his new concept in an exposed brick shack at Kerb Camden Market was formed by two friends – a chef and his bezzie – who were lucky enough to research their idea on surf adventures to Hawaii, not to mention an abundance of Californian road trips.
Tom and Marty then began serving poké out of their converted van last summer, with two permanent spots soon following in NW1 and Paddington. They call it – cutely – a “counter cultural approach to food”: while that might be overstating things, it is, however, healthy and delicious, with stylish logo designs, subculture mutterings and a DIY sensibility at its heart.
In keeping with what they call their “free-spirited” nature the menus are on rotation, fusing trad Hawaiian poké with more playful Californian-inspired additions. Plant-based types can order vegan jackfruit, if miso salmon or Korean tuna don’t hit the spot.Like all Camden Market stalls, the outlet is five minutes’ walk from our office, and has become an instant fave. As well as half a dozen set options, there’s a pleasant, clearly illustrated process that allows you to create your own bowl, with a mouthwatering choice of six proteins, ten salads, a rice option and assortment of toppings.
We’ve eaten here a dozen times and especially enjoyed the spicy sriracha salmon with ponzu, red onion, spring onion and toasted sesame; and a variant with ruby cubes of sesame tuna and nori. From the salads you might blend edamame, shaved radish, sweet pickled beets, kimchi cucumbers and slithers of lemon fennel, layering it all on sushi rice or coconut brown rice – or if you’re uber healthy, courgette and napa cabbage.
And the final flourish, a truly imaginative range of toppings, add fire, texture and crunch: crushed wasabi peas, crispy onions, chilli flakes and toasted coconut all team up brilliantly. Next on our hitlist? Succulent yuzu prawns in a coriander dressing.The prices may seem steep for streetfood but – come on – this is raw fish, so you wouldn’t trust anything much cheaper. Still, at £8.35 for the smallest size it’s not bad for so many expensive – and extremely healthy – ingredients.
Finally, there’s an ethical side: Lords of Poké look to doing their part in preserving the planet as much as possible across all processes, with fish delivered from industry-acclaimed Joii sushi, who have their own raw ready to eat processing plant; and packaging and waste processes considered at all times. Lords in all things, it would seem.
Main image: Stephen Emms