose to build your own. Once you pick your base, protein, which varies from tuna to chicken, comes next. Then, add mix-ins like mango and cilantro, followed by a sauce, and finish off with toppings of your choice. With an abundance of selections in each category, you can truly create whatever poké dish your heart desires.
Pokéworks’ variety of tuna, shrimp, scallops, and salmon, will surely satisfy your love for seafood. Whether you want it mixed into a bowl with warm rice, on top of some fresh greens, or wrapped in a sushi-like burrito, each medium of poké can satisfy the flavors, ingredients, and portion size you’re looking for.
But, if you’re not a huge raw fish fan (like me), you can find an equally delicious option to enjoy. Though I was briefly skeptical at my choice of chicken in a restaurant that specializes in seafood, I quickly discovered that my apprehension was for nothing. My bowl, filled with rice, chicken, onions, cucumber, diced mango, a sweet soy sauce, and avocado, was absolutely delicious. The warm, sticky rice contrasted the cold chicken and mango to form the perfect combination of different textures, temperature, and taste into each bite. The freshness of each ingredient was so apparent throughout my meal, right down to the 100% organic lemonade I had to drink.
The bottom line: the impressive amount of proteins, toppings, sauces, and more that you can choose from to design your perfect poké creation, along with the tasty and fresh food itself, made my first poké experience a memorable one. The atmosphere of the Westport location paired with the delicious bowl I devoured certainly enhanced my eating experience. While the space itself isn’t huge, it feels comfortable and clean, with seating for approximately 10 people at the counter and tables. Plus, the smells of fresh fish and tropical music flowing through the air momentarily made me forget I was in Connecticut.
Whether you’re a seafood obsessor or quite the opposite, Pokéworks has choices for every palette. With every ingredient smelling, looking, and tasting fresh, the Westport location should be a destination every local tries this summer to experience some incredible Hawaiian cuisine.
If taking a trip to Westport or Wilton (another local Pokéworks location) is a lengthy journey for you, there’s no need to fear. Pokéworks is launching locations in both Hartford and Greenwich in the near future!
Pokéworks 396 Post Road East #30. Westport, CT 06880 (203) 557-3063